Breastfeeding forever

Breastfeeding? Yes, I’m breastfeeding.

Broad smile.

Ah, good! The others also breastfed?

Yes.

Oh, very good. How long did you breastfeed them?

Uhh ….. For 5 years.

Blink. Blink.

Here’s where I always struggle a little to explain.

Such is conversation with strangers sometimes these days. You know, when you have a 3 month old in tow. My smiley, charming, cuddly Piglet who, by the way, was delighted to find that he could turn his volume up a notch today at the restaurant. GAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

It’s almost, well … embarrassing.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no qualms talking about breastfeeding. Everyone knows its the best for babies.

But when you tell people you have been breastfeeding for 5 years, you sort of get the feeling that you come across as a Breastfeeding Junkie.

I never intended to breastfeed this long. I hadn’t a clue about babies until I got pregnant with my first baby. That’s when I attended a compulsory pre-natal class about breastfeeding at the government hospital I was going to for pre-natal check ups.

The nurse conducting the class waved her hand emphatically across the room.

“How many of you would feed yourself canned food everyday? None of you, yes? Then why do you want to feed your precious baby canned milk?”

“Cow’s milk is for cows. Cow brains.”

“Do you know what’s in formula milk? Do you think the so-called DHA in formula milk is really DHA? Ahh… go check it out on the internet. Find out for yourself what kind of DHA it is. Do you think you can really put original DHA into a can?”

I never did check it out. But I was sold. I was put off infant formula milk forever.

After that, I never had any definite timeline intentions at all, except to nurse my Bunnies as long as they wanted to. My lactation consultant okayed tandem nursing after checking my pregnancy history, so on I went.

And I’m still breastfeeding now. Both Piglet and his older brother, Lamb. Puppy breastfed until just before her 5th birthday. Like my lactation consultant said (God bless her soul), “You have 2 breasts, right?? You can breastfeed 2 kids at one time.”

Here’s where you might gag.

But it’s been a great journey for all of us. Seriously. Sort of like the glue that’s held the kids together when they feel sick, tired, left out, or when they want to feel close to me and NOTHING else I offer will compensate.

I could go on and on about breastfeeding. Tips. Keeping the milk going. Nursing wear. Nursing in public. Night-time nursing.

But oh.. there’s Piglet, calling out for his next feed.

5 thoughts on “Breastfeeding forever

  1. Meriam

    Hi there mama here me roar..Did you say 5 years??..I am in my 9th month and mind you , have been substituting with formula as well, and I am thinking maybe we should slow down. Kudos to you , for going all the way…Wow…
    I am so thrilled to read your blogg and for someone who has just started her journey on mummyhood, this is enlightening stuff:))…How do you do it, with 3 little ones, and no help at home??..

  2. Mama J

    Thanks, Meriam. It’s great that you’re still breastfeeding in your 9th month! Any day longer that you breastfeed is fantastic. I can totally understand if some mothers don’t go all the way, though, or if they want to supplement with formula. There are many reasons in every person’s situation. How do I “do it with 3 little ones”? Wow …. am I getting that question a lot these days! Maybe I should do a post about it. The short answer is: By God’s grace.

  3. Jenny @ I'm a full-time mummy

    Hi Mama J!
    One of my bloggy pal referred me to your site and just want to say I’ve nursed through my boy (now 2.5 yrs old) so far without a speck of formula powder, even through my pregnancy (though my BM dried up in 5th mth he still goes on dry nursing) and am now in my day 12 of tandem nursing him and my baby girl.

    Like you, I enjoyed BF-ing but with tandem nursing experience now, hmm… nope… maybe it’s a new thing to me but I’m slowly trying to overcome the negative feelings in my head whenever I nursed my boy. Do you experienced any of this negative feelings? Hope to connect with you!

  4. Mama J

    Hi Jenny! Lovely to meet you! You are brave for trying tandem nursing. Thumbs up! As a new tandem nurser, it can be really challenging in the first few months.

    I did have negative feelings about tandem nursing at the beginning, mainly because of the physical demands involved in caring for a newborn and a toddler at the same time – not because of the tandem nursing per se. Nursing two kids just added to the pressure.

    The feelings gradually went away after some months, when I got used to handling the two kids together. The most important thing that helped me to get over the negativity was to remember why I decided to do it in the first place – 1) To meet the physical and emotional needs of my firstborn (Puppy), 2) To help my firstborn connect emotionally with my second baby (Lamb), and avoid jealousy issues, 3) To allow Puppy the freedom to self-wean when she felt ready. Whenever I felt negative, I looked at how happy the 2 kids were to be able to nurse together.

    I am so happy I persevered through the first few, extremely difficult months of tandem nursing because it totally met these 3 objectives. I never had any problems from Puppy with jealousy issues, and Puppy didn’t have to be forced to give up nursing, which she really loved.

    I tandem nursed Puppy and Lamb even during my 3rd pregnancy, and nursed all 3 kids until Puppy self-weaned at 5 years old – then, my 3rd baby (Piglet) was about 4 months old. Lamb and Piglet are still tandem nursers, and Lamb doesn’t show any signs of stopping soon. He is so happy because he still feels important and close to me, and he absolutely loves his little brother to bits.

    That’s only my experience …. every mother is different, so my experience may not be relevant to you. There are so many other factors involved, and tandem nursing definitely isn’t for everyone. But if you’re still willing to go through with it, try to remember why you wanted to do it whenever the negative feelings arise – maybe that might help?

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