Extended Breastfeeding- Why I Continue

One of the lady I met in the park in-general asked me,” Do you still breastfeed your child?”. I replied instantly “Yes sometimes, why not?” Wish I could have clicked her reaction that was rather scandalized one. “Don’t you there is no benfit of bf once the baby turns one”.

I had no intention of detailing her, I left her outraegous feelings with herself only. The same people who bolstered the ripening benefits of breastfeeding now bombard me with their new theories. Well do I need to give any explanation? No, I don’t think so. 

But let me tell you I’m not a crusader of breastfeeding benefits. I’m a simple Mom who gave birth through c-section and didn’t bothered much to breastfeed my child in the begining. To be honest for me, that wasn’t a goal to be acheived. Initially I felt stucked up in my own pains and ouchs and sigh relieved as the nurses took my child for the feeding the moment she begun to cry. On the second day, lactation consultant came to check if I have started breastfeeding my girl. Like a nincompoop I replied that I don’t know how to begin with and went puzzledover if I really have the enough milk to feed her. How stupid I was! Anyways with the help of the her I learnt the basic things about correct postures, latching, diet to ease my baby during those moments.

But those were not just the moments, but lasted atleast for 1 hour or so and that too with only a 2 hour break in between to resume again. So day and night I had just one work to do- breastfeeding. My sleep, rest, hunger, comfort- everything was gone. I used to pain very badly on my back and to sit constantly in one position wasn’t easy too. Sometime I felt tormented at this idea of exclusive breastfeeding and wanted to take out 2-3 scoops of formula milk tin that remained just next to my bed. .But then with a blow of mind, I used to deject the idea. Some of the dear ones suggested to introduce FM during the night so as to get 4-5 hours of sleep in stretch but eventually I couldn’t swipe out bf out of my mind.

Slowly the days turned into weeks and then months. I remember the challenges and the frustrations I had feeding her in the washrooms, train, bus, cars, relative’s house, clinic’s room or any vacant corner that I could just grabbed. ‘Enough is done’, I used to gobble out but still nothing could steer clear my mind about breastfeeding. But bf came with its own benefits too- no hassles of carrying stuffs, no bottles, sterlisation, it was just me. I eventually began to try bottle and formula milk once my daughter turned 6 months, but the sweetness of breastfeeding still continued with her.

I definitely want to share that breastfeeding is not an easy journey and I feel proud about myself that I have still continued that. And why not, extended breastfeeding is not just beneficial for me! Its for my lovely toddler too… Since baby’s birth, we stress upon how breastfeeding is the most important thing for the baby’s health so how come suddenly it can turn futile once the baby turns 1? The benefits of breastfeeding doesn’t get evaporated in a day. I feel grateful that I’m able to nurse my baby till date and love these cuddle moments, but nothing is static; in some time these pals will fly away! Till then I want my baby to decide and let her absorb my warmth and comfort. And if you want to know more:

My girl is a picky eater, but she has her three meals and snacks throughout the dayapart from occassional bf.

No, she doesn’t want bf everytime she sleeps in, she comfortably drink fm through the bottle too!

In the middle of night when I offer her bottle, she doesn’t deny it either.

She is very attached to me or what we in-general call ‘chipkoo’ but its not because of this extended breastfeeding. Well name me the child who is not a “Maa-Chipkoo”?

All the time we talk about motherly instincts, what about the child instincts?? Let her decide when she wants to wean it off completely.

I don’t feel elated everytime she urges for the breastfeeding, I’m probably lying if I say this. Often I feel like to shun it off. But as she come close to me, finds her way and within few minutes a smile and satisfaction spreads on her entire face; that’s the moment I feel- everything is right!

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Am I recommending you to extend breastfeeding- not really! Every child is unique, every mother is unique.

Am I suggesting to extend this arbitary cut-off of 1year ? No but this is my normal and what I think is right. And so we nurse.

Am I advocating every mother to nurse her child? No, its a mother’s choice so let her decide and not judge. So better don’t judge me either!

Extended breastfeeding is not wrong or selfish for me !

This is my story. What’s your story?

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