My friend and fellow extended breastfeeding mother, synchronizationofus, posted this fun meme and I decided I would join in as well.
1. Why did you choose breast over bottle?
I knew as a child my mum had breastfed me and everyone knows that breast is best and I was determined I would breastfeed my eldest. So sure in fact that I didn't buy any bottles or formula... but it didn't work out and the sense of failure I felt was incredible. I managed a week with him, but he refused to latch when my milk came in and that was that. He screamed all night because he was hungry and I had no formula so as soon as the shops were open we bought some and from then on he was bottlefed. I tried several times the following day but he still refused to latch on and even my midwife couldn't get him too. I gave up even sooner with my 2nd... I spent 7hrs with her on the boob in the hospital, only for her then to down 3oz of formula. So by the time #3 arrived I decided to give it one more go, but I didn't hold much hope and I had started to believe that my breasts were too large and I would never breastfeed! But #3 and #4 proved me wrong as both took to breastfeeding really easy! #3 breastfed until she was 2yrs 8mths and #4 is still going strong at 2yrs 1mth
2. How long did you breastfeed or are you planning to breastfeed?
DD2 breastfed until she was 2yrs 8mths. By then I was heavily pregnant with #4 and wanted a break before the new baby arrived and I realised she wasn't having any breast when I was at work and was doing without it most days by then. She was ready to wean as she took it in her stride and in fact when she saw me breastfeeding #4 I asked her if she wanted some and her answer was "Yuck!" DD3 is still happily breastfeeding at 2yrs 1mth and I can't see her stopping anytime soon
3. What is the best thing about breastfeeding?
The bond between mother and child. Feeling your baby snuggle in your arms and knowing you are providing for that child in a way that no one else can.
4. Did you have to overcome challenges on your breastfeeding journey?
The biggest challenge I faced was when my milk came in as that was when my first refused to breastfeed anymore and caused problems with #3 and #4. Also because I have large breasts I had to change my hold when I nursed and ensure I didn't suffocate them.
5. Who supported you the most with breastfeeding?
By the time I had #3 I had discovered some really close online friends who were breastfeeding and one who was a breastfeeding counselor. They helped me with advice and support, even though we lived many miles apart, and also helped me not cave under the pressure of early weaning but to carry on past their 2nd birthdays. I have to thank my midwife with #3 who also helped me through the difficult patch when my milk came in.
6. How did you feel when you first breastfed in public?
Very nervous and uncomfortable. I kept waiting for someone to make a comment, but no one did thankfully. I refused to use the toilets as I don't agree with nursing babies being sent into disgusting and dirty toilets at all, I mean how would you feel if you were told to eat in there!!! At first I would go and sit in the car to nurse but then I refused to do that and would a corner of a cafe, even though nothing could be seen.
7. Have you been questioned for breastfeeding?
Not in the beginning, but once I passed their first birthday I started to get the usual comments and "You're STILL breastfeeding???" Even my doctor mentioned that maybe I should think about weaning her, but why should I? If it's OK for formula companies to promote formula for the over 1s why is it unnatural to still be breastfeeding at that age? Not to mention that breastfeeding is helping my sugar levels as I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes whilst pregnant with #4 and it returned last year as type-2 diabetes
8. Has breastfeeding made you feel different about your body?
Not really no, but I know the fact that I'm still nursing #4 is helping my diabetes.
9. What do you wish you had known before making the decision to breastfeed your baby?
Make the most of sleep!!! #4 still doesn't sleep the night through and uses the breast for comfort, wanting to nurse most of the night, which means I don't get much sleep as it's difficult to sleep when you have a baby on the breast!