About breastfeeding

breastfeeding mother and baby

She says, by @pols80:

Firstly, I should say that I’m not in the business of judging other people’s parenting. To be quite honest, I’m too busy making sure my herd make it through the day relatively unscathed to be squeezing into my judgey pants and climbing all those stairs up to my ivory tower.

Breast feeding, oddly, is something I’ve never given much thought to. I have three little darlings, and it just seemed to happen naturally. I’ve always been aware of the benefits, but I can’t say I ever really took a conscious decision; I just did it. Boy – was breast feed for about 8 weeks. I had little support in relation to breast-feeding, so when my baby took to crying 25 hours a day (yes, 25 hours. It felt like he cried all the time and then some) and cluster feeding, I immediately thought I was starving him. Surely he was doing all that crying and feeding because was starving, right. Wrong. Now I realise he was doing that thing of Being A Baby. He was growing, and putting in his milk order for when he had grown and needed more milk. I haven’t lost any sleep over it, though. He’s fine, I’m fine, it’s all fine.

Boy 2 made it to 16 weeks before becoming very poorly and being admitted to hospital. Various digestive problems meant that he wasn’t thriving, and so he was started on a special milk that smelled like mouldy potatoes. Appetising.

As for The Girl, she’s 19 months and still a complete milk monster. When she was born, I desperately wanted to make it to six months of breast-feeding. She was born at home on a Sunday morning, and fed like a pro. I went back to work when she was five months, and had to be away for several days at a time. Miraculously, we managed to maintain breast-feeding and we made it to my six month target. Then we made it to my twelve month target. Now I’ve stopped setting myself targets and started wondering when I’ll get a decent sleep and when my boobs will cease to be community property.

Natural term breast-feeding, I believe they call it. That’s what we seem to be doing. Feeding until she decides she’s ready to stop. Lots of people seem to have opinions on this. I have I idea why, given that it only really involves Alexa and I. I’m happy, she’s happy, so it’s all good right? Wrong. I’m pandering to her, apparently. I’m doing it for my own benefit rather than hers (yep, because who doesn’t want bite marks on their nipples, boobs down to their knees and an average of 14 minutes sleep a night?) I’ve even heard natural term breast-feeding referred to as child abuse (no, I’m not joking. Someone ACTUALLY said that). In reality, all I’m doing is comforting my baby the best way I know how, it’s good for her. She enjoys the closeness. I enjoy the closeness. She’s happy. I’m happy. It’s all good.

Not only do some people get their knickers in a twist about how long I’ve been breast-feeding, but they also get a bit flustered about where I do it. We live in a world where sexualised images of women (and men!) are everywhere. The media is rife with them. Breasts are portrayed in a sexual context on billboards, newspapers, magazines, supermarket shelves, music videos and a gazillion other everyday places. Yet nursing in public (NIP) still seems to create a bit of controversy. The law in Scotland says a woman may breast feed her child in any public place where both are legally permitted to be, and should do so without harassment. I have to be honest and say that I’ve had many, many more positive comments than negative ones. I’ve nursed Alexa in coffee shops and restaurant, parks and shopping centres, weddings and funerals. One particular incident that saddened me was when I was nursing Alexa, who was then a few weeks old, in Costa while my sister and I had coffee and a gossip. The man at the table opposite started to make stupid faces and generally make it known that he was appalled. He nudged his wife, pointed, scrunched up his nose and was generally twattish about the whole thing. None of that bothered me, what made me sad was that he had his two young daughters with him. He’s entitled to his opinion, of course, but it saddened me that he was setting that example to his daughter who may one day have hungry babies of their own.

As an aside, people often ask me what Mr Pols thinks about me breast-feeding in public, or about me still breast-feeding a toddler. The short answer is he’s proud of me. Proud that I set myself a goal and stuck with it. Proud that I don’t really care what people think. Proud that I’ve made sacrifices to do what I think is best for our daughter. I find it funny yet slightly offensive that some people think my husband should have an opinion about me baring my breasts in public, like they should be kept for him alone.

