Archive | January, 2013

Breast feeding beyond 12 months

11 Jan

As soon as my baby girl arrived, I was looking forward to feeding her, the bond it created was so appealing to me and I was determined to do everything I could to make it work. I was always told that ‘breast is best’ and that’s certainly what I wanted for my daughter.

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A question I kept been asked whilst I was pregnant was ‘are you going to breast feed?’ To which I would answer,Yes, of course. I was shocked by the amount of responses that said ‘well, you might not be able too.’ I couldn’t understand how something we were made to do wouldn’t work, I blocked out those comments as I didn’t want to go into something feeling I was going to fail before I had even tried. Although I understand in some circumstances it can be impossible for some women to breast feed But i didn’t want to believe this was the norm. I was sticking to my guns and wanted to trust that my body could do it.

I decided to stay in the hospital over night to get help establishing her feeding, the midwives were amazing, they really made the effort to help me and encourage my decision. Once out of the hospital I knew I had to do this by myself and at first panicked a little but I was fortunate to have a great lady called Jo as breast feeding support. She was there if I had any questions and would visit to see if baby was latching on right. Those first 2 weeks were a little tricky at times, and could be sore, but at the same time I was just in awe of my body, I actually got butterflies whilst feeding and felt such a bond. I remember having my breast feeding books by me at all times and flicking quickly to the right chapter if I came across anything new.

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I didn’t realise how much I was going to enjoy breast feeding. My aim had always been to get to the six month mark, but by that time I got there I found she was feeding so quickly that it was just easier to keep going. We decided that we wanted to try the baby led weaning method (see earlier post) and by maintaining the breast feeding I was confident she was still getting the vital nutrients whilst discovering all the fun new foods.

Its funny how you have all these ideas on how you want to do things but I don’t think you can fully know until the time comes what you want to do, ultimately you want what’s best for your child so allow yourself to be adaptable, don’t pigeon hole yourself and get so caught up in you have to do things this way or that way, rather, just enjoy the time you have with your baby.

At 12 months, I started to introduce cows milk into her diet, i didn’t want to go cold turkey, although that works out for some mothers, i decided to do it slowly. I cut out the day breast feeds and replaced them with bottles or snacks and kept her on this routine until last month.

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breast feeding mummies still got style 🙂

Eivissa is now 16 months old and I’m still breast feeding her once a day in the morning.(Some babies will wean them selves off by this point) I never thought I was going to breast feed for this long and to be honest, I thought mothers who fed passed 12 months were ‘the tree hugging type that didn’t wear bras,’ but i was wrong, the one thing I’ve realised as a mother is to be confident in your decisions and also be adaptable, if what you try doesn’t work or if you end doing something you thought you never would, it’s ok, just enjoy your journey.

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Hope this post encourages any mothers that are interested in extended breast feeding, it’s a natural thing for us to do and we shouldn’t try play it down out of embarrassment or fear that it may offend others. I’m proud to say I still breast feed and encourage other ‘closet breast feeding mums’ to come out and be proud of it!

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