My Breastfeeding journey

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My breastfeeding journey is over.  I guess I am a little sad that it is over.  Who would have thought?
I though breastfeeding was really easy. I put my baby to the breast and he suckled and all was well.  A few days later it was sore! So sore.  So I googled and I read and I tried everything….after 2.5 weeks the soreness went away.  How I hated breastfeeding.  I had to wake all hours of the night to feed, I could not eat because Honeybear seemed to need to feed at that moment.  I hated it.  There was milk everywhere.  I had so much milk, that I would be wetting myself constantly.  Milk would spray everywhere! I could not go out because I would get wet.  The breast pads did not work at all.
At 7 weeks Honeybear has a little op and it made breastfeeding easier, but I still did not like it.  It was lonely and boring and I felt isolated.  I hung on because everything I read and everything I was told, said breastfeeding was the best.  Le League helped and offered support. 
We decided to start freezing milk for when I went back to work, because I always wanted to breastfeed for a year, however this was not working out as I planned.  We bought a new chest freezer and containers and I expressed at every feed, even the night ones.  It was horrible. I lost weight and was tired all the time.  I hated breastfeeding but I was determined to go at least 3 months.
The I had to throw out my frozen milk because I had used someone else’s pump.  I bought a new electric pump and expressing was way easier.
At 2.5 months we visited my family in Durban and I found my pump was not working….I learnt to hand express.  And then my Mom said to me I should feed whenever baby needed and when I felt full and not worry about the time.  Honeybear slept with me for the 2 weeks I was there and this is where the breastfeeding relationship became a good one.  We both learnt how to do it and I did not hate it anymore.  I looked forward to it.  My baby needed me and I could do this.  I will feed until the end of maternity leave I said.  And I expressed and froze milk.  I went home and I continued to feed without weaning….I went back to work and took it one day at a time.  6 months I can do this.  So I expressed twice a day at work and breastfed at home.  The expressing was not easy but I stuck with it……
We reached 6 months and I was into a rhythm and it was getting coldish so I continued.  Against all the negative comments we persevered.  I took it one day at a time and I breastfed until one year. 
We thought that we might stick with it for night time after a year, but my little one needs to eat better.  He waits for the breastfeeding and does not eat.  So we weaned and it was so easy.  For the all of us.  Honeybear did not protest and my milk is drying up without too much problems.  I can get a bit of a break and hubby is able to do night time feeds.  Hubby has been able to sleep with Honeybear all night so I can get an uninterrupted sleep.  I do wake but I can go back to sleep.  Hubby and I take turns and it is working well.
A few things happened that encouraged the weaning process:
·         Honeybear was starting to border on underweight
·         My milk was beginning to taper off.
·         We had house guests and breastfeeding was difficult.
·         Honeybear took to the formula easily.
·         Everyone is happy. 
My view is that woman were designed to breastfeed for a few reasons:
·         It took away all the weight gained during pregnancy
·         The hormones released during breastfeeding help with the lack of sleep.
I know that not everyone is able to keep at it or is able to breastfeed for a host of reason, and because I was able to, I felt it was a privilege I could not throw away.  I had to do it because I could. 
That is my breastfeeding journey….I owe a lot to the support of Le Leche League and I would recommend any woman with a desire to seek their gentle support. 
 

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7 responses »

  1. Congrats for sticking it out so long. You’re right, breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, for many reasons, but I too was fortunate to have been able to do it, even if it was for only 3 months before I went back to work
    Congrats again, your a fab mum

  2. Pingback: My Breastfeeding journey | – Your Guide To Breastfeeding

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