The Breastfeeding Chronicles: Golden Boobs.

This month I received my golden boobie award!

For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, there’s a fun award system within the breastfeeding community for every milestone you reach during your breastfeeding journey. It looks something like this:-

community.babycentre.co.uk

community.babycentre.co.uk

And why not? Breastfeeding is hard. So why not have a little fun whilst doing it.

I honestly didn’t know how long I’d last, I didn’t know how long T would want it, but getting to a year has made me feel so proud — especially as I only thought I’d feed until T started teething, but the fact that he started teething at 3 months meant I had to continue, there was no way I was going to stop at 3 months.

IMG_7811

The first few weeks were really hard. It hurt. Every day I told myself to get to the end of the day, but then the ‘end of the day’ turned into ‘the end of the week’. As it got easier, as the pain faded, something kept me going. Maybe it was watching T thrive. Maybe it was because I was/am too tight to pay £10 for a tub of formula when I have all the free food I can get right on my chest. Who knows. Either way, though, I kept going and out of no where I reached a whole year. I couldn’t be happier.

I’m over the moon that I’ve reached this huge milestone, however it has come with an ever approaching downside.

T has started to wean himself off the boob.

It started a few weeks ago when T only took a few sips of milk one morning, but was still moaning as if he was hungry. I offered again, but it didn’t seem to quench his moans. I wondered whether it was me and that I was empty, but after a quick squeeze (big mistake, sorry curtains) I realised that I wasn’t the issue.  It wasn’t until I offered breakfast that he was back to his happy self. T didn’t want milk. This has been going on for a few weeks, on and off, regardless of whether he’s slept through or not.

This week, however, has seen the biggest change of them all when T went a whole day (apart from a little drink before bedtime) without boob. A whole day. This was unheard of. Usually, he’d need a little something before nap time, but no. He just went to sleep. At the moment I wait for him to signal that he wants some boob, it’s only when he’s under the weather or teething (i.e. Requiring a bit more comfort) that I offer, however most of the time it’s up to him to tell me, and this works out great. Since starting nursery he gets a bottle of cows milk in the afternoon before nap time, as I can’t keep up with pumping for S and nursery so I reserve my expressed milk for S and her bedtime routine, and so to stick to this routine, on my days off, I give T a bottle of cows milk in the afternoon. It’s a really nice routine, it gives T the extra calories, and T seems to like it as well. But I can’t help but think that this is the beginning of the end.

If I’m honest, now that I’ve reached a year, I was hoping to get to at least 15-18 months. Why? No idea. It just felt like a good age to think (not stop) about weaning him off. Before, teeth were my milestone, and then it became weaning, but then we just kept going. If T wanted it, he got it. I guess since hitting a year I assumed we’d keep going until we both felt it was right, however T seems to have reached this point before I have!

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I don’t know how I feel about this, and in a strange way I don’t know whether I’m ready to stop yet. It sounds weird (thanks to society and their damn sexualisation), but I enjoy feeding T.  I enjoy providing for him. I enjoy that moment where everything stops and it’s just us. Deep down, perhaps breastfeeding, to me, signifies that T is still a “baby” and by not wanting to feed anymore he’s no longer a “baby” and is reaching toddlerhood.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to work on the “Don’t offer, don’t refuse” method of feeding as kindly suggested by someone recently. I like this as it means its up to him to lead, and maybe my boobs will get a well deserved rest.

So… Is it up to me to decide? When did you “stop”? How did you feel about it? I’d love to read about your journey.

K

 

6 thoughts on “The Breastfeeding Chronicles: Golden Boobs.

  1. Amy says:

    Hello there,
    My baby is a week old and we have just started on our breastfeeding journey. It is hard! I’ve loved reading your blog, thanks for sharing!

    • Kate Everall says:

      Hey!!! Wow I can’t believe I missed this – congratulations!

      Thank you. It is SO SO hard, but totally worth it in more ways than one. I hope it goes well for you – if I can help in anyway on along the way, let me know. X

  2. Kristyn Schultz says:

    My son will be 15 months on the 9th and we are still going strong! We have the opposite problem where he LOVES the boob and will refuse solid food to get mama and then wake up all night to feed because he didn’t eat enough during the day. I try not to refuse when he asks during the day, but I will offer him food first before giving him boob. I was feeling a ton of pressure from outsiders to wean him at a year, and I almost did, but I was so depressed about it. Then we had his one year check up and his pediatrician suggested keeping him on breast milk – he had a reaction to cows milk – and I felt really guilty for almost weaning him based on what everyone else wanted. So I will go as long as he will have it! Although, if I had to set a date in my mind, I’d say I’d like him to be completely weaned by 30 months but I’d like to keep him on at least bedtime/naptime feeds until he’s 2.

    • Kate Everall says:

      How horrible, I’m so sorry you went through that – I hate hate hate interference. What does anyone else know?! You do what’s best for you two.

      We’ve been quite lucky, to be honest. I know a lot of babies don’t take to milk straight away, or a bottle for that matter, so we’ve been lucky. Perhaps that’s what’s also changed him. The milk.

      He’s still feeding, so not completely stopped, but I’ve definitely noticed a drastic reduction in demand. I, too, won’t mind if he wishes to just stick with nap and bedtimes – which is what’s happening now.

      Thanks for sharing. X

    • Kate Everall says:

      Thanks, lovely. I keep forgetting that a year is still a long time, but because I aimed for at least 15/18 months, it doesn’t feel like I’ve reached my goal yet.

      I’ll let him lead and see where we go. Who knows, he may just snack for the next few weeks and then just forget to ask! Xx

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