Breast feeding is good for babies and good for mums. That’s not judging or gloating or competing, it just is. Being a parent is tough enough without having to endure constant criticism of how you feed your child, irrespective of what method you choose. As I said at the beginning I never really made a conscious decision to breast feed, it just happened, but I have learned some interesting stuff along the way that’s really made me glad I did it…

When a breast-feeding mum kisses her baby, she ‘samples’ the germs around her baby’s mouth and immediately begins to make antibodies to them which are then passed to the baby in her milk

Breast feeding reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer, that’s pretty well-known. What I didn’t know is that the baby also benefits in a similar way. My daughter’s risk of breast cancer in later years has been reduced by up to a third thanks to breast-feeding. The human body is so clever!

Newborns, if left undisturbed, will ‘crawl’ up their mum’s tummy to her breast to have their first feed. This is AMAZING to watch!

Toddlers are ingenious when it comes to creating opportunities to grab a quick milky snack… Preferably when both of mummy’s hands are occupied e.g. Drying her hair!!

Β ***

He says, by @adadcalledspen:

I didn’t breastfeed my children. My ex-wife and I decided, quite quickly, that would be her job. For the best really. I might’ve struggled.

But with T there were some struggles in the early days. He had reflux which meant my ex had to go onto a dairy free diet for a few weeks to rule out any intolerance. It was tough as she doesn’t eat meat, but we got through those three weeks with fake cheese and Vitalite. I remember once trying to make a cake, the world’s most boring cake as it turned out, but excluding dairy made no difference. We just had to wait for him to grow out of it. Which he did. And pump him full of medication in the meantime. Which made no difference. At times we had so many potions the house felt like an annexe of Hogwarts.

My ex went back to work and had to express in a windowless-room and did this so I could feed the children breastmilk from a bottle while I looked after them. I remember her saying prior to T being born that she’d never do this because she didn’t want to feel like a cow being milked by a milking machine. Which is fair enough and I won’t talk about her any more here as I know there are some aspects of our time as parents to young babies which she feels are personal and would like to keep private, and I must respect this. I will say however that her decisions and the struggles she had initially, whih she overcame, made me so proud of her. She didn’t want to give up and so she didn’t. Which is testament to her as a person. And I’m so very proud of her for this for so many reasons. I always will be.

I remember early on though we went to a breastfeeding drop-in workshop run by some lovely supportive people who seemed to suggest that the problem was positioning. My ex was trying to feed the wriggliest baby in the world, at only 6lb 4 oz the strongest baby in the world, and at that point the world’s most vomitous baby and it was proving tough. You could see these people wanting to shift T’s position a little bit, a little bit, like horologists working onΒ  tinkering with some minute part of a watch mechanism. It didn’t really help. My ex got herself and him into a comfortable position over time, and once his reflux stopped it was easier.

At this workshop I read some literature. Something in a piece made me very angry, but perhaps I’m thick and just didn’t get what it was trying to say. It sounded like propaganda to me and I felt that if people were struggling it was designed to guilt trip them into persisting. It read.

‘Cows milk is made for baby cows, not humans, so why would you feed it to anyone?’

I thought, cows milk is fine in my tea and on my cereal and I thought this view a little OTT, and stretched a point so far it was in danger of breaking. Okay. We all know mother’s milk is good for the baby but what if you can’t? What if you actually just can’t do this, or really struggle? Can one be made to feel bad about going for formula from those demon cows when breastfeeding is proving so hard?

