From reluctant Breastfeeding to Extended Breastfeeding

Today, carrying on World Breastfeeding Week 2013, we have a guest post from Anna who blogs at www.intheplayroom.co.uk, this is her honest Breastfeeding experiences.

It’s world breastfeeding week and to help raise awareness of breastfeeding I would like to share my experiences with you all here at the Minene blog.

I have three boys, and am still breastfeeding my youngest who turns two next week. You could be forgiven for thinking I must have taken to breastfeeding really easily and had a really smooth journey to still be breastfeeding at this stage. Although that is true enough for this particular child, it was a really different story with my other two babies.

With my first baby, I just assumed that I would breastfeed and that it would all be plain sailing. I had heard all about the difficulties but I naively thought that as I had been to the breastfeeding workshop and learned all about them, that they would not affect me! Reality was different and it came as a shock how hard it was for me to get to grips with feeding. My baby had a few problems at birth, although not serious they resulted in him being separated from me immediately at birth and taken to the neonatal unit, and he was not fed for quite some time after that. I do feel that could have effected our breastfeeding experience, as I never really managed to get breastfeeding established with him. Throughout the weeks I tried it always seemed to be a battle. It lasted one month and I gave in to an emergency trip to the Supermarket for formula as I was worried he just was not feeding at all! By that time, I can honestly say it was a relief to give up, although at the same time I did feel really sad knowing that it had not worked out.

With my second baby, born under 18 months later, my previous breastfeeding experience was still fresh in my mind. I said I would give breastfeeding another go, and I did. But as he was a big baby I started mixed feeding very early and I don’t think my heart was really in the breastfeeding, so after 2 months he was fully moved over to formula.

By the time I had my third, I thought to myself that maybe I am just more of a formula feeding mum. I was willing to give it another try, but I was not expecting to carry on much longer than the other two. This time, maybe due to be a slightly more experienced mum or maybe just due to luck, I just found that breastfeeding seemed to be going really well. Feeding was easy, my baby would feed and fall asleep. He was happy, I was happy and time just went on and being busy with the three of them I just never really got around to introducing any formula to him. Before I knew it, breastfeeding had been well established and I realised that I did not want to stop any more!

So it is totally by accident that I became a long term breastfeeding mum, rather than the reluctant breastfeeding mum I was before – but I am really glad I have now had the chance to experience the positive side of breastfeeding. Having seen both sides of it, I would never judge another mum whatever way they choose to feed but I hope my experience can give some encouragement to any mums who have had a difficult experience the first time round and are hoping for things to go better in the future!

You can also follow Anna on Twitter and Facebook.

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