I actually love to breastfeed, this is my third experience of long-term breastfeeding and it has always been a fulfilling time for each of them.
Before I had my first daughter, not even yet pregnant, I witnessed a sweet dear friend of mine who breastfed her two-year-old daughter in front of me. Instantly I thought, one day I would like to have that feelings of love, attachment and closeness with my child. It gave me a comforting feeling inside knowing that I [show_posts filter=”default”]could nourish my own one day, I knew even before I had children that this is what I wanted to do.
Seven years on, three babies later and I am successfully breastfeeding way beyond the six months, up until the 2-year mark it has been challenging and it has had its ups and downs but if it wasn’t for the le leche league and connecting with like-minded people I don’t think I could have continued as long as I have.
Before starting breastfeeding I had so many stories of mothers that gave up or chose the bottle because either baby was, ‘too hungry’ ‘baby didn’t sleep through the night’ ‘ baby was continuously on the breast’ ‘ baby just did not seem fulfilled unless supplemented with a formula’. I thought how would I ever do this long-term if there are so many obstacles
Visiting Le leche league groups before I gave birth, as well as advice from a wonderful friend, really helped me understand the process of breast feeding. The book by Ina Mae’s Guide to Breastfeeding Educated me and prepared me for the long haul.
I wish more women starting out, be encouraged to start the long-term breastfeeding journey and not to give up, thinking that it’s too hard or maybe caring too much about what others think or worst still listening to others and ignoring your instincts, just remember it is you and your baby, this emotional bonding period after 9 months of carrying and giving birth is a bonus to have. unfortunately, and due to unforeseen circumstances, the breastfeeding journey cant happen for all.
There are so many benefits for you and baby why wouldn’t you.
If you have visited my blog today in search of encouragement , below are the top tips if you are considering or having difficulty continuing to breastfeed
Always get advice from a lactation consultant le leche lègue are everywhere and it is such an experience to be around others that are passionate about breastfeeding that will give you sound advice and encourage you through any hard time
Benefits of Long term Breast feeding
Having a good start will set you up for success Breastfeeding should not be painful, so get in touch with your local lactation consultant, to get hands on example of a good latch from baby. Remember, both you and your little one are learning to get through the first few days, so relax.
The way I remembered it, in my first few days years ago, was to lay baby on your lap under your chosen breast, his head slightly tilted backwards and literally drop your breast into his open mouth. Getting your nipple as far back as possible His bottom lip should be curled outwards and you should see gulps from under his jaw line. If you feel pain, use your little finger to undo his grip and start again until you have the desired latch
Try not to supplement with formula, a lot of people believe that baby’s are not fulfilled by the breast. Mother nature made our milk perfect for our baby’s stomach size, this misconception is that they are hungry is wrong, its just that they digest a lot quicker than formula fed baby, so hence they are hungry more often, however the more you feed the more milk you will make to satisfy your baby of time, its all about supply and demand!
Feeling of Closeness
For nine months babies are wrapped up in the warmth and comfort of our wombs, being lulled asleep by our voices, so its only right that when they arrive into our arms all they want to do is stay there. The breast is another comforter for him, so he is able to feel reassured and close, trying to emulate that feeling he had in the womb. Its not always hunger, which is the misconception that they are hungry, its reassurance through closeness. Further down the road of your breast feeding journey, this will still be the case, embrace the closeness as much as possible. The more our children feel reassured as babies the more confident they will be as growing children when they finally let go and end the breastfeeding journey.
Long Term breastfeeding also comes with a few bites scratchs and pinches. needless to say this is the fear for most mothers who are interested in the journey. My children started growing teething anywhere from 4 months. Yes during this time i had a few nips that made me wince!! however if they are truly hungry they will focus on drinking their milk, if not that is when bites will happen, at this point you know that they are finished and they need to be off the breast. Before they reach one years old, you are able to let them know that biting is not allowed and each time they do it they will be removed from the breast. Bites = No breast! they will slowly associate this and stop doing unwanted behaviour.
Breastfeeding in public is something I got used to, and over time, I stop caring what people thought. I was never one to pump milk into bottles, maybe at the infant stage, but over 1 years old I would feed on demand If i was on the go, the Ergo baby would come in so handy!
So there you have it, some tips and advice for those who are thinking about feeding to 6 months and beyond. Be confident in your choice,it benefits you and your baby, in the long run.
I would love to hear about your experience of long term breastfeeding, add to the discussion and/ or if you know anyone who would benefit from this post!! Share it