Day 245: The end of breastfeeding & an overview

It’s a sad time. Lo-Lo turned 8 months yesterday and yesterday was her last feed from me. I have decided to stop.

Why am I stopping? Breastfeeding has been a challenging journey for me. I have had a total of 3 months out of 8 months where feeding was not painful. I am glad I fed for so long, I am really sad I am having to stop and yet it is also a relief to not have to dread feeding every time and to endure the pain whilst she’s suckling. It also means one more thing, Lo-Lo is no longer dependent on me. She’s growing up. This I think is what makes it so emotional. A baby and a mother bond when a baby feeds from her, the mother is helping to sustain the baby’s life. The mother has the time to sit, holding the baby, close, skin to skin, warm, safe and it is also a quiet time. What an amazing thing breastfeeding is. So to stop, is a big deal. Baby no longer requires mum, a bottle and some food have now replaced her. It was the one thing mum could do that no one else could. So yes it is heartbreaking. But I guess it’s time to move on.

I really wanted to know the logistics of breastfeeding when I started out but everyone’s experience was different, so here’s a recap of my 8 months:

  • Birth – 2 weeks: Just breast (40mins a side, max an hour 1 side), on demand
  • 2 weeks – 4 weeks: 6 feeds a day, 1 breast at a feed (30 min a side), last feed before bed was always a formula feed (the last formula feed counts as the 6th feed)
  • 4 weeks – 2 months: 6 feeds a day, both breasts at each feed (20mins a side) BUT 2/3 feeds would be pumped and given at the next feed to help nipples heal, last feed being formula
  • 2 – 3 months: 5 feeds a day, both breasts at each feed (15mins a side), last feed being formula
  • 3 – 7 months: 5 feeds a day, both breasts at each feed (5 mins a side) last feed being formula
  • 7 – 8 months: 4/5 feeds a day, both breasts at each feed (struggling to make 5 mins a side) BUT only breastfeeding 1st feed (at 7am) and pre dinner feed (6pm) and recently the last couple of weeks just one feed in the morning (from each breast).
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