16 November 2017

My breastfeeding experience

Hey everyone! I have not sat down and wrote a blog post for a while and I thought I would talk about my breastfeeding experience today!

This is a subject that I have had in mind for a while but avoided it!  So many reasons to explain this but in general it is because everyone else has its opinion on the subject and choose whatever suit them! 

The main reasons why I thought I would write about it anyway is that my experience could be helpful to someone. Moreover, I realised how so many people know nothing about breastfeeding and I would like to tell everyone who had or haven’t breastfed that breastfeeding could be a very sensitive subject and shouldn’t be commented on somehow! I know this won’t stop some people from being who they are and say whatever please them however I also know that there are some people who don’t mean to be rude or judgmental but they might come across as such!

I breastfed my boy until his 23rd. months and in general we had a beautiful experience just people around me didn’t let me experience this in its fullest without questioning my parenting choice and without making me feel guilty at times!

I had days where I cried for choosing not to stop and I had days where I needed to hide or don’t want to go out at my friends or family just because of people making fun of us or literally telling us off!

The most I feel when I talk about this subject is anger! I’m angry with myself for not been able to tell people to mind their business, for not staying confident and a woman of integrity when it comes to my choice of nursing! Just because almost everyone including some members of my family thought I was doing something wrong, simple as that! I have been dishonest with myself by telling everyone around me that my son won’t want to stop, that I do want to stop but I don’t know how!  

Up to now I have people still questioning me in cheeky ways if I still nurse him and I quickly respond “no we stopped long ago” but if you are one of them reading this I wish I responded to you ‘none of your business’. At the same time I know it is not nice and it is not the best way that’s why I didn’t but please why do you care much?

I had mums who had breastfed questioning me if I feel some kind of pleasure while nursing my boy that’s why I kept going! Really??? Even if it was a joke, that joke was made in front of men that day and you probably know this question about the act of breastfeeding, which, if not all but most men ask themselves! I once tried to explain this and you know what? If you find yourself in this position don’t even bother, just ignore the question or the joke. The truth is they will never understand and it is up to everyone to choose to have an open or narrow mind!
I had mums telling me that I’m feeding expired milk to my son because at the time he turned 6 months my breast milk is not good anymore! By the way this is so not true! It is just ridiculous to me!
I had people telling me how my milk is useless at some point and that I’m feeding him my blood….I heard all sort of comments, all sort of ways of making feel guilty, the guilt , the guilt I felt it so bad for months and months…..not because I was doing something wrong but because I found myself been the only one against so many and it made me question myself a lot!

Yes, nursing your child all the way to almost two years old is definitely not easy. It was demanding and tiring. But I did it, at least my husband didn’t mind my choice! I had days where I wanted to stop but I asked myself these questions… if I stop, they want me to feed him cow milk cause he will need those nutrients so why am I stopping? To be free? Well deep down I never mind it this much so why should I stop now if we can do this until we both are ready?

I did all sort of researches and 2 years was fine to stop. Is it harmful to him? If yes I will stop!

I’ve never planned to breastfeed him up to 23 months! My plan was 12 months, I exclusively breastfed him for 6 months and started solid food then, but we kept going with the nursing! This is another choice that I had to explain as well! I can’t believe it: exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months: why? Why? That’s what people were asking me. They told me how my baby is not been well fed and I’m starving him, OMG!! My baby was putting on weight so well. He was great! We never had to visit any emergency at all. My son was good! I wonder why people don’t just research and mind their business? Everybody’s experience is different, my son was FINE!

One of the most important things I realised during my breastfeeding experience was this: you can’t force a mum to stop nursing her child unless she decides it herself! And just because of that I would love everyone to just mind their business unless their doctors or health practitioners who actually have proof that the baby is in a poor condition due to the breastfeeding experience! 

My boy growing up has been very into nursing that he won’t eat much. So he started loosing weight just before his second birthday. I went and checked on him and the health visitor told me: “yes your boy weight has gone down but he is a petite like you”(joking but it could be for a reason) and she said “we can’t force you to stop only you decide” and I told her sure I know!
The same day we got back we stopped! But at that point I have stopped the day feeds for about three months already, I was pregnant and my nipples were very sensitive and I was having a difficult pregnancy!
It took us almost two weeks for him to completely give up on the night feeds but he didn’t forget about it, just he won’t ask for it anymore!

About his weight: stopping didn’t change anything. I just had to be creative and mostly patient with the whole process of changing my toddler picky eating habit! In general he is fine!

I think I said everything that I want to say but since it is a little messy I will summarise what I think are mostly important!

  • - A mum will choose to breastfeed her child or not no matter what you think. That’s the truth!

  • - The same way, she will stop when she wants or had to, you can’t force her. 

  • - If you are breastfeeding and want to stop, only you can do that; You might feel like you need help, which I did but I quickly realised, it is up to me and my boy and mainly me! Help is never a bad idea, however I don’t think that putting your child away hoping for her to forget about your breast is a solution. Your child might come back asking for it again :). Show her nicely and gently that you don’t want to give it to her anymore. If you have time and wish to have a much more gentle approach start cutting the day feeds first for one or a couple of months (see how your child react) and move on to night feeds (which are more difficult).

  • - Trust in your choices as a mum, follow your instincts, research and consult if you are not sure! Don’t waste your time explaining yourself to people most of them are just ignorant and want to remain such!
If you have to answer them make sure you stay true to yourself.

  • - Keep your comment to yourself if you know nothing about breastfeeding! Your experience is probably different from others. Know how to approach the subject even if you mean good!

I would love to know if you have ever encounter any criticism with your choice of breastfeeding! I’m really shocked at what I have experienced and in a million of years I never thought this could be an issue for most people “ my own life choice for me and my boy” however it was mainly my fault for not confidently voice my choice of nursing!

PS: I thought I would stop translating my blog posts, as it will save me some times! Also I’m sure my French supporters prefer reading me in English, if I am wrong please let me know I will get right back to it as it has also helped me to keep up with my French again! I’m sad to give up on this to be honest, it was truly helpful to myself I will say :)


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