This is the story of one mother’s breastfeeding journey, there are no rights and no wrongs and no judgements of other’s parenting choices but this is one way of doing it:
I had always intended to breastfeed and felt quite strongly about it. I had been exclusively breastfed, I don’t know whether that’s part of it but I’m sure it helped. I was lucky that my husband was completely on board and through my pregnancy we hoped this is how it would be. I know there are complications which can hinder breastfeeding but the intention was there.
We’d been advised to buy a pump and set of bottles with steriliser before baby arrived so we did but if I’m really honest, I was hoping not to use them.
See, I have my own bottles – I don’t mean to sound crude- that’s how I see it. Women are able to produce milk, they have the perfect delivery devices, expertly designed to correspond to your baby. Women get pregnant, women grow babies, women delivery babies and women nourish babies. That is just how nature made it.
Expressing breast milk is of course better than formula feeding but it still uses an artificial teat and that is not ideal.
I was incredibly lucky to have a healthy baby boy and the first sound I ever heard him make, even before a cry was a sucking sound. He was hungry and designed to fit me. I fed him as soon as I could after delivery with skin to skin contact. He fed easily and that was it. Not only was I smitten with my incredible child but with feeding him too.
I exclusively breastfed, from the breast until six months of age at which point we introduced baby lead weaning but I continued to feed him myself until he was 16 months old. In fact, he self-weaned in the end. Naturally choosing more solid foods and less breastmilk until it was over. I moved to cow’s milk at that point and he drank from a straw with no difficulty.
It wasn’t always easy. Growth spurts were extreme and I found it hard at times but I never considered another way.
Not everyone has it easy but that’s how it was. I feel strongly that women should be encouraged and empowered to nourish their babies where possible.