The Breastfeeding Chronicles: World Breastfeeding Week 2016: Where We Are. 

This week is ‘World Breastfeeding Week’, which is an annual celebration held by worldwide organisations such as WHO and UNICEF.

Celebrated every year during the first week in August, it’s aim is to promote the benefits in breastfeeding. This year marks the 25th year!

Our journey so far…

I’ve been breastfeeding T for almost 16 months, which doesn’t seem that long when I think about our first feed.

I thought he may have started to self wean himself a few weeks after turning one, but since he mastered how to sign for milk I’ve noticed an increase, although this may also have a link to how poorly he’s been recently.

img_5461

Signing for milk has it’s positives and negatives. On one hand he can communicate a lot better and he can ask for milk before getting to that h’angry stage. Plus, it’s cute. On the other hand, because I give it to him if he asks (I’m still on a don’t offer, don’t refuse regime), he’s got into the habit of asking, getting, drinking for a few minutes and then he’s off – treating me like a water fountain.

I really don’t want to start refusing him, as that often ends in tears, but how can I keep up with that demand? He eats well and has cows milk at nursery so I’m baffled as to why he wants to drink so often when I’m around, especially as he finds as much comfort in a cuddle.

Night-time is getting better, with wakeups only happening every now and again; usually when T’s got himself wedged width ways and wakes himself up. S can usually comfort him and get him back off, but if he’s wetter than normal it’ll be a change and boob back to sleep. Again, if he’s been particularly poorly he may wake twice and require boobing back to sleep. On each occasion he doesn’t actually drink for that long before he’s fast asleep.

img_5758

At this stage I don’t know when ‘the last feed’ will be, and to be honest I don’t think I’m looking for it.

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!

<img data-attachment-id="3889" data-permalink="https://lesbemums.com/breastfeeding/the-breastfeeding-chronicles-golden-boobs/attachment/img_2941/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?fit=1932%2C2576" data-orig-size="1932,2576" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"2.2","credit":"","camera":"iPhone 6s","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1459756314","copyright":"","focal_length":"2.65","iso":"640","shutter_speed":"0.0588235294118","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="IMG_2941" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?fit=225%2C300" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?fit=620%2C827" class="aligncenter wp-image-3889" src="https://i1.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?resize=407%2C543" alt="IMG_2941" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?resize=768%2C1024 768w, https://i1.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?resize=225%2C300 225w, https://i1 Your Domain Name.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?resize=285%2C380 285w, https://i1.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?w=1240 1240w, https://i1.wp.com/lesbemums.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2941.jpg?w=1860 1860w” sizes=”(max-width: 407px) 100vw, 407px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

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

 

Boob fuel with Boobbix – Review

If you’ve ever met me for coffee, you know I love the cake.

Although I’m still actively pursuing the healthier snack as written previously, I still like to enjoy the odd treat-thats-now-not-really-a-treat, especially when I’m out with friends.

At home is another story though. Although still treat-like, more often than not my snacks at home contain oats for boob-fuel (that’s my excuse anyway). Oatcakes, breakfast biscuits and, of course, Hob Nobs are my favourites. They provide the right amount of sweetness but tell me I’m doing my boobs some good.

Unfortunately, they’re probably not doing my waste line any good; which is why I’m always on the look out for specific lactation food.

Boobbix are a cookie company (sold!) but they’re also a lactation cookie company. (Even better). They make delicious (I’ll talk more about this bit shortly) cookies that contain your usual ingredients to help lactation, including; fenugreek, oats, and flaxseed.

img_1956

When I tried their peanut butter chocolate chip flavour, I was sent to heaven.

 

 

I’ve tried a fair amount of cookies and biscuits in my time and I can honestly say that I’ve never tasted anything so delicious whilst knowing it’s doing me some good! They even hold out on the tea-dunk test!

Each box contains 10 individually wrapped biscuits that can be frozen for up to 6 months. They can also be heated up in the microwave to act as a warm pudding.

The cookies come in a range of flavours from chocolate chip and oat, to cranberry and almond, and retail at £10.50 so a little pricey but they’re worth it as all ingredients are free range and organic where possible.

I had two cookies one afternoon and I immediately felt a difference a few hours later once consumed with some water.

img_1962
I’ve already bought a few boxes for some boob-buddies, although I’m not sure whether they’ll last the week as they’re absolutely delicious. It’s a good job our UK girl guides don’t sell these door-to-door. Our US readers will also be pleased to hear they also ship to the US.

K

We were given a box of Boobixx lactation cookies for the purpose of a review, however all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

9 Month Update

T is 9. Months. Old. 9 MONTHS.

I’ve given up wondering why T isn’t making any effort to move. It’ll simply come when it comes. He’ll move when he wants to / works out how (I hope). He can stand quite happily on edges of sofas and knees so I’ll take that as progress. Plus, I’ve realised that one day he won’t be so small (or so still) so I should really make the most out of it now.

Where he’s not moving, he makes up for in voice and noises. He has a few regulars such as “mamamama” and “babababa” which both go on for a while. I don’t think they’re any relation to words, but they’re definitely sounds he likes making. “Mamamama” he makes more when he’s annoyed or if I’m in the kitchen. Other noises include lip smacking, lip popping, and something that sounds like a motorboat and a raspberry when he blows air through his lips. It’s all very cute.

We had an awesome Christmas. T was truly spoilt by family and friends, and often didn’t know what to do with himself whilst surrounded by toys.


Christmas Day even got a bit overwhelming for him, so much so he had to have a nap half way through opening presents. Christmas dinner, however, was not a problem. He tried a bit of everything and has found a love for turkey.


Weaning is still going well. He has days where he doesn’t eat much and is quite picky, other days he doesn’t stop taking what is offered. He still loves toast and banana, but now also enjoys hard boiled egg.

Since hitting 9 months he really knows to deal with things, such as; how to get things off other things (like the rings off the stacker), how to pull things towards him if something he wants is on it (like a tablecloth to get a plate), or just general search (and destroy), which is my favourite. We got him a ball pit for Christmas, so when I set it up I often hide sensory toys under the balls as well as other little gems, however it doesn’t take him long to start flapping or waving his hand around to move the balls before finding something.

It’s these sorts of activities that make me understand what T is going through when he watches me and other babies. He’s taking everything in, soaking it all up. When I think about what he was like even a month ago, it makes me realise that I take what I’ve learnt for granted. Walking, talking, etc. has all been learnt over time , and slowly but surely, he’s doing it as well. It’s really an amazing sight.

K