If you have read my first post about breastfeeding (you can read about it here), I can say that my second experience has (thankfully) been the complete opposite! So it’s bittersweet to be writing about it now as our breastfeeding journey has come to an end. After 8 months of feeding my little boy, he decided to self wean and I’m a little bit sad about it! But let’s go back to the start.
I feel so lucky to have been blessed with a baby who just latched on and fed really well from the start (especially after my first experience which did not go to plan). Aside from some initial pain in the first couple of weeks and dealing with blocked ducts pretty regularly in the first couple of months, it has actually been the smoothest, easiest feeding experience.
I guess one thing I did actually struggle with was the mental side of it – feeling a little suffocated at times and feeling pressure as the sole food source of this little person. There were days when he’d be cluster feeding, on the boob every hour, which was completely exhausting. He was literally sucking the life out of me – I dropped below my pre-pregnancy weight and had no energy. It was also really hard trying to give attention to Milla when I had a baby attached to me all the time! But I’ve also been surprised with how much I’ve enjoyed the quiet moments in the middle of the night and how sad I’ve been that it has come to an end.
We introduced a formula bottle at night around 3 months to give me a little break and started a small amount of solids from 4 months which he has been loving. He’ll eat pretty much anything we give him, which may be contributing to him not having the patience for boob anymore (he has never really been a comfort feeder – “just give me the food, mum!”). Sometime around 7 months, Dash just began to reject the boob and got really upset whenever I tried to feed him (which was really upsetting to me too!). I will never force breastfeeding on another baby so decided to just let it go – I’d keep trying to offer it but gave him the bottle if he got upset. Sometimes he would feed, but mostly the only time I could get him to feed was at night time when he was really sleepy. So that’s what we’ve been doing for the last few weeks – bottle during the day, boob at night.
I’ve really tried to enjoy these last night time feeds as I felt like it was coming to an end – it was getting pretty frustrating having to pump during the day so I decided to wean off completely. We had our last feed together on Sunday night and I had a huge cry after it as I knew it was the last one (and the last time I would breastfeed a baby). While it’s sad that this part of Dash’s baby life has come to a close, I am super thankful to have had the 8 months feeding that we did. And excited to get my body back to myself, wear whatever I want and stop measuring my glasses of wine! 😉
I don’t think I did anything differently this time around, it just shows you that every baby is completely different. I think I just got lucky getting a baby who was a great feeder, but perhaps I was also more relaxed this time around. If you’re struggling with feeding, don’t blame yourself. Some babies just need more help to get the hang of things than others (and some are just not into it at all e.g. PLUM!). You’re both learning a new skill. My advice is the same as last time – if you’re struggling, go and see a lactation consultant, especially if it’s something you really want. But equally, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. If it’s not working out, you just do what you have to to feed your baby. They only know that their tummy is full and that they are loved. Breastfeeding or not, you’re doing an awesome job.