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Missing breastfeeding

(16 Posts)
mustthinkofabetterusername Sun 20-Dec-15 23:08:49

My lo is now 15 months. I breastfed until she was just over a year. After an extremely difficult first week, where I was tempted to give up but if I'm honest stubbornness and pride drove me to continue I persisted. After that I generally had a pretty good run at it. I had a plentiful supply of milk. The baby was hungry. I never had mastitis or thrush. A blocked duct once, that resolved after 24 hours of heat and massage.

I know that nostalgia can add a rose tint to anything. But this week I've really been missing breast feeding. I was a bit emotional about it all at around 11 months, when considering how long to bf for. After much careful consideration and observation, decided to stop just after a year and this worked well, both both baby and I. This past week dd has had "extreme teething" and horrible viral dose of hand/foot/mouth (mouth and bum so bad antibiotics required). These two things in such a short space of time have really prompted some sort of grief for not being able to comfort her in this special way, by "putting her on". Of course I've been able to do other things such as hugging, holding, singing etc but it's just not the same!

Has anyone else ever felt like this?

Now that we've moved on from the breast-feeding groups, there doesn't seem to be a natural forum in RL to reflect on the end of this phase of our lives, and acknowledge that loss.

Would love to know if anything else has had a similar experience? And as I reflect, I think of the warmest, happiest breast feeds. Mine was when dd's first smile came just after a feed. Can you remember yours?

Hoping to hear how others cope, if they went through missing breastfeeding, and lots of happy stories!

daluze Sun 20-Dec-15 23:46:21

I am now breastfeeding my DS2, but still am sometimes nostalgic about breasfeeding DS1 (now 3, self weaned just before his second birthday when I got pregnant). It is just so special, all the cuddles and the feeling that you give them what no one else can smile Despite a very difficult start with DS1 (took 6 weeks to get on track, with many different issues), all I really remember now are cuddles and his "milk drunk" state.

mustthinkofabetterusername Mon 21-Dec-15 22:39:47

Ah, "milk drunk" state, I love that *daluze"!

Writerwannabe83 Mon 21-Dec-15 23:09:23

My DS is 21 months and is still breast feeding though he is definitely self weaning. I am being led by him really but I imagine by the times he's two our BF journey will have come to an end.

I think it's something I will feel sad about as I won't be 'needed' by him in terms of his needs and comfort as it will no longer be something that only I can provide. I will miss that special bond, that role in his life that nobody else can perform.

Last week he was ill for a few days and he spent the entire time curled up on my lap, breast feeding on and off all day and I loved it. It felt so nice and maternal to be able to give him that level of security and comfort and I will be sad when it comes to an end.

Topsy34 Tue 22-Dec-15 07:31:17

Yes it's normal! I fed ds for 4.5 years and we stopped as my milk had virtually gone.

Around 3 months after we stopped, he came home from school with a grazed knee and elbow, he immediately asked for boob and i felt sad that I couldn't give it

Haggisfish Tue 22-Dec-15 07:41:10

Yes, I was gutted when I stopped and still miss it. Fed dd to 3.5 yrs and she still thinks about it, too! She will inhale the smell of the skin on my neck a lot for comfort. Ds1 wasn't nearly as bothered by it, didn't get same level if comfort and self weaned at nine months. I had some professional photos taken of me feeding second dc and they are fab. I'm really glad I had them done. The sadness does pass though. I was finding it hard for dh to caress that area while feeding so it was nice to regain that!!

CharmingChampignon Tue 22-Dec-15 08:17:56

I fed dc2 to 3.5 and it was so important to her for comfort. She's quite wistful at times now when sad or ill and I'm always sorry I can't replicate that feeling for her (though not sorry she weaned when she did).

I remember worrying how I would comfort dc1 without boob but everything moved on and you do find new ways.

IAmAPaleontologist Tue 22-Dec-15 08:28:19

I miss bf so much, 3 dc all bf. Youngest stopped around 6 months ago when he lost his latch shortly after he turned 3. Sometimes I ache to cradle a baby to my breast, it is such a special time I think it is normal to miss it.

ChefBell Tue 22-Dec-15 08:32:44

Your hormones will be all over the place. Be kind to yourself. I shall always miss breastfeeding. It IS incredibly hard work but at the same time oh so beautiful and relaxing.

mustthinkofabetterusername Tue 22-Dec-15 21:23:15

Seems to be mostly people who have bf for "longer" periods of time (ie more than 6 months) commenting. I wonder if anyone who had to stop after a shorter period, such as two or three weeks or even months, feels the same way?

evilgiraffe Tue 22-Dec-15 21:33:00

I stopped BFing at 12 months, and missed it a little bit - not lots, because DD had been weaning herself off it anyway. At six months I felt very very reluctant to give her solids though, as she'd been EBF and food felt like it was my thing to do for her.

I am now pregnant again and really looking forward to breastfeeding again, I hope it works as well as it did with DD! smile

mustthinkofabetterusername Tue 22-Dec-15 22:59:37

congratulations evilgiraffe, that's lovely news! if you don't mind me asking, what age is your first child/what age will they be when dc2 is born?

currently considering all the pros and cons of short vs long child spacing (not that these things can always be planned) all insight, reflection and advice would be most welcome!

Haggisfish Tue 22-Dec-15 23:22:02

I'm not sure I would have felt the same stopping before eight weeks ish-it was still occasionally painful and quite a bind then with the first. At six months I had a lot of blocked ducts with dc1. Dc2 wasn't an issue at all as I was tandem feeding-any oversupply was happily taken by dc1!

daluze Tue 22-Dec-15 23:50:09

OP, this was not a question for me, but the age difference between my boys is 2 years and 8 months and I find it great (coincidentally, both me and my sister, and my partner and his sister has the same age gaps!). The older one is much more independent and verbal, than, e.g. when he was 2. We could/can expain him quite a lot about the baby and what baby needs. On the other hand, the age gap is still small enough for them to play together when DS2 is a bit older (now 4 months). Although any age gap has cons and pros. Some my friends had 2 under 2, and I think the first months after the second child was born were tougher (I personally didn't want that), but then children start playing together sooner, you done with nappies sooner, etc. I think it also depends how much support you have - I think the smaller the gap, the more support you will need, as you sort of have 2 babies.

evilgiraffe Wed 23-Dec-15 07:55:35

Thank you, must! DD is 17 months now, will be 20-21 months when new baby is born. I can take no credit for planning a small gap - though DD took several years, investigations, surgery, hormone therapy and IVF, this baby is a natural conception and a very big surprise! I am certain that pregnancy and breastfeeding helped treat my endometriosis-caused infertility.

I also suspect that it is no coincidence that I was pregnant within two months of stopping breastfeeding!

evilgiraffe Wed 23-Dec-15 07:57:20

DD has no real concept of becoming a big sister, but she does keep saying "baby" a lot and stroking my belly! She is getting a doll for Christmas so she can have a baby of her very own smile

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