Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Dilemma

This week was WABA, World Breastfeeding Week 2017 and it made me think about the time I was breastfeeding and how much I loved it.

Here is a post I wrote about how stopping breastfeeding affected me, but I never got to publish:

My baby just turned into a toddler; he is now two years old.
It’s true what they say; time flies when you are having fun and since Gabriel came to life it has been nothing but fun.

I love everything about him!
His tiny size, big hair, and extremely lovely personality.
So much has happened in such little time. He is now a tiny person with his own ideas, stubbornness, and struggles.

Now he is the one that decides when he wants to be cuddle and when he wants some alone time.

The day I decided that “now was the time to stop breastfeeding”,
It seemed like he started to grow into his own little person.

At that time, I remember being hurried into stopping to breastfeed that I didn’t even think that it wasn’t only him that had to let go of this precious mama and baby time, but I had to let go too.

One day it just hit me. This precious bonding time we had together would never happen again.
That “this was it” suddenly became so overwhelming to me, so scary, I couldn’t stop crying and freaking out just by the thought of it.

Read more about raising strong kids in a mad world.

Why was I reacting this way?
This was not the reaction I was expected at all. Wasn’t I suppose to feel relieved and happy about finally letting go off breastfeeding?

Everybody is always talking about how liberating it is to stop breastfeeding and how great it is to go back to being yourself.
You can eat whatever you want and do whatever you want with your body without affecting the baby.
Any other reactions are rarely talked about.

Being a first-time mom, I thought this was going to be my reaction too.

I was supposed to look forward to stopping breastfeeding. thinking that when I ended breastfeeding I would feel liberated, have more “me” time and do some of the things I wanted to do, like detoxing, coloring my hair, go on crazy diets and stuff.

Little didn’t I realize how much happiness breastfeeding gave me. I loved those quiet moments where it’s was only me and baby bonding, baby cooing being feed.

So relaxed and so safe in my arms and how comfortable and united it felt, holding him close, looking at him and just enjoying being there with him.

This time is such a special time that nobody can relate to, and no one can understand the bond that forms between the mother and the child. In those moments I can’t help but count my blessings I feel like the luckiest person alive.

He is mine and has this bond with me, and to stop breastfeeding to be more me, just didn’t feel so attractive anymore.

I keep playing this movie in my mind, about how I something used to tease him, and he is lying there with eyes lite up, the most adorable smile just so genuinely happy and safe.

Why was it so hard to let go of the feeling of deprivation?

I tried to google my reaction and found very little info about it.
It seemed very weird to me, it should be a natural thing to wanting to keep breastfeeding as well as wanting to stop.

Luckily I  found research on the subject.

Researchers from the University of Warwick (in collaboration with other universities and institutes in Edinburgh, France, and Italy) Have for the first time been able to find that when a baby suckles at a mother’s breast, it starts a chain of events that leads to surges of the “trust” hormone oxytocin being released in their mother’s brains.
The study discovered that the action of a baby suckling actually changes how the mother’s brain behaves. This results in a massive rush of the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin in women’s brains.
The release of the chemical in massive surges enhances a mother’s feelings of trust, love, and affection, scientists say.

Oxytocin, also known as the trust- or cuddle hormone, is produced naturally in the hypothalamus – a part of the brain the size of an almond that controls body temperature, thirst, hunger, anger, and tiredness.

Normally brain cells, or neurons, release oxytocin in relatively small amounts from their nerve endings.
The research team managed to show, using computer models, that when a baby suckles the mother’s neurons respond by churning out the hormone from their dendrites – the part of the cell that usually receives, rather than transmits information.

This extra release of oxytocin creates much stronger links between nerve cells – creating a ‘positive feedback’ loop, where the greater the concentration of the chemical, the faster it is produced.
This allows massive, intense, bursts of the love hormone to sweep through the brain at intervals of around five minutes.

You can read more about the study here.

Reading about this study makes so much sense when I look at him. I fall in love again and again. When he falls asleep in my arms, the world stands still. I just want to sit there just hold him, enjoy the moment, kiss his little face, his small hands and tiny round feet.
This is so precious, so precious…
I believe it’s so important when you are thinking about stopping breastfeeding, that you figure out why you want to do it?

Do you want to stop because you feel it’s time, and you feel ready and aligned?
Are you doing it because you have been told by the society, friends or family that it is time?
Or that it’s the “normal” thing to do?

Sadly we live in a society where it is looked down upon breastfeeding and the faster you stop the better it is for everyone around you.
It is also looked down upon breastfeeding outside the house. In café’s, restaurants and malls mothers have been expelled because they were breastfeeding.

When I was breastfeeding, I was asked how long you are going to breastfeed.
Are you still breastfeeding?
You should stop breastfeeding now; I think that’s best.
His Preschool saying they are use to mothers stopping breastfeeding around 10 months

I got to hear breastfeeding “horror stories” how a mother breastfeed her kid till the age of 4 or how this other kid could stand up and breastfeed.
Dentist saying stop breastfeeding. Breast milk has too much sugar, and it’s bad for the baby’s teeth.

How to raise a confident kid.

I breastfeed my baby for 13 months. Dues to breast inflammation and breast infection, I had to stop.  My original plan was to breastfeed the baby till he was 18 months because you can’t deny the health benefits of breastfeeding:

Benefits for the baby:

Nutrition:
A baby’s brain doubles in the first year of life; You can help build that brain by giving the baby the best nutrition possible. Nutrients in breast milk such as taurine, an amino acid, and DHA, a fatty acid, support brain growth.

Breastfeeding supports your baby in reaching his or her full intellectual potential.

Defense against illness:
Helpful antibodies passes from mom to baby via breast milk, giving the baby greater resistance to common childhood illnesses including colds, strep throat, and gastrointestinal problems.

Formula-fed babies are three times more likely to have ear infections compared to breastfed infants because formula may back up into the baby’s Eustachian tubes and middle ear when a baby is bottle-fed.

When a baby suckles milk at mom’s breast, the Eustachian tubes close and fluid doesn’t flow back into the inner ear.

Additionally, research shows that breastfed babies have fewer allergies than formula-fed babies and are less likely to develop asthma and diabetes.

Better digestion:
Breast milk is easier for baby to digest than formula, so he or she will experience less diarrhea or constipation. Studies have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to battle excess weight later in childhood.

Benefits for Moms:

Faster recovery:
New moms’ bodies recover from pregnancy and childbirth faster when they breastfeed and their “baby weight” drops quickly.
Women who breastfeed have less postpartum blood loss and their uterus goes back to its normal size and position in the abdominal cavity much quicker.

Bonding and relaxation:
Bringing a newborn home can be a busy and stressful time; Breastfeeding gives mom and baby time to relax and form a nurturing bond.

Convenience:
Nursing costs less than formula and breast milk is ready whenever your baby needs to feed.
Moms can pump their breast milk and store it for later use when they are away from their babies.

Long-term health benefits:
Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancers and are less likely to develop osteoporosis later in life.

Read more about the benefits here.

Society will always dictate what’s most convenient for them.
But you have to look at what works best for you and your baby.
You have to be the one that decides how long or how little you chose to breastfeed. It is totally up to you, it all about what’s right for you and the baby no one else needs to interfere.
You got this.

Not everyone can enjoy the blessings of being able to breastfeed or breastfeed for more than a couple of months.
But if you can, make the best out of it!

Enjoy the moment that you have with your precious baby because time goes by so fast.Soon it will be a memory and a moment passed.

Being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you gained from having one.

And my little miracle changed my life completely.

Let me know whats your thoughts are about it.

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