In celebration of National breastfeeding week I’d like to share my personal breastfeeding story.
It’s the topic that has become so controversial in our modern society… breast vs bottle. People seem to have such a strong opinion about this topic and frankly I think it’s a bit too much.
I am a strong believer in breast is best. I have been demand feeding Bella since the day she was born, which makes that almost 2 years. 2 years of feeling like a human cow. 2 years of Bella inappropriately ripping open my top in the middle of a shopping centre in front of strangers. 2 years of getting side eyed by strangers while I feed in a cafe. Not to mention the first 6 months of constantly being in a wet t-shirt competition from leaky breasts (not the hooters type) the sticky breast milk type – NEW MUMS STAY AWAY FROM GREY AND WHITE T-SHIRTS!!! Bella also decided that she was proud of being breastfed and she would always push away a feeding cloth if I ever tried to cover her, so I got so used to feeding her whenever where ever to the point where I didn’t even realise that I was doing it. I could have conversations with people and mid conversation start feeding and the person wouldn’t even know where to look.
I am extremely proud to be breastfeeding until now, and although I love doing it so much it has definitely taken it’s toll on my body. Sometimes I just want to say enough is enough and i’d love to have my body back to myself, but at the same time I love the connection it forms between myself and my child and I fear the day that closeness will end.
To be completely honest my breastfeeding journey has been very organic and quite natural. I never had trouble feeding. No bleeding nipples, no mastitis, no shortness of milk supply. I consider myself to be so lucky as I know how hard it can be for a lot of mothers. I say breast is best and I sometimes feel guilty for the ease of what I have been through. Some mothers don’t have the privilege of pushing this breast is best campaign. They would love to share that connection between their child but just can’t seem to do so. The only problem I ever ran into was that Bella stopped feeding from one side when she was 3 weeks old. I have completely lopsided breasts, one mega boob and one “nemo boob” as I have named it. The reason why I have enjoyed it so much and the reason I continue to feed is because it just feels right. I don’t feel like weaning yet. Bella hasn’t shown any signs that she is ready to stop so I will continue to feed until I feel like its the time to cease. People ask me when I’m going to stop and in society’s eyes its around the age where I should, but I don’t like to listen to society’s standards.
The only advice I can give is do what feels right for you. Don’t be hounded by what people around us tell us that we need to be doing. It’s not their choice, its not their child and its not their breasts.
Images by Daniella Rech, and Sam Elsom for Captain and the Gypsy Kid