Hello new month, breastfeeding tips and my goodness breastfeeding for 28 months!. Yes, you read that right.
At first when I got pregnant and at the beginning of my journey into motherhood, I remember vivdly in a conversation I was told by a mother that she had breastfed till 18 months. At the time I thought “WHAT A WOW!!” I could never see myself doing that and for that long and with a child with TEETH!?? I mean teeth!!
Surely, teeth is the sign that you stop right?
Fast forward 28 months and I am still at it. My hope at the start was to reach the 2 year mark as 2 years old is the recommended age by the World Health Organisation on a Childs requirement for milk and the nutrition it brings.
Early on in the journey I wrote my initial thoughts in this post here. A year later I have learnt so much more.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND BREASTFEEDING
Breastfed children have reduced risk of ear, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections and they are less likely to develop asthma, obesity and diabetes.
Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, hypertension, breast and ovarian cancer
A few things I have learnt from my breastfeeding journey thus far:
- Firstly Breastfeeding is physical, it does take its toll on the body, so if you plan to go this long a support system that understands your goals is important.
- To put it another way, it has been a great bonding time for me and my growing baby but also allows me to pause at various times in the day especially when juggling motherhood and my workload seems unrelenting.
- Another key point, staying hydrated and eating well is important. On average I consume 2 Litres+ a day. A point often overlooked is that breastmilk is more than 80% water so you have to replace your body’s water store.
- Another key breastfeeding tip especially during growth spurts and developmental milestones, have been by and large been the toughest times for me as it seems the constant need to breastfeed, clinginess and sleep deprivation is the triple combo sent directly to punish us mothers from the devil. I have often found myself researching how to wean a baby at these times. Thankfully just when you are on the brink, they seem to pass.
- Consequently, you will need to continue taking supplements. My deficiency was Vitamin D (More common) Iron and Folic Acid (Hello fatigue and goodbye memory). I suggest getting regular check-ups along the way to make sure that you are not deficient in anyway.
In addition, here are some useful breastfeeding tips and articles that helped me along my journey:
- Kelly Mom: Establishing your supply tips
- Kelly Mom: For when you decide you want a life and would like a glass of wine. This for me was around 9 months. I found the low alcohol percent in Moscato and Craft beer and my adult life was complete again.
- Dr Sears: Because I have come to find their articles helpful at different times in my journey.
- La Leche League: For UK Mums they also offer a breastfeeding help service as well as many extensive articles on breastfeeding while navigating different stages you might face in your life
All in all, I am thankful for the gift my breastfeeding journey has been thus far. It has helped us through long haul (24 hours) flights, the ability to bring calm in the middle of a toddler tantrum, security and comfort to my little human when she needs it.
It has allowed me to become more attuned to my daughter and her needs and helped with consciously parenting with a healthy attachment.
I believe fed is best. At the end of the day, in the early days and beyond babyhood, what matters is a healthy and well-nourished child.
Are you breastfeeding? How far are you in your journey?