World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is an annual celebration held every year from 1 – 7 August in more than 120 countries. It celebrates and spreads the awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding and reaching the 6 months mark.
When K turned 2 it was like a little celebration for me to have reached the mark of breastfeeding her for 2 years. Today, I conclude the world breastfeeding day by sharing my experience of breastfeeding my 2 year plus.
Breastfeeding is a debatable topic. I have seen moms who breastfeed and talk how important it is. And then there are passionate moms feeding formula who quickly defend about “fed is best”! I personally feel, its not about what’s best for the baby but rather what’s best for YOUR baby
In fact I had to formula feed K for initial 10 days when my supply was low. I have also carried all the bottles, formula, hot water around during those days! It was really a task. Hence, I have a huge respect for moms who managed formula feeding. I feel it equally tough to wake up every few hours or minutes to make that perfect formula milk for your baby during infancy! Pulling a boob out and feed felt easier!
I am sharing my extended breastfeeding story only to help someone who might be thinking whats it like and curious about the journey you may expect. No, I am not preaching. And I trust every mom who takes a decision about what to feed her baby is the best for them.
On another note, if you are an expecting mother or a new mom and plan to breastfeed your baby please join the Facebook group– Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers. It has been my go to place for advice and sanity during my initial breastfeeding struggle days.
Why I chose extended breastfeeding
My child isn’t ready to wean – When Baby K was born, my goal was to breastfeed her for at least six months. When she turned 6 months I decided to carry on until she was 1. Around a time when she was 18 months I thought maybe she would wean and I wouldn’t lie, I even had an urge to try and wean her. One lame attempt and I realized I just couldn’t do it. Kenisha loves her milk and I know by now weaning her is going to be tough. So I will let her wean in her due course of time.
Personal preference to continue breastfeeding – One thing is sure – its easier to breastfeed a toddler than an infant. Once K turned a year old we were in a set routine of 3-4 feeds a day. One feed the moment she would wake up, followed by 2 naps and then one before bedtime. Around 18 months she dropped one nap and we came down to 3 feeds. Now at 2 its only for naps. Sometimes over weekends she may ask for more just coz mommy is available. And she can get her way. I oblige. It actually felt quite easy over the last one year.
Bonding time – I absolutely love that I can help K sleep quickly by breastfeeding her. It is my magic power! It’s our special bonding time, our quite time when we stare at each other endlessly And I chuckle every time K chit chats during a feeding session. It’s funny nursing a talking toddler now! She tells me how tasty the milk is and often switches from one breast to the other saying I like “this one” more. Mothers milk is a great way to support a child’s emotional needs. It’s now Kenisha’s source of warmth, cuddles and security more than just sustenance.
Convenience and comfort – During my recent super long vacation to France and Russia, I immediately agreed that breastfeeding saved us a zillion times. Being out and about sightseeing for 12-14 hours with a toddler isn’t a piece of cake. A cranky baby can be immediately calmed by a quick nursing session. Whether its the airport, in the flight, on a sightseeing bus tour, on a boat tour, at famous monuments we visited, the list goes on. I have no clue how else I would have survived it!
Health benefits – Of course we are all aware about the antibodies that are passed to our babies via the breast milk. It also helps to build a strong immunity. The constitution of mother milk also changes at each development stage of a child to help provide the balance source of nutrients.
My advice to all mothers is this: DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT. Breastfeed until it no longer works for you and your baby. Wean if you feel right or continue as long as you are determined to. Never let anyone else dictate the rules of your motherhood experience.
I do get tired on some days but I have no clue where our journey will take us. So when am asked I just say My breast, my Baby J
I hope this blog inspired you and if it did, please drop your feedback or even better share it with others who may need a little inspiration! For more parenting blog topics by me click HERE