I am still breastfeeding my 19 month old daughter. I never thought I would be, although I intended to give it my best try until she was 6 months old; I was just never as gung-ho on the whole breast is best movement as the usual toddler-breastfeeding mom. In fact, it always kind of creeped me to see a toddler breastfed before I had my own (I know I’m not meant to say that “out loud”).
Just one of many things I thought I knew for sure before becoming a parent… Now it seems totally natural and normal, and neither of us are quite ready to give it up yet; even though I am the “last man standing” in my mom group as of last month.
Breastfeeding has been an amazing experience. We have a beautiful bond, she is gorgeous and healthy and smart as hell (if you would like to buy into that being ️thanks to breast milk), and she has never been seriously ill or needed antibiotics. Everywhere you look, you can find endless examples of why breastfeeding is the best thing ever and extended breastfeeding even more so, and it is. But, as with all things, there are two sides to every coin.
What you don’t see very often are examples of when breastfeeding really really sucks; well, that’s about to change…
1) Breastfeeding sucks when you are prone to blisters and blocked milk ducts, still, after 19 months of successful feeding. She latches beautifully, she has no lip or tongue tie, it has definitely not affected her intake or growth, my bits must just be a little defective. I have only been able to breastfeed without any pain for a total of about a month in our entire journey.
2) Breastfeeding sucks when you still have to use breast pads and feeding bras when feeding your toddler – 18 months of not being able to go braless… No experience of that instant all consuming satisfaction or freedom of letting it all hang loose after a long day.
3) Breastfeeding sucks when your toddler starts trying to pull off your top in public as soon as they get sleepy while yelling “booboo doodoo” on top of their very powerful toddler lungs.
4) Breastfeeding sucks when your beautiful child still doesn’t sleep for longer than 90 minutes at a stretch at night because you decided to do “on demand” feeding and don’t feel it’s fair to force wean them for your bad decision making.
5) Breastfeeding really really sucks when you get sick. Firstly, you cannot take any decent medication when you are breastfeeding. Secondly, everybody tells you to “get some rest”… You are a parent to a small human, there is no such thing as rest. Also see point 4… And finally, that little sucker (haha, see what I did there) is taking all the goodness from you for themselves.
There are so many reasons I love breastfeeding my daughter and as I’ve said, I’m not quite ready to let that go. But there are days like today where I feel the need to point out that it is not all sunshine and roses.
Am I the only mommy who feels this way? What are some of the things that make breastfeeding challenging for you?
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Sending all the love xx