Hooray for Boobies (A Breastfeeding meme)

Before you read this meme, you should know that I am an extended breastfeeding, cloth nappy-using, co-sleeping, babywearing, attachment parent.  I am raising my kids the most natural way I can, and it is what works for us.  I am passionate about breastfeeding, and I believe everyone should at least give it a try.

Just don’t tell me I am a boob nazi.  I may be a little militant, but comparing nourishing my babies to a regime that committed mass genocide is just stupid.

1. Why did you choose boob over bottle?

Many many reasons.  But I’ll go with the main one.  It goes without saying that it’s the best thing for babies to be breastfed, so I won’t linger on that point, as nutritionally, there is no argument.

So, I breastfed because I am lazy, and breastfeeding is hugely convenient.  There is no way in hell I was ever getting up in the night to make up a bottle of milk when I have what felt like gallons of the stuff right there in my nice cosy bed.  All those bottles, sterilising equipment, cheesy-smelling formula milk.  No ta!  Pulling up my top, and latching my baby on, and then going back to sleep whilst baby feeds for as long as they want is far less effort.

I strongly believe in human milk for human babies and because of that, I didn’t think of nursing my babies as a choice pe se.  It was just something I was going to do.

2. How long did you breastfeed or are you planning to breastfeed?

I breastfed my daughter for 14 months.  My son has just turned one, and I don’t imagine he’ll self wean for many months yet.  He is still very much a milk baby.

3. What is the best thing about breastfeeding?

I think it changes as the baby grows.  When my children were newborn, I loved the peace and bonding.  I loved how feeding was something only I could do, so when I felt my children were being handed around more than I’d like, I like that I could take them off and feed them quietly.

Now that my son is on the brink of his toddlerhood, I like that he is more interactive whilst nursing.  I love the way it can soothe him to sleep if he’s tired, or if he just wants a drink, he’ll pull away and pull a cheeky grin.

4. Did you have to overcome challenges on your breastfeeding journey?

Aside from a bit of a dodgy latch at the beginning, no.  Both my kids have taken to it like a duck to water, for which I am thankful.

5. Who supported you the most with breastfeeding?

My husband has been great.  We are definitely on the same page, and although I make the lion’s share of the parenting decisions, I do so knowing that he would make the very same choices.

I am very fortunate that I am surrounded by a group of very pro-breastfeeding friends who have helped and supported me since day one.

6. How did you feel when you first breastfed in public?

The first time I nursed Roo in public I was a incredibly nervous.  I was sitting on the South Bank in London and I was very aware of what I was trying to do.  I don’t have the smallest of breasticles, and she was very little.  We were both getting the hang of it.  I am sure a lot of people saw a lot of nip.  Oh well.

There was no such shyness with Elliot.  I pretty much whipped it out and latched him on.

7. Have you been questioned for breastfeeding?

Not when my kids were tiny.  Oh no.  I got lots of positive comments when they were little. But now that my son is one, and by all accounts, a bit of a bruiser, I have been told that I need to wean him.  Why do I need to wean him exactly?  What harm am I doing by still breastfeeding him?  Shut the fuck up!

8. Has breastfeeding made you feel different about your body?

Yes.  It’s made me proud of it.  I have a factory inside me that not only can make an entire human, but can nourish that human all on it’s own.  Wondrous! OK, so my boobs might not be quite as perky as they were before I was mum, but it’s nothing that a decent bra can’t sort out.  And anyway, it’s not breastfeeding that knackers out one’s tits, it’s the entire process of pregnancy as well.

9. What do you wish you had known before making the decision to breastfeed your baby?

That for the first couple of weeks it hurts like a bitch, but if you can get through that (and it’s worth pushing through), and your bundle of joy is gaining weight and happy, then you’re laughing.

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  1. This is great. There are so many people out there that choose the ‘easy’ option and bottle feed their children and it’s nice to hear some good things about breastfeeding. I tried to breastfeed both my children but unfortunately neither of them did well. My eldest, now 7, breastfed for 2 weeks but when he wasn’t gaining weight the midwife threatened to have him taken back into hospital. At that point we decided to try bottle and it worked. He started gaining weight straight away.
    My youngest, almost 3, was pretty much the same. He was born 5lb 5oz but dropped down to almost 4lb. He lasted a week before I made the decision to put him on the bottle.
    I think if things had gone better and they both gained weight I would have breastfed for longer but circumstances denied me that opportunity. I admire anyone who does it for longer and I think it’s great that you can. We are given these things for a reason, why not use our bodies to help our children?

  2. Thanks for joining in. I admire you for being able to fall asleep while your little one is feeding. I always nod off for a second and wake up panicking that Amy slipped under the duvet cover or something – even at nearly 10 months…

  3. Hello from one extended breastfeeding mother to another! I am soooo with you on the comments!!! My daughter is 2 so I seem to be getting lots of comments about how I should wean her and she’s not getting any nutritional benefit from it! But I disagree, she’s still getting my immunity and the comfort as well as the nutrition. What really annoys me is that it’s ok to promote formula for babies over 1 but not for breastfeeding??? Where’s the sense in that! I even did a blog post about it http://really-rach.blogspot.com/2012/01/youre-still-breastfeeding.html It’s nice to find another extended breastfeeding blogger :)

  4. Thank you for all your lovely comments.

    Morgan, it’s a shame your midwife wasn’t as supportive as she should have been, but its good that you found something that worked for you guys. We are indeed given boobs for a reason. I could bang on about society sexualising what is essentially a baby’s lunchbox, but I won’t.

    Carolin, the way I parent would have a lot of professionals up in arms. I never mentioned to the HV that we have our kids in bed with us when they are newborns because I didn’t want the grief. I have woken up with a start before, but now he tends to lounge over me so I always know where he is.

    Rachel, yay for extended feeders, we are few and far between. I loved your post, and I’ve added you to my google reader :) Nice to meet you x

  5. Really enjoyed reading the blog and comments.. It’s nice to find like minded people.. Never thought second time round breastfeeding would work but it did!! 17 months on and we are still going strong! Really nice to hear other ladies doing the same.. I am proud to say we are still breast feeding it’s a shame not many other mums feel they can.

  6. what a wonderful and celebratory beast feeding post! you are right breast is best and I for one am so glad I was able to offer my milk to my babies. i love all your feelings not the subject xx

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