When Jamie Lynne Grumet appeared on the cover of TIME magazine last year, she got everyone’s attention, but obviously not in a good way.
It drew lots of flak from people from all walks of life for mothers who believe in extended breastfeeding, and of course, that affected me very much because I breastfed my first child till she was FOUR. Yes, four. You’re reading right. And my second child seems headed for probably as long a breastfeeding journey as my first. I might have to ask Jamie to move over so I can make the cover too but nah, I’m not gonna volunteer myself for that. 🙂
So, I’ve been breastfeeding for almost 5 years now, without having stopped for a single day since my daughter was born because I breastfed through pregnancy, continued to tandem feed both my daughter and my baby boy till my elder kid turned four and self-weaned and my almost 20-month-old boy still prefers breast milk now. I strongly believe in self-weaning because I feel that breastfeeding is a most wonderful experience, for both mother and child, and it would be something that I’d miss terribly when my boy weans in the future.
Almost everyone I meet thinks that I must have had an easy breastfeeding journey, which is why I breastfeed for such an extended period of time. That’s quite contrary to what really happened. Breastfeeding was so tough for me, especially in the early days. When I was pregnant and I went for antenatal class, I was given the impression that breastfeeding was such a natural phenomenon and everything will come naturally once the baby is born. My friends with children also made me have that illusion. I was of course brought to harsh reality when I held a newborn in my arms who just didn’t know how to latch and just kept bawling. Those were dark times, when I had sore and cracked nipples from incorrect latching sessions and an inefficient breastpump. How lucky new moms are these days with the option of owning a Philips AVENT Comfort breastpump (read my review here).
No backaches from leaning forward and painful expressing as there are three levels of intensity to choose from, and most importantly, it’s a breast pump that can get the milk out properly (read: no blocked milk ducts!)
Back in those days, I contemplated giving up on breastfeeding because it was just so painful and tedious and my baby just refused to latch so I had to express every 2 hours. What really got me through those difficult times was my hubby’s unwavering support in my battle with myself to provide breast milk, the best form of infant nutrition. He was always there to comfort me and hold me tight when I felt rejected and inadequate when my daughter couldn’t latch on and he was there to help with bottle feedings when he got back from work so I could finally catch some rest and regain some sanity, and of course he could get some precious bonding moments with baby – the highlight at the end of his day.
I was actually very upset back then that I had to express exclusively, but on hindsight now, expressing milk for the baby meant that the ‘job’ of breastfeeding wasn’t exclusively mine. And with good quality milk bottles available in the market these days, such as Philips AVENT’s new natural bottles which are ergonomically-shaped and are clinically proven to reduce colic, who says breastfeeding is only a woman’s responsibility?
Disclosure: This is an advertorial and is part of my ongoing conversations with Philips AVENT.