Breastfeeding journey at an end

Since last week I have no longer been breastfeeding Baby Beastie. As I started back at work at the beginning of January I had already incorporated a bottle of formula feed during the day for when I wouldn’t be around and gradually the need for feeding him myself became less and less.

With Beastie I stopped feeding him at seven months as he simply wasn’t as interested anymore. I wasn’t ready to stop at this point and I did find it rather upsetting at the time. What I did find easier and was grateful for, was the fact that he chose to not feed himself and it wasn’t down to the fact I was forcing him stop.

When it came to feeding Baby Beastie, it was extremely important to me that I gave it my best shot. I have been quite lucky in the fact that both my boys took to feeding fairly well and I count my lucky stars that we didn’t have any obstacles such as tongue ties and mastitis along the way. With both of them, they started to take less and less and as a result my supply dwindled and I never had any problems with engorgement. I guess it’s natures way of letting my body know that my milk is not needed as much and an awful lot easier for me to break the emotional ties, without there being physical ties as well.

For me it was a natural progression towards the end and I eventually just ended up feeding him in the morning. As I work a long day on a Thursday I had to start introducing an evening bottle for when I wasn’t around. We went through a hairy phase when he was around  six months old where he flatly refused to take a bottle of expressed milk. Apart from one occasion (pictured) where he took a bottle at a few weeks old. I feared I had left it too late to enable him to take from a bottle should he need to but decided to leave it at that. Luckily with age and because he’s quite a greedy little fella, taking a bottle at ten months proved to be easier than expected and we managed to slowly make the changeover to formula.

So now he is eleven months old, he’s finally stopped and we are most definitely at the end of this chapter in our lives. I think it’s pretty unlikely that we will ever have another baby so I will never be likely to feed a baby again. Does this make me sad? Kind of but then I am content in what I have done already for my beautiful boys and this time round I have almost reached my intended goal when I wrote about setting the benchmark last summer. I initially wanted to continue until twelve months so that he could move straight onto cows milk, so it’s a month more of formula and then he will be able to make the switch. More than anything I hate the faff of cleaning bottles and mixing formula and I’m only dealing with three bottles a day at the moment. Not long and I’ll bring out the cow cup just like Beastie had.

It has been the most precious time to me and I have treasured every moment of it. Even the early days when it was a less than a pleasant experience. I was determined yet calm about feeding him and I think he got the vibes from me. This is a part of his babyhood that is being left behind as he now becomes more independent and I’m even feeling okay about it. I’m at that contented place where it’s right for both of us and I will always look back on these days with many many happy memories.