No. I don’t think so. We all make choices as parents and if anyone wants to be all judgey pants then please remember that quote from To Kill A Mockingbird, the one that kind of goes ‘you don’t understand a person until you consider things from their point of view.’ At times we’ve all felt like the world’s worst parents. Oh no, I didn’t bake my own bread or knit my own yoghurt this evening so the kids’ll have to have fishfingers and chips for tea. At times we all struggle, and to add pressure to a new parent by saying that one MUST do it this way and MUST DO it that way for a regulation time isn’t fair. I’d never do it. Mainly because I don’t want the last thing I see to be a tired, new parent come at me with a spork and force it into my jugular.

***

So, breastfeeding did you? For how long? Or did you not and did people frown at you and throw sharpened rocks in your general direction? Or did you, and did people point at you in the street and glare? To be honest this could be a real melting pot of opinions and experiences which might make some who are struggling, persist, or those who are finding things hard reconcile themselves with making a decision which is best for all. So please express your opinions (See what we did there) freely and openly. And thanks for reading.

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51 thoughts on “About breastfeeding

  1. I had no desire to breast feed either of my children and so I didn’t. Both turned out fine. What gets me is the pressure people are under to breast feed. You should do what’s right for you because if you’re happy you’re kids will be happy.

    • Agreed. I’ve also discovered this time round that’s there’s a lot of pressure to breast feed only in accordance with societal rules… e.g. Only for a certain amount of time and only in particular places. People spend too much time caring about other people’s business!

  2. I’m currently 2 years and almost 4 months into breast feeding number 5. Loads if people think it’s weird. Pols I love your nursing toddler pic. It warms my heart. The newborn crawling for those who want to look on YouTube is called biological nurturing and it’s amazing for babies with attachment issues. Amazing to watch.. Robs gran is amazed I’ve still got milk (????) lol. I am blessed to have such a relationship with my baby. These are precious times and they’re gone far too soon. After being badgered by my midwife and health visitors since I fed my first baby 11 years ago ,I trained as a peer supporter with NCT after I had my sixth baby to help other mums who need it ( I did with my first and help wasn’t around back then) . Support is everything to mums and I’m proud to be part of that .

    • It’s brilliant that you feel you can give something back, and help others. I know we’ve spoken about this outside of Twitter and I’m constantly in awe of the help you give others at all times of the day.
      Thanks for reading, and for your comment.

    • Thanks for your comment, Kelly. I loves this photo too, it says so much without words πŸ™‚ The biological nurturing was amazing to watch, my husband was speechless as he watched our brand new baby (with cord still attach) crawl off in search of milk. The human body is pretty amazing!

      Good work on becoming a peer supporter…. Where do you find the time?! I mentioned in a comment above about society often only accepting breast feeding it it’s within its own parameters – particularly in relation to how long you feed you baby for. I think this is also true of HCPs. I find now my HV is utterly useless with any advice,,a md has been since my daughter was about 6 months. A consultant recently told me that breast feeding beyond six months was only relevant in developing countries!!,

      Anyway, I’ve wittered on enough but you’re quite right to be proud. I think we can be proud of an achievement (any achievement) without it being a judgement on anyone else who did differently.

      • Pols, I’ve had the six month thing sprouted from my gp when I needed diabetic meds when max was six months old. If I need anything ( or you do) peer support, bf counsellors at nct or the drugs in breast milk helpline or kellymom are all good sources of info ( or me! ) ….
        I am not pushy and I don’t wear a judgy hat at all. We are about supporting women who choose to breast feed . It’s not the best it’s normal , natural human milk for human babies. How anyone else feeds their babies isn’t my business at all and it doesn’t effect me or my family. I think it’s really sad when opinions are forced on others.
        When you see a mum who’s desperate and struggling and she beats all the odds and carries on because you have helped her and her baby that’s amazing stuff . I recently supported a lady ( a friend actually) who’s feeding her tenth baby who’s the first she’s had issues with.
        I love what I do. It’s also sad when you get a mum who doesn’t want to breast feed and is clearly doing it because she feels she has no choice for one reason or another when really it’s not what she wants. I’ve had that discussion more than once.
        I never set out with any personal goals in mind. If someone had told me I’d still be feeding him this long I’d have laughed out loud!
        Thanks for a brilliant read x

        Sent from my iPhone

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  3. I did not breast any of my three children, I had no desire, no interest at all. As it turned out all three were milk intolerant for the first few years, and ended up on soy milk. The worst thing for me was the dirty looks I received because I chose to bottle feed, talk about a turn around. Either way, it is not my place to judge whether or not you want to breast or bottle feed, but respect the persons decision.

