B is for Breastfeeding

is for bike rides, beach trips and building dens. Boys and their bits and bottoms (I can never quite believe how much we talk about bottoms these days!) Balloons, baking and bunnies (we have so many Jellycat bunnies we should probably insure them!)

But, the biggest B that has been an incredibly special and important part of motherhood for me is breastfeeding.

I was very lucky that breastfeeding came relativity easily to me and both my babies seemed to know exactly what to do straight away. I'm not saying it was always easy - those early few weeks with my first were so so challenging; life had been turned upside down, I was solely responsible for feeding this tiny baby and my husband felt at a loss to know how best to support me (he actually was brilliant - he ran errands, did the housework, cooked and kept me supplied with chocolate - but he struggled to know what to say when I was sleep deprived and at my wits end!)

Despite the sore nipples, insatiable hunger (both mine and theirs!), the sleep deprivation, babies who would only feed to sleep and then wake as soon as they were out down; breastfeeding was utterly and absolutely the best thing I've ever done. I feel incredibly proud of how long I fed them for - I fed my daughter until she was about 22 months (I was 6 months pregnant at the time) and then her brother kept going til he was almost 2.5. I never ever felt judged feeding a baby in public, but I did feel judged when admitting I still fed my two year old, even though it was only at night and perfectly natural, it shouldn't need justifying!

With both of them, stopping was led by them but helped along by me. I suffered a terrible breastfeeding aversion feeding 'K' whilst pregnant, but I was determined that that wouldn't be the reason we stopped. I pushed on through it and it did ease so I could focus on stopping gently and slowly - which we did. It didn't feel so easy with 'P', mainly because he shared a room with his big sister so feeding him when he demanded it was easier than him waking her up wailing! So I let him feed for comfort in the night for as long as he needed it. After a while, the feelings of aversion crept back in and I felt it was my body's way of saying, "enough now". So I slowly and gently, with many cuddles and nights spent lying with him, managed to get him to stop (I was slightly relieved as did have visions of having to go on his year 6 residential with him to feed him to sleep!)

I feel sad that that part of my life is over, especially as we have no plans for any more children, but I feel it has helped me create the most special and magical bond with my children and that strong, secure attachment will hopefully mean they grow up happy, confident and successful, with good relationships. I mostly hope that deep down they know that during that time breastfeeding I gave them everything I had and was there for them whenever they needed me and I hope they know that I always will be!

Mum aged 34 - Mum of 2

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