Let me begin by saying that I am a huge advocate breastfeeding. I think it’s a personal choice, but I firmly believe that if you are able to breastfeed then it’s the best option for your baby and you (as if you haven’t heard that before).
I breastfed both of my children. I breast fed my firstborn till he was nearly two and my daughter till she was 13 months. Honestly, I think if I didn’t fall sick leaving me to stay away for a few days, I don’t know how long it would have gone on for. Breastfeeding felt natural. However, it does come with it’s challenges, and your girl is about to spill the beans.
- Wave bye bye to breast and hello food
Your child has zero sense of privacy or modesty. My son was glued to my boob from day one. He breastfed so often, that I actually forgot that my boobs were boobs. My boobs were food. I found myself in very awkward places where I had to nurse. I didn’t give a damn. I will whip my boobs out and throw it in my baby’s mouth totally forgetting my surroundings. If it wasn’t for all the attention on breastfeeding in public, I wouldn’t have known that it was an issue. The talk about on breastfeeding in public made me more cautious when breastfeeding, that I purchased a nursing apron to cover myself second time round. By the way once your baby out grows the apron, and baby is able to take the breast out by themselves – you just have to get used to it and so does the world.
- Clothing gets complicated and so does everything you consume
The headings tell it all. There isn’t much sense of freedom. I have to think about what I’m wearing when leaving the house. Certain dressed have uneasy access to allow breastfeeding. I couldn’t take hay fever tables. The restrictions are much like pregnancy.
- Stopping can be confusing and painful
Let’s face it, breast feeding can be extremely exhausting. When I decided that I wanted to stop breastfeeding, I really didn’t know how to do it. The struggle for me both times was how to stop breastfeeding. There are many information out there about breastfeeding, but not much on what to do when you decide to stop.
One of the advice I got was to put something bitter like coffee to deter baby from breastfeeding. It didn’t work for me by the way. After getting ill, and being away from him, I was able to stop breastfeeding.
But when I decided to stop breastfeeding my daughter, it was difficult. She became so attached to breastfeeding that she refused to eat anything. I was exhausted and juggling that with my older child just added a layer of complexity. I had enough, so I stopped cold turkey! Can we have a moment to understand how painful it was? It was awful. Absolutely awwwwwful. My breast were engorged for a while. It lasted about two weeks for me. It was so uncomfortable that I’m cringing as I type. Awful experience. Will not recommend. I read advice such as putting a cold cabbage on my breast to help- did not help ME.
I think the better option is to replace a feed and slowly phase out breastfeeding. It could apparently take up to six weeks if you have the patience. Unfortunately I didn’t.
All in all, it’s a small price to pay for the benefits of breastfeeding. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! I would do it again (breastfeeding that is, not stopping cold turkey) should I have another child. The benefits of breastfeeding far outweighs the challenges in my opinion. Although, speak to your health visitor if you choose or are thinking about breastfeeding to get advice about what to do when you decide to stop.