    • Thanks for your comment. I used to get some dirty looks too when feeding my children from a bottle when we were out in cafes etc. I felt like wearing a tshirt saying ‘It’s expressed breastmilk so don’t give me that look’ but then that would be defending something that didn’t need defending, per se, as we can all make whatever choices we wish.

    • You hit the nail on the head – it’s about respect. Parenting seems to be the most competitive sport EVER. I also wonder how parents find the time to judge others! Thanks for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  4. Fantastic post! I am still breast feeding my son. He will be 2 next week! This was an accident. I never intended to BF but after reading up on it I decided to try it for the first week or so yet here I still am 2 years later. I’ve been lucky and never noticed or had any negativity despite feeding him wherever/whenever he needed it. I know I wouldn’t have come this far without the support from my OH who remained calm on our first night home when I couldn’t get H to latch and I was quite frankly, an hysterical mess. The only problem I have is with a ‘friend’ who for some reason always asks without fail if I am STILL breast feeding, every time I see her. I don’t understand what business it is of hers but why can I say that won’t sound rude? In the meantime I will continue to feed my son until he is ready to wean.

    • Hmmm. My family used to do that ‘are you still breastfeeding him/her’ but thankfully not when my ex-wife was around, else the withering look might’ve reduced them to dessicated husks.
      Thanks for your comment and so good to hear of an OH that is supportive as I’ve heard of instances where this is not the case. I would’ve respected my ex’s choice whatever way it went.

    • Hi Amanda. Thanks for your comment. You make a brilliant point – partner support is vital in any aspect of parenting but particularly when it comes to breast feeding (if breast feeding is what mum wants to do) because often there’s a lot of outside pressure to give up and share the load. I get so sick of the “are you STILL breast feeding” question, and the associated implication that I’m a bit of a pushover really. I don’t know about you, but it never really enters my head what age Alexa is; she’s my baby she needs comfort/milk/both, I nurse her. I don’t really stop to consider whether it’s “appropriate” because I trust her and I trust my body.

      Sometimes I wish I knew when she’ll be ready to weN, other times I’m glad I don’t know how much more of the sleepless nights I’ve got ahead of me!

  5. I breastfed for 10 months, til I went back to work. 12 hour shifts didn’t fit around the wee ones feeding pattern, and I couldn’t express anywhere as I work on a busy ward where I hardly get a 5 minute break, let alone time to express. Turned out I was rubbish at expressing anyway, and the wee one wouldn’t even take a bottle, just a cup.

    I managed to avoid the uncomfortable stares and rude comments when breast feeding out and about, and one really lovely older lady actually came and told me she was pleased to see me do as it wasn’t the done thing “in her day”. I think it made my dad a bit uncomfortable for about a week, but he soon got used to it, and over it.

    I didn’t set any goals, I just said I’d do it for as long as it suited the wee one. In my head I figured that would only be a few weeks, but she surprised me. It wasn’t without the frought, omg I’m not doing it right, she’s not getting enough, will she ever stop feeding, moments. Our HV didn’t help either, with her “advice” on top up feeds, but that’s another story.

    I firmly believe people should feed their babies in whatever manner they choose. Breast feeding worked for us, it may not work for others. I’m in no position to judge anyone on what they decide.

