So I have been breastfeeding Arlo for very nearly six months now. In a way it seems a little silly to go shouting about it, as it’s a natural thing and only a few hundred years ago or less there was no other option and all mums fed their babies (or employed a wet nurse!) for probably much longer! But on the other hand it IS something to be proud of! Arlo has grown from 7lb 13 to a nice a chunky 19lb plus! He has more rolls than a bakers shop and that’s all down to my boobs!
On top of that it isn’t easy exclusively breastfeeding a baby when you have an active toddler to look after too! And when I say exclusively I mean it, the little so and so STILL refuses a bottle/beaker/spoon so he’s never been fed by Sam even! Such a struggle and there are days when all I want to do is defrost a bottle of expressed milk and hand it and Arlo over to Sam and head out for some me time. A yoga class… a cinema trip, a meal with friends! Even the food shop to be honest!
Arlo is still feeding to his own schedule, some days it seems like he’s feeding every hour, and other days he goes up to two and a half hours between feeds. Often it’s just for comfort for a few minutes and other days we’re sofa-bound for an hour or more! I am so glad I have mastered feeding in a sling otherwise there would be days when we’d not leave the house!
He’s currently feeding every two to three hours over night too, but we co sleep so really this isn’t too much of a problem, I just roll from one side to the other and sometimes wake up and pop him back in his cot if he’s stopped suckling! His cot only has one side so the open side is up against our bed so I can grab him easily when he wakes.
Here are some of my favourite memories of breastfeeding in the past six months:
- The first clumsy latch, on the operating table in the theatre as the surgeon stitched me back up after a C-section (Read Arlo’s Natural C section birth story here)
- A few days after Arlo came home Athena bought me her upsy daisy doll and wanted me to feed it from the other boob. Since then she has mimicked breastfeeding her dolls when I feed Arlo
- Getting a LOT of books read on my kindle during night feeds! In fact I am set to go over my ‘read 30 books this year’ target!
- Being able to cure every upset with a feed, teething, croup, banged heads when learning to sit up and falling over…
- Having the Huffington Post share my picture (just above) on an article about ‘brelfies’ and normalising breastfeeding (Here’s the article)
- Not having to pack up bottles and sterilisers when we go away from home for a few days
- That first milky smile, with twinkling eyes looking up at me
- His little hand coming up to stroke my face (or pull my lip, see video below!)
- Breastfeeding on the London Eye, in Kensington Palace, on buses and trains, at the beach, in the bank, anywhere he needs it with not ONE SINGLE unwelcome remark!
So here’s to another six months and more! I’ve also written about pumping/nipple blebs (as gross as it sounds!) and Breastfeeding Myths. Plus I held a Breastfeeding cafe and four of my friends shared their thoughts and experiences.
I am hugely grateful to Medela and their fantastic lactation consultant Sioned, who is on hand on twitter and Facebook to help me and so many other mums out on their Breastfeeding Q&A Sessions, and because the Swing electric pump makes expressing so easy!