As a Mom to two daughters and a combined total of 7 years(!!!!) breastfeeding, my breastfeeding days were certainly quite the emotional rollercoaster. It’s fair to say that as a family, we experienced more than our fair share of breastfeeding challenges, from those early nights of cluster feeding and colic, to engorgement and mastitis, feeding strikes, attempting to transition to a bottle and 6 months turning into 4 whole years of extended breastfeeding.
With no more children planned, our breastfeeding days are now over for good. Whilst I am thankful to at last have my body back entirely to myself; there are many elements of breastfeeding that I do miss and will remember fondly for years to come.
The snuggles – Watching your baby drift off to sleep post feed, safe and content on your chest was a sensation I wish you could bottle. Watching their tired limbs relax in your arms, their little hand hooked onto your top and that surge of oxytocin that filled your heart and wiped away the most challenging of days was truly special. No matter how stressful the day had been, those quiet, calm moments before bed helped us both reset and recharge. I wish I’d spent more time enjoying those cuddles rather than aimlessly scrolling through my phone during night feeds!
The Magic Fix – Breastfeeding at times was pretty magical and provided the ability to calm my child in an absolute instant – like waving a magic wand! Shots at the doctor? Taken a tumble? Overtired? There was no upset too great that breastfeeding couldn’t fix it! Instant gratification and much needed silence! These days the upsets are a little harder to fix and the time taken to get my babies to bed is drastically increased too!
The calorie burning – I definitely enjoyed the calorie burning element of breastfeeding and certainly got used to being able to cater for that additional hunger! Now the breastfeeding has stopped but my eating habits haven’t changed, which is probably something I should bear in mind!
Being Wanted – As frustrating as it was at times to feel ‘touched out’ and constantly crave a moment to myself, I do miss the longing – the fact that my daughter would want me and only me at bedtime. It was nice to have that maternal bond with my babies and know that no matter what happened, they just wanted their Mom, particularly at bed time. The first times when the girls started asking for Daddy instead was so strange and left me a little lost at first! As the girls grow older and they reach new milestones, I hope that the bond with their Mom never truly breaks!
The excuse to leave a room – This one may be unique to me, but as an introvert I don’t always enjoy large social settings. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t used my baby’s need to nurse as a reason to slip quietly away to a back room or rest area and get away from the noise and drama in the other room! The ability to sit calmly feeding my baby without having to make small talk with strangers was definitely an unanticipated positive!
What do you miss about your breastfeeding days?