World Breastfeeding Week is currently underway (1-7 August 2016) and it has got me thinking about my 3 babies. Breastfeeding is so important to me and I was lucky that I was able to feed each of my babies. Miss 7 was fed until 14 months and Master 5 and Master 2 until 1 year.
To me breastfeeding was something I could give my babies that was unique to us. It was a time to bond and experience a closeness like no other. I knew I was able to give them the unique nutrition their body needed as they changed, developed and grew.
I never felt uncomfortable breastfeeding in public as I know many do. I always waited for that day when someone would say something to me though. Those words “You’re allowed to eat in public so why not my baby?” were always there waiting. The only time I felt slightly uncomfortable was as my babies grew bigger. People would avoid eye contact with me as though I was doing something wrong. It makes me sad that feeding your new baby is acceptable but to some it’s not as they grow bigger.
When I was pregnant with my second and third bay I often had comments such as “Don’t feel you have to feed this one as long as the last”. Or “You won’t manage feeding this one as long with another one running around”. It saddens me that breastfeeding can seem such a burden to people. To me it was a magical time where I was able to give my babies what they needed. I feel very blessed to have been able to experience feeding my babies. As a mother that nurturing emotion is unbelievable. But I do believe that this is a natural feeling whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding.
From the comments above from others, I personally believe that with my second and third I viewed breastfeeding as much easier than I could imagine bottle feeding to be. I didn’t have to sterilise, make up feeds, warm feeds, check temperatures. The added bonus was that I could stop and feed anytime, anywhere. I could cuddle and read stories with my toddler under my other arm. And my babies learnt so much from this experience. They see breastfeeding as a natural, normal experience.
To any mums to be or new mums who maybe reading this my advice would be go with your gut instinct. You have to do what is right for you, your baby and your family. People feel they can say what they like to new and expectant mums. When you are tired and hormonal you can easily loose sense of what you truly feel is right. Yes we all know ‘Breast is best’ but if you are a Mum who, for any reason, is unable to feed please try not to feel guilty. As long as you are giving your baby love and attending to all their fundamental needs your baby will thrive.
I loved breastfeeding and was very fortunate to experience it for the length of time that I did. For me it was right for my family.
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