Breastfeeding Beyond 6 months

I have breastfed my daughter for over six months now and like I had done with the other two, I wanted to stop. I wasn’t enjoying breastfeeding this time around. The latching was good, supply was good and baby was happy.

There was just too many issues with me breastfeeding, back pains, restricting my diet because a lot of the food I ate gave her gas. Lack of sleep because she would wake up every three hours to nurse. And my daughter just loved it so much that she wasn’t really sucking to feed but to comfort. And then the weight issue. Formula fed babies are more chunkier and I wanted her to be chunky(?) but she wasn’t having any of that and I wanted to stop after six months so I can put her on formula and puréed meals. Then all the pains will stop and I can finally get my sleep back. How wrong was I. This is what I experienced when I stopped for five days.

1. Stomach cramps like I’ve never experienced before. I know pains, I have been on labour before and I usually have cramps when I’m in my period but this one was on a whole lot of different level. The pains was excruciating and paralysing.

2. Formula is so damn expensive. I would buy two for nearly $30 and it won’t even last two weeks.

3. Washing and sterilising bottles aren’t fun.

4. Baby cried for the whole five days every night. So no sleep. But it wasn’t all bad.

5. Baby was chunkier

6. Baby learnt how to use bottles. But then

7. Baby COULD become ill.

No 7. Was the deal breaker for me. I noticed that last week when we were all dealing with the flu, she was feeling unwell too. This had never happened in the past. Then I remembered that breast milk contains antibiotics.

My daughter had never been ill in the last six months and now she was unwell. I had to get her back to nursing. You could express and feed her the milk but I didn’t want to add expressing to my ever ending to-do list. If I was in a better position, that was what I would have done. But I went back to nursing her and she was more happier. I noticed she started feeling better (there might not be enough scientific fact that breastfeeding babies are less likely to fall ill, it’s just something I personally experienced). My cramps stopped gradually.

Although every other issues with breastfeeding listed above are still there, I’m continuing for now. I don’t know for how long. Maybe until she’s two years old but I will take each day as it comes. One day at a time. And I’m just happy she’s continuing to get all the ‘good stuff’ that will help her fight any illness especially as we are entering the colder weather. And if you are stopping after six months, of course there is always medicine your doctor could prescribe for any illness your baby might have. I am not against antibiotics or any medicine. As parents we all do what WE think is best for our babies. No one method is better than the other.

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