You might well have noticed that over the last year I have sporadically posted about My Medela Mum journey. I teamed up with the wonderful breastfeeding brand last year and they sent me a bundle of their products to help me breastfeed Edith, such as a pump, their calma bottle and some little bits and bobs for me like nipples cream, shields and pads to help with the early days.
We’re 13 months on now and still going strong with our breastfeeding with no signs of stopping any time soon! I’ve always been very relaxed about breastfeeding my kids. Roo wasn’t breastfed at all, and when I was first his mother I can admit – to my greatest shame now – I thought extended breastfeeding was weird, something that was a bit hippy and didn’t need to be done. Then I started to learn and when you know better, you do better. That is to say, I know better and have come to realise that (if mum and baby are happy to do so) extended breastfeeding is no weirder than popping to the supermarket. It’s a choice. Did you know the world average for stopping breastfeeding is 4 years old and the world health organisation recommend at least 2 years old for the maximum health benefits? It’s called natural weaning, and I really do want to practice this with Edith. I’m not sure I will be happy to feed to 3/4 years old, but I will take each day as it comes.
I practiced natural weaning with Toby, but he chose to stop feeding when he was only 11 months old! Which means with Edie I’m broaching totally new territory.
Little things have started to happen now that she is getting older, like she can request a feed more and often tries to lift up my shirt. I think because she is a very petite child I am quite confident to feed her out and about in public still, though as she grows and starts to ask for feeds, I’m not sure how I’ll feel.
It’s been a rocky road this time with breastfeeding. With Toby I never had much beyond the initial discomfort and pain that all women get, but this time I had a range of problems from the usual soreness, blood blisters, mastitis and engorgement! It hasn’t been easy but it has been so worth it and I genuinely do feel that I have a beautiful bond with Edie that can’t be broken. I also feel that Adam has developed a side bond with her based on their joint love of boobies which has become somewhat a running joke in our home and makes us all giggle.
My only complaint with this special bond is Edith’s total point blank refusal to take a bottle of any kind. Or a beaker. Or a cup. It doesn’t matter if it’s filled with expressed breastmilk, formula, water or juice. She will not take it and prefers to wander around using them as teethers. This means that it is very difficult for me to go anywhere without her in tow, and now she is older and mobile that is becoming much more challenging than ever before! It’s something that we have to take step by step and we only struggle with night time now, but I will be going away for a weekend with Adam in April so that will be a new challenge!
I’m not sure when or how we will stop breastfeeding, but when the time comes it will be bittersweet for sure!