    • Thanks for reading and for your comment. What you said about the HV was interesting. We had the same HV as a younger couple we knew, and we, a couple in our late 30’s were not patronised in the same way this younger friend was by the same HV. She felt that whatever she was doing was wrong, and yet we were just left to get on with things despite being in the same boat as new parents.
      But. I guess, maybe, HV’s are another post entirely. I’m sure we all have some stories. πŸ™‚

    • Hi, thanks for you comment πŸ™‚ With regard to HVs, I really feel that (in general) they could do with more up to date knowledge in supporting breast feeding, especially when the guidelines suggest feeding into the second year and beyond (hark at me talking about guidelines – I’ve never listened to a single guideline in my life when it comes to parenting. I’m a rebellious co-sleeper, BLWer and amber necklace user. Renegade Pols!)

      10 months is loads! and I know what you mean about expressing. I’m rubbish at it and I have huge respect for women who commit the time and effort to it.

  6. My choices are not a judgement of your choices, and knowledge is power are my mantras….
    if I say I’m bf I don’t need you to tell me how you just didn’t make enough milk or blah blah blah….it’s ok if you formula feed I’ve used some too. But I fought hard to give my child my milk I exclusively pumped my milk as eldest couldn’t latch (turns out she has a tongue tie that no one checked for) we learned (me and hubby) the hard way not to believe what the mws and hvs told us over time through setting up pumping mummies I learned so much more about lactation and bf and so this time round had the expert on speed dial (an IBCLC) that’s the difference this time I wouldn’t let us be failed. Society fails those who do want to bf to those who don’t want to or can’t then that’s fine, but most of the time people stop aren’t happy doing so but you live and learn and can’t change the past but can change how you feel about it. I feel through the board by helping others and now bf myself what we went through first time has been validated in a way. I know my hubby is proud too, he was there through the toe curling pain and never once suggested stopping and giving formula as he knew how to support me to achieve our goal that’s key knowing what support people need and getting it or giving it at the right time. It’s a topic very close to my heart as I just couldn’t not bf again (btw terminology it’s bf or bottle feeding , breast milk or formula.) I never classed myself as bf when I epd as that’s not what it was its different to bf and I can feel that now I’m bf, it’s not just food I do feel a sense of loss as I didn’t get this with her but without that journey I wouldn’t be here now bf. (Sorry it’s so long!)

    • Please don’t apologise for commenting in however form you wish. Parenting is a journey for all of us and we learn new things every day, I think. A lot at the beginning, very quickly obviously.
      I’m sorry the tongue tie wasn’t spotted because that may have changed things for you, and that’s quite sad, but thank you so much for detailing our experience here.

    • Hi Zoe. Thanks for your comment – definitely don’t apologise for it being long! I agree with you wholeheartedly about choices not being a judgement of others’ choices. Exclusive pumping is a huge commitment and effort, so massive respect to you for keeping that up.

      How frustrating not to have the tongue tie diagnosed. My second son (the one with the smelly formula) had his diagnosed from a photo when he was 4! I have no regrets about switching to FF him because he was extremely poorly and I didn’t have the energy to consider other prions, but I’m sure swift diagnosis of that could have changed things for us.

  7. I breastfed my son for 13 months. I am proud but it almost killed me emotionally and I took on too much. I couldn’t do it without huge impact on me as my son fed a lot day and night for a long time and my husband didn’t know how to help in other ways. It was one of the things which inadvertently damaged our relationship. I wish I’d not been quite so single minded because I look now at him and his friends and wonder if it was worth all the pain. Not meaning that breastfeeding was painful, it wasn’t in the main, it was just hard. Physically hard and emotionally hard to not be more than 2-3 hours away from him for 11 months (it was only after then he managed to go longer without milk and he never accepted expressed milk). So no time for myself, no break day or night for nearly a year, after being pregnant for 9 months. If I’m honest I lost my sense of self.

    I don’t think how I felt was as much to do with breastfeeding as the pressure associated with it. I wish the pressure would go and the support remained. Again, I felt the support was very ‘judgey’ like you did Spen. There was almost a competitive nature to the breastfeeding cafes near me. So much so that a nursery nurse took me aside and gave me ideas she knew the peer supporters wouldn’t approve of!

