Perks/Hurdles of Extended Breastfeeding-Beyond 1 year

Breastfeeding has been a boon in my motherhood journey. Since the moment I first held my daughter and placed her on my breast, I ventured onto this beautiful journey of breastfeeding and there has been no turning back there on. The initial few days, like for any new mother was a bit of struggle as I was getting acquainted with this tiny squishy being who I had lovingly nurtured in my tummy for 9 lovely months. I was busy figuring out the crying cues, getting the latch right, feeding continuously for hours sitting and having a sore back after each feed all while being quite sleep deprived and in considerable pain due to the stitches. By the second or third week I had finally figured out the right hold and got a grasp of the ideal latch, then on it has been smooth sailing. My daughter recently turned two and I have thankfully been able to continue breastfeeding her and would like to continue as long as I can. Breastfeeding has been a boon for me, as it definitely made my life much easier and I cannot imagine it any other way. I am not one of those breastfeeding advocates who completely disses formula-fed babies and glorifies breastfeeding, to each their own. Mothers should be comfortable and at ease while tending to their baby, whether she decides to breastfeed or give the child formula, is completely her own choice. I consider myself lucky to have been able to feed her this long; there are others who face various issues like low milk supply to inverted/flat nipples or lack of support from family amongst other issues. I have been able to also come this far, as I took a break from my career last year, so I could spend more time with my demanding toddler as no job could justify me missing all the precious moments of her growing years. Below are some of the top perks of breastfeeding from my perspective.

Travel Friendly Breastfeeding has been super helpful especially since all of my baby’s first year and some of the second year we have been travelling extensively, by road, train and flight, for either weddings or vacations. Each of these trips I was able to manage due to breastfeeding, without the added hassle of carrying and making formula or sterilizing bottles. I have fed my baby on trains, cars, flights, airports, restaurants, malls, on the beach, you name it and I have breastfed my child there. My true travel partner, and my baby’s happiness quotient guaranteed.

Ailment Rescue Breastfeeding has been my savior in those troubled times when my baby has been sick and would refuse all other forms of food (post her 6 month mark that is). There have been times when my baby has refused all food during and after any sickness, and I have nursed her round the clock to cater to her growing needs and soothe all her pains and fever away. Thank God for breastfeeding, I was rest assured that my child was getting adequate nutrition even during those bleak days.

images_happy-mother-with-baby

source- tummycalm.com

Bonding The loving bond I have created with my daughter due to breastfeeding is precious and irreplaceable. From the first day till now the feeling of fulfillment of nurturing my baby with this liquid gold that my body is able to produce baffles and amazes me at the same time. I know that a mother-child bond universally is sacred, but I feel breastfeeding has added another notch to it at least for me.

Convenience Breastfeeding was the most intuitive part of my motherhood journey. I know it will get harder if I continue to persist but it would be worth it. It is just simple and convenient to have a breastfed toddler. It is the perfect solution for all the meltdowns or temper tantrums or to soothe the baby back to sleep in the middle of the night. It definitely helped me catch up on my sleep once I started feeding lying down at nights. What better way to cater to your nurslings needs than with what nature has provided. Again this is not meant to offend any mothers’ as this has purely been my experience.

Hurdles: Now my breastfeeding journey has had its share of hiccups as well. Initially after delivery I started working from home, but work required me to come in to office 2-3 days in a week as well. Those days I would struggle to pump milk in office as there was just not enough time between work and meetings. Thankfully my husband had a flexible work schedule so he would take care of the baby while I was away, as we did not have any help in the first year. Things got too hectic with work, cooking and caring for the baby, but nonetheless I persevered and exclusively breastfed my daughter. That's when I decided that no job is worth me being from my baby in this tender age and took a much-needed break. Of course I also had a lot of family and sometimes friends who advised against extended breastfeed citing vague reasons. I usually brushed them aside and carried on, as I knew this was the best nutrition I could provide my child. My daughter is an active happy baby who on her own started asking for and having cows milk once she crossed 20 months and is a big fan of all milk products so definitely no calcium deficiency. She is a fussy eater like any other toddler but not because she is breastfed like some people would imply. Each mother has their own special way to nurture and bond with her baby, mine was through breastfeeding besides other ways. What has your experience been like? Do share with us, we would love to hear from you.

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