Saturday, 23 July 2011

White Puddles

I always intended to try and breast feed my son until he was a year old and I succeeded.

I was very lucky. Apart from two occasions that I remember of mastitis (easily remedied with a savoy cabbage leaf in my bra) and the toe curling latching on pain in the early days, I have had it easy. I have never suffered any opposition to breast feeding in public or met with disapproval in any way.

My son has flourished.

I have loved the special bond we've shared and I am proud that I have given him a good start in life.

Introducing solid food was easy. He has a very healthy appetite and enjoys a whole variety of different foods.

At one year old, he was no longer a baby. He was close to walking unaided and  filled with curiosity about his world.

His interest in breastfeeding naturally declined during the day but he was still taking feeds last thing at night and first thing in the morning (and if he woke during the night). I was happy to continue for as long as he needed it but I did wonder whether he really needed it. I felt that for both of us it was more habit than need - a habit that for me was becoming much less enjoyable because of his size and tendency to fidget to try and see what was going on around him at the same time.

I decided that it was time to stop.

I was expecting inconsolable screaming from him and painfully engorged breasts from me. Neither happened. He will occasionally still get a bit cross with me and tug at my T- shirt but mostly he is perfectly happy with his beaker of milk and a cuddle.

The worst part of the whole process is that the transition from breast to beaker is a messy one. We are still very much in the 'white puddle' stage. When his immediate need is sated, milk is such fun to play with. Even the beakers with the valved spouts don't protect me from this - he sucks the milk into his mouth then gleefully lets it dribble out.

There is a slight tinge of sadness that my breastfeeding journey is now over. I will miss the feeling of full, lactating breasts and will be very sorry to replace my D cup bras with the hardly worth bothering with B cup variety but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

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