    As for in public? I only had two really bad experiences, one where the manager of a well known chain restaurant glared at me (after I’d asked him to put me somewhere discreet and he’d failed to do so). I complained, they checked CCTV, agreed with me he was giving me funny looks but disagreed that might have been why and offered an apology and sent a present for my son. The second one was where a creepy bloke followed me then watched intently as I fed. I was very weirded out by that. I never had a positive comment but I was pretty sanguine about it most of the time but you have to be a tough bird to cope with it.

    If I’m honest I still believe in breastfeeding but if I had my time again, I’d be more inclined to try combination feeding after a while.

    • Thank you for your honest and brave comment. It can be tiring, and I’ve seen this in others. The pressure and relentlessness can be very wearing, and yet that feeling that you can’t stop, and thinking that you might have to for you also brings with it some guilt.
      Thanks for reading and for your comment, across all the posts, which are always brilliant and honest.

    • Thanks for reading and for your comment. I totally get what you mean, I often feel ‘touched out’ and like my body will never be my own again. I think going back to work when she was five months (although being far from ideal) was what saved me, in a way, because it gave me some ‘me’ time. It’s tough sharing your body with another person on demand,, 24 hours a day!

      I’m not surprised you felt weirded out by Creepy Staring Guy, what an unnerving experience,

  8. i have breastfed all 3 of my boys to 12m. I wasn’t easy and at times i was too shy to NIP. I had relatives telling me i was punishing myself, pandering to them once i got past 6m.
    My story with my third sounds quite similar to pol’s. i do not care where i feed or who i feed infront of. I have cleared a sports club bar (they ALL needed a wee at the same time) i have had ‘friends’ walk out of my living room leaving half a cuppa. All because i was nursing my baby. Sad for them…..
    my third is 12.5m and showing no signs of weaning. He’s up 2-3 times a night for milk. feeds at least twice during the day. I am loving it. His brothers stopped when they were ready. both at about 12m. number 3 well who knows? i am excited to be embarking on our journey of toddler breastfeeding.
    hubby has always supported me in what ever i want to do. he enjoys the fact that he doesn’t have to get up in the night lol.
    fab post. thanks guys.

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment and read our post. It’s interesting how people can view this. ‘Oh shall I walk away and give mum and baby some privacy’ or ‘Hey, it’s natural so I’ll stay. As long as I don’t stare it’s all cool.’

    • Thanks for your comment, it was lovely to read! The toddler breastfeeding journey is lovely, and I hope you both enjoy it. Although I often say I feel ready for her to wean whenever she’s ready now, I do think I’ll miss it when it stops. Your husband sounds like a keeper, good on him for being so supportive πŸ™‚

  9. At 18 months and counting I am a very proud breast feeder. I was just about to write ‘Luckily I’ve never had a problem nursing in public’ but why is it lucky? It’s normal! I detest this problem other parents have about which method your baby is fed. Lots of babies are breast fed. Lots of babies are bottle fed. Most babies turn out ok regardless. Of course, if pushed, I believe breast is best but as the only breast feeder in my circle of baby and mum friends, I don’t have a problem with bottle feeders! Their babies are just as happy, just as healthy, just as gorgeous. Let’s give each other a break and celebrate the fact that we’ve managed to feed our babies something, they’re alive and thriving. Well done all.

  10. I breastfed all four of my children with varying degrees of difficulty. I did it because it was what was best for them even when it didn’t feel like what was best for me. It wasn’t about me, it was about the biological norm and a desire to offer them the best possible start in life that I could give. Miss no 1 fed easily for a year, master and miss no2 were tongue tied and quite frankly very painful to feed and with miss 2 incomved a year of constant pain,but we managed almost a year each there too. As I learned more about the benefits of breast milk I became more determined. Which surprised me because i was already plenty stubborn. I have been judged for placing importance on breast feeding and by that I mean for making it important within my role as a mother. I’ve had close friends be pretty nasty about me because of their own guilt. I firmly believe as a society we need to normalise bf, and to offer mothers support and help. It should be shameful or embarrassing its what our breasts are for.

