5 great tips to keep you breastfeeding
Monday, 8 May 2017 | Mummy and Little Me
My daughter will be three this summer and I am more surprised than anyone that I am still breastfeeding her, she never really cut down to just morning and night either so sometimes it feels like feeding a newborn again. I am hoping that when she goes to nursery this year that the distance between us will help her to naturally cut down and wean off the breast altogether. So over the years there are times when I love and hate breastfeeding, sometimes both at the same time so I thought I would share with you 5 reasons I love and dislike breastfeeding.
- Mentally hard - when your stuck to the couch for what feels like 24 hours per day and your sat there looking around at all the housework that needs doing minute by minute it can eat away at you and drive you mad. Tip - get a baby carrier so you can feed on the go, it took me over a year to figure that out but the day that I managed to cook tea with her strapped to me in a carrier was a great day.
- Feels like it's all on you - I didn't get along with expressing probably because I had a cheap manual pump, but when every single night feed/feeding them to sleep/feed in general is all on you it wears you down physically and mentally. You start to resent the fact that men can't lactate. I would love to sit downstairs and relax watching tv whilst he spent 1-2 hours getting her to sleep and stay asleep in her bed.
- Not totally free - breastfeeding friendly bras and clothing can be expensive, especially when you realise that none of your old wardrobe is nursing friendly. I know everyone says how breastfeeding is free compared to bottle feeding but be prepared to spend a bit of cash on clothing, lanolin cream and breastpads.
- It's painful - and not just in the beginning. After the first few months were over and the painful and bleeding nipples where a horrible distant memory I felt like I was a pro but 6 months down the line the pain came back. I went to the Dr and he didn't know what was wrong he thought maybe eczema or I had suddenly developed a sensitivity to lanolin and become allergic to it? what I think it was now looking back is that it was down to teething. My daughter got her first tooth at 7 months old and when they are teething their saliva becomes more acidic (which burns their bum and leaves it red and sore) I believe that her saliva burned my nipple and caused it to be very sore especially when she was falling asleep whilst still latched on.
- Co-sleeping - I feel that breastfeeding makes you more inclined to co-sleep, this was something that I never wanted to do but Sophia would only sleep whilst attached to my boob/feeling my warmth/smelling my milk. As soon as she was asleep I would gently lie her in her Moses basket but within 5 minutes she would wake up - every damn time! So after 2 weeks of no sleep we co-slept as a last resort but it was wonderful, we had lots of sleep and we were in tune to each other. Whenever she wanted milk she could have it right there I didn't need to get up or leave the nice warm bed. I guess this goes in both the love/dislike category but when the time came she wouldn't sleep in her own bed something which we have only just achieved at the age of 2. Co-sleeping has lots of strict guidelines to follow such as none of the parents can drink or smoke and you can't have the cover up over your baby so please do your research before attempting it as it does raise the risk of infant death if not done correctly.
Here are the reasons that I love breastfeeding, I definitely think that the pros outweigh the cons.
- Stops crying immediately - you know when you are out and you hear a baby crying and crying, the parents try their best to soothe it by walking around cuddling and rocking them, giving them a dummy or a bottle but they still continue to cry well breastfeeding is the magic weapon!. Whenever Sophia cries for any reason she is tired, hurt, hungry or just generally on one - the second I pop my boob in her mouth she is silent, it's absolutely amazing. When I am feeling down with breastfeeding and I think I won't do it if we have another one I always come back to this reason and promise to myself that I will do it again.
- Health benefits - one of the obvious reasons is the health benefits. Your body analyses your babies saliva that is left behind on your nipples and can detect if they are getting ill, your body will respond to it and make antibodies accordingly which I find absolutely fascinating. Sophia is nearly 3 years old and has only been prescribed antibiotics once for a chest infection, she hardly ever gets ill and I put a lot of this down to breastfeeding. I know some children who have been prescribed 3 lots of antibiotics in the space of a few months. Many people don't understand why I still breastfeed now that she is a toddler but a banana is full of nutrients and vitamins if you eat it when you are 1-year-old or if you are 10 years old, that banana doesn't become any less nutritious just because you are older.
- It gives her comfort - If she is having her immunisations or if she is somewhere unfamiliar and feeling scared she always comes back to breastfeed, It gives her comfort and acts as a constant is her busy life. I'm sure that life can feel very overwhelming for a toddler and she is happy to know that she can always come back to me for that comfort and then go off and play in her new surroundings. People might think that a breastfed toddler is quiet and clingy but Sophia is the opposite she is very outgoing and confident.
- Health benefits for me - There are many health benefits for me too such as it lowering the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and also lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
- Loosing weight - I know that this doesn't happen for everyone but I felt luckily to lose my baby weight quite quickly. I remember taking a photo at the 2 weeks post -partum and my tummy had gone back down to nearly its pre pregnancy size. In the early days of breastfeeding I could feel my uterus contracting when my daughter was feeding, because of this your stomach goes down a lot faster than if you were bottle feeding. Breastfeeding also burns about 200-500 calories per day which I use as an excuse to eat more.
Is there a reason why you love/dislike breastfeeding that you would like to share too? Please leave a comment in the box below. - Jodie x www.wiganmum.com