After nursing for two years and seven months, we have finally weaned. I expected Aaron to put up a big fight to keep the last feed he had. But, it all ended peacefully. I knew he would never have gone along with me explaining why it was time to stop so I opted to use some strategically dabbed echinacea. He said "Thats not nice! Something is wrong." and accepted my explanation that its what happens when milk runs out.
I am glad that I persevered through the misery of the early weeks. And now, I'm proud that I can say Aaron was exclusively breastfed for the first six months. He also never touched a drop of formula milk until he was nearly two years old when I gave him a bit in the morning. He never liked the taste of it. Now, he just drinks regular milk.
He was a small baby and I received constant comments and advice along the lines of me not being able to provide him with enough nutrition. I ignored it all and now, he has caught up and is comfortably around the 70th percentile for height and weight.
So here are some of the good, the bad and the ugly of breastfeeding:
- Obviously, it is the most nutritious and the ideal baby food.
- I estimate that I have avoided spending approximately USD2800 in formula. I don't even know how to estimate the cost of bottles, teats, sterilizing tablet etc
- Fuss free take offs and landings on around twenty plane trips.
- I could put him to sleep anywhere.
- When I accepted Aaron's wakefulness, I nursed him 4-5 times a night without getting out of bed and without fully waking up.
- Tantrums could be put under control within seconds.
- SUPER metabolic rate. I could eat LOTS of ANYTHING and not gain any weight.
- I was the only person that could put him to sleep.
- Blood blisters
- Nursing bras
When you're a first time mother, it is sometimes hard to maintain the "exclusive breastfeeding" and "extended breastfeeding" because of the pain, perceived inconvenience and frequent advice from health professionals/friends/family to supplement.
My advice is to have confidence in yourself.