    • The biological norm – I think that’s a really important point that we need to work on in this country. That’s not judgement on anyone else, it’s just a fact that biology causes us to produce milk from our breasts for our babies. It’s not weird, it’s not disgusting and it’s certainly not child abuse once they’re over a year old! With breast feeding rates being so low, normalising BF is becoming increasingly difficult. Private nursing areas, like those in shopping centres, are important for women who for whatever reason feel they need some privacy or some quiet. I feel quite confident NIP and so I’ve always done so wherever I am; if no one sees it, it’ll never be normal.

      Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to comment!

  11. Ahhhhh, I’m still feeding my son that milk and it TOTALLY smells of mouldy potatoes! Breast feeding. I tried, it didn’t work out. I was miserable, but then we moved on (to mouldy potato milk). Live and let live.

    • It’s horrible, isn’t it?! It’s called Neocate, Spencer. It’s also pre-digested (although hopefully not by another actual baby) for babies like mine with absorption problems. Absolutely honking!

      Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  12. The whole way through my pregnancy I was adamant I was going to breastfeed, I didn’t buy bottles or a steriliser as I felt this would give me more incentive to keep it up. I felt sure I could and would do it. My son was born premature and poorly. He didn’t have a sucking reflex and weighed just 3lb 5oz, he was so tiny. I started pumping the day after he was born and feeding via a tube, I hated it but knew it was the only way. Once he was a week old we started trying to put him on the breast, this proved stressful for both myself and my son. He just couldn’t latch as he was so tiny. The SCBU doctor kept telling me I couldn’t take him home until feeding was established and that it would be best to feed him ebm via a bottle. I was desperate to get him home so I agreed, this proved to be my undoing. Once home the demands of pumping 8 times a day and feeding a tiny baby who would take up to an hour to take 2oz of milk (day and night) quickly took it’s toll. After 6 weeks I was advised to stop as my health was deteriorating quickly(I lost 3 stone in weight and was suffering from pnd and ptsd). My son was put on a special prescribed formula for premature babies. I felt like a failure. Now 2 years on I realise that I made the best decision for me and my son, that he is a wonderful boisterous 2 year old who is so loving and cuddly.
    What I don’t like is the fact people judge my decisions, like they know my story and my struggles. I’ve had a few comments from breastfeeding mums who have told me I should have just carried on and that my son’s current health problems are my fault for formula feeding. It makes me so angry. Everyone should be able to make their own decisions.

    • Bearing in mind your experience I can’t believe someone would comment that you should’ve just carried on if it wasn’t good for you or him. That’s almost criminally insensitive, and I’m sorry that you’ve had such comments. Need me to glower at anyone?
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your story in this way.

    • Hi Rachel. Sounds like you and your little boy had a tough time of it. I can’t believe you were told you should have just carried on, some people are idiots. If you’re physically unwell, how can you care for a little baby? Your baby, your body, your choice. Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

    • Hi πŸ™‚ I want to say thanks for your comment! but frankly the prospect of the all-night milk bar being open for another 23 months has scared me a little πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for reading!

  13. I was enraged at the man who mocked you for your choice. It’s utterly draconian in this day and age for behaviours such as that.

    I wish I could have breast fed but due to post natal depression, I couldn’t.
    I tried both time and both got a few weeks of it. From some if the statistics you point out in with the article, I feel guilty for not having been strong enough to have pushed through it . I’m putting that guilt on myself though, no one else.

    However, I made the right choice for me and especially my babies because had I gone on longer, I’m almost post irvine I wouldn’t have been any use to my children.

