Blog Hop & Grand Prize
Thanks for hopping over from Monkey and Mouse and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. It’s Day 5: Extended Breastfeeding.
We have over £700 worth of breastfeeding and baby goodies up for grabs including prizes from More4Mums providing a set of ‘Hot Milk’ Lingerie, a signed hardback limited edition copy of Milky Moments and a £30 voucher from Milk Chic
Full details of the Grand Prize can be found here and all entries to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
My Giveaways and Discount Code
MAM Baby UK , MulitMam, and BreastVest are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2015 with you and I today, and supporting my Keep Britain Scavenger Hunt Day 3 post with the following fab giveaways and discounts:
Breastvest | MAM Breastfeeding and Steriliser Set | MAM Breastfeeding Pads | a MultiMam New Mum Pack and Loyon | 50% discount on a MultiMam New Mum Pack and MultiMam balm with the code ‘aNoviceMum’
“You look tired.”
“Yeah, difficult night feeding but I’m alright.”
“You are not still breastfeeding, are you?”
quick smiles and attempts to change the conversation
“Oh, he probably wants to feed now.”
“You are not still breastfeeding, are you?”
“God help you! How long are you going to breastfeed him for?”
“However long he wants.”
“How long will that be for?
“As long as he wants. I’d like to get to 2 years at least.”
“He’s not going to want to stop, he obviously enjoys it too much.
You want him to be still be breastfeeding when he is X years old?”
“If that’s what he wants. I read about someone who breastfeeds their 6 years old.”
I’m sure you can identify the bits that are my words and those that are not. I must say that these are not all exact quotes but they capture the essense of comments I’ve had from some colleagues, friends (including health professionals), and family, about my breastfeeding journey.
My decision to continue breastfeeding my baby as he grew some teeth and became a toddler seems to be problematic to some folks.
As I educated myself about breastfeeding in my attempt to make it through our difficulties, I formulated my breastfeeding goals. I learnt for example that WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and up to 2 years AND BEYOND with appropriate solids.
At the start, I just wanted to exclusively breastfeed my baby like I did when we first latched. I worked my socks off to make this happen by around 3 months, with hours and hours of pumped milk top-ups. I then dared to reach for a 2 years goal. The more I said it, the more assured I felt that breastfeeding up to 2 years was what I wanted.
My breastfeeding group was encouraging as usual; the breastfeeding of toddlers is normal with them.
I remember some people saying that I’ll change my mind when my little man’s teeth started to grow. Indeed, the thought of getting bitten was scary. I remember feeling such relief, when I learnt a technique to deal with booby bites from my breastfeeding group. This eased my fear of breastfeeding as my baby’s teeth developed.
Even then, I remember watering down my desire to go on for 2 years, whenever I was questioned. I found myself responding that I might change my mind about my goal when I started breastfeeding with teeth. It made me feel less weird perhaps, about wanting to continue breastfeeding my child for so long.
I haven’t really had the opportunity to respond to the comments about why I’m STILL breastfeeding; I dont’ think those who say it really want to know. Their tone tends to feel somewhat dismissive and sometimes mocking. It’s made me feel like a joke, like I’m doing something unusual … something that’s on the fringe.
Well, I’m letting out my thoughts now … responding … maybe even venting … as I find inspiration in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt … for more of my written voice about breastfeeding, a subject that’s dear to me.
So, to all those who really want to know why I’m STILL breastfeeding, here is my response:
Why is it such a big deal that I want to continue breastfeeding?
Why did I ever feel a need to explain myself over and over and over again about this?
I know the breastfeeding rot I descended to and rose out of, those many months ago.
I know how hard I fought for my milk to be enough for my boy:
the herbal and prescribed meds, the hours of daily pumping, the broken sleep to pump even when my baby slept through the night …
I didn’t do all these to stop just because he’s now a toddler with teeth.
Is it not my bosom, my time, my interrupted sleep, my search for appropriate clothes? …
Who I’m I affecting by breastfeeding my little man for however long?
What’s the problem with me wanting to give my child this much of me as long as he wants it?
This … is part of how I love my child.
I’ve breastfed him one day at a time, sometimes from one feed to the next …
and it’s just added up to be almost 18 months and counting
How do I even stop, anyway?
I remember asking a friend about how she did.
It seems way too much hassle to let all that lovely milk go to waste if my little boy still wants it.
Actually, why should I stop?
Yes, I want to breastfeed to 2 years, and I’d be sad if he self weaned before, for a range of reasons I will explore later.
And don’t even start about how I’m doing it for me.
Really, … doing it for me?
You don’t even know the tenth of it.
But you’ll have to wait another day for my thoughts on this.
And what if I’m doing it for me?
It won’t be the first, for sure.
It’s definitely not the worst thing to do for oneself.
I mean, why did I even get pregnant in the first place?
The little man obviously still wants it.
Come hear him when he comes to me, saying ‘eat’, ‘eat’.
Come see him, when he turns down cow’s milk and insists on mine.
Come hear his screech when I say, ‘no’.
And you know what?
I’m curious about how long he’ll want to go for, anyway.
As for the impression that he’ll sleep through the night if I wasn’t breastfeeding him.
There is no guarantee, is there?
So, YES, I AM STILL BREASTFEEDING HIM,
AND I’M ALRIGHT WITH THAT!
I better stop now, so many thoughts going through my head, so much I’d like to write about this issue. I’m glad I’ve let these words out though. I know folks who have questioned me are not being malicious, in fact, they probably feel they’re being helpful. I also feel as I feel; quite strongly really.
What’s your experience and thoughts about so-called extended breastfeeding?
For more tips on how to dress to impress please hop on over to Odd Socks and Lollipops where you can gain further entries into the grand prize draw.
Remember you need to earn 50 points to be eligible, full details can be found on the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Site. UK residents only.
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