    I’m all for breast feeding and a big believer in it. No one should ever judge another person for their choices and circumstances. You go on and feed her until you both make a decision if when to stop. It’s no one else’s choice! If it makes you both feel good to do it and you enjoy that special time with one another I say to hell with others!

    • I’m with you in what you say about that special time. As someone else commented time can go so quickly, and so if you do enjoy it, then what’s the fuss? Haters gonna hate, as young people might say.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    • Hey πŸ™‚ Please don’t feel guilty. You made your choice based on your circumstances at that time. Sounds like you made the right choice for you and as a result, for your babies. A few weeks of breast milk gives babies loads of great stuff too!

      Thank you for your lovely, supportive comment. I’m loving your ‘peoples should butt out’ type approach!

  14. Pingback: About BreastfeedingLove All Blogs

  15. Combination/mixed fed my first from 12wks, but he had breastmilk in his diet until he self weaned at 10mo (due to my pregnancy with his sister). Fed my LadyBaby until she was 22mo, we’d have gone on longer, probably till now (she’s 2y4mo now) but we had to stop because, reasons.
    Massively big fan and supporter of breastfeeding. It’s 2013 and I STILL can’t believe we have to defend our choices (breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding etc). Come ON.

    • I hear you, sister. What is WITH some people? You have to laugh when you see people hating on you for breastfeeding in Sainsbury’s coffee shop, when they’ve walked past rack after rack of titty mags to get there!

      Thanks for reading, and for commenting

  16. I felt in the beginning that my mum and my other half pushed me into breastfeeding, that sounds strange I know but I did receive a few lectures imy pregnancy as to the benefits. From my husband I think it was more to do with the cost of formula if he was honest, so I think perhaps I felt a bit financially pressured too (didn’t want to be seen to be ‘wasting’ money on expensive formula when I could make it for free. As it was I got on with bfing really well and 8 months on am going strong now they are asking if I ever intend to stop, to which I’ve told them to pipe down and mind their own business! There really is no pleasing some folk. Funny how sometimes the closest people too you can be more difficult than strangers x

  17. It must be tough to feel so pressured when your pregnant or have just given birth. I’ve heard lots of people talk recently about feeling pressured not to breast feed, so it’s interesting to hear the other side too (but still equally wrong for people to pressure you into choosing what THEY want)

    I’m glad it’s working out for you and that you’re happy with the choice you made. Good on you for telling people to Ming their own too! Thanks for reading

  18. All through my pregnancy I didn’t want to breastfeed. A choice which my husband respected. Despite an induction followed by an emergency c-section, whilst in recovery I had Harry placed on me for the first time, skin to skin. And something amazing happened. Something I wish we had caught on film but didn’t realise was even possible but he made his own way to my breast, latched on and started feeding. The nurse came back, smiled and said “I thought you weren’t going to breastfeed and wanted a bottle made up?” and I just smiled back with tears in my eyes. I thought to myself, how could I possible deny him? The latch was checked and the midwife said he was feeding like a pro so I figured I’d give it a few days, then a few weeks which turned into six months.

    I felt pushed into weaning him onto formula at six months and despite finding the emotional side and tiredness of breastfeeding hard going, I felt a sense of loss when I stopped.

  19. I breastfed my first for 8 months and am still going strong at 8.5 with my second. It is without a doubt right for me and for my children and it works. I breastfed for so many reasons but one of the biggest being that I am far too lazy for formula. I can barely get out of bed to pick my son up and put him on the boob at 2am, there is no chance I could manage boiling a kettle and measuring out powder! I don’t judge others, I have no idea why they feed the way they do, and to be honest, I don’t care. I do what is right for me and they do what is right for them. What does upset me is when somebody really wanted to breastfeed and couldn’t because of lack of support, as I think it is an amazing thing to do, and we should all be given the choice. I love your points of view, and reading the comments and seeing how unique every one is, and how individual every mother (or father)- child relationship is.

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