Breastfeeding beyond a year (six months on)

BreastfeedingBreastfeeding at two weeks, nine months, and 16 months

I wrote about breastfeeding beyond a year when Eliza was one, so wanted to pick up on it again now, nearly six months later. So here’s me, interviewing myself on the subject:

So six months on, what’s changed? Not much, if I’m honest! We’re still both happy, although Eliza would probably feed a lot more I let her (distraction works really well when she puts her hand down my top with intent in public).

How often do you feed at this point? I have been trying to gently guide us into a feed at morning and night, and one either post-nursery or pre-nap depending on what day it is. If she’s really distressed or teething then we’ll sneak the odd extra one in.

Did you ever think you’d still be feeding at this point? No! At the start we had a lot of problems (she wouldn’t latch once home from the hospital, was jaundiced, we had to use nipple shields and do 2-3 hourly feeds day and night for a week, then a few weeks later she developed a lazy latch and I was in such bad pain I’d cry at every feed. Oh, and I had terrible mastitis a couple of times). Through each haze of tears, I was determined to make it to six months and thought we’d stop then. But then somewhere along the line it just clicked, and as I’ve said before it became one of the most surprising, rewarding and amazing parts of motherhood for me.

Have you had any negative reactions or comment to breastfeeding an older baby? I’m well aware that most people think breastfeeding a tiny newborn is fine, but think that it’s a bit wierd when they can point at your chest and say ‘boooobieeee’ (again, this usually happens in public). I’ve had a few jokey comments from my mum – love you mum! – saying I’ll be ‘getting them out at the school gate’, but apart from that, as I wrote in my earlier post I’ve had no negative reactions at all. I have loads of comebacks prepared though if we do.

What’s helped you carry on this long? Support is really valuable – both the support from midwives and breastfeeding groups at the start, and the ongoing support of my family and friends (and also Twitter mum friends offering advice, and those like Adele who are also doing extended feeding showing it’s perfectly normal and natural).

How long will you carry on for? I have no idea about this, to be honest. Neither of us are in a hurry to stop and there’s no reason to, yet.

Will we carry on if you’re pregnant again? I have NO idea about this either. We’re still vaguely thinking about thinking about another child, but who knows when this will be. At this point I do think I’d like a break, and that pregnancy is very physically demanding so it might be easier on my body. But then I didn’t think we’d carry on longer than six months, and a year, and so on…so never say never.

And finally, do you still love it? Yes, very much so. I love all the health benefits for my daughter, the closeness it offers and chance to reconnect, but also being able to sit down and check my emails, still eat all the cake, and the magic restorative powers on sickness and for sleep.

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I’ve written this post as I’m taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. If you’d like to be in with the chance of winning over £1000 worth of baby products, leave a comment via the Rafflecopter below.

Here’s some other bloggers taking part: Baking Betsy / Hex Mum / My Thoughts on Things / Mum2BabyInsomniac / Tigerlilly Quinn

And well as taking part in the Scavenger Hunt, you can also still win an Emma-Jane Deluxe nursing vest in my post on breastfeeding and social media, and also read my other post on breastfeeding in public.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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15 Comments

  1. Tracy Hudson
    June 28, 2013 / 4:57 am

    I want to carry on as long as I can. A lot of people said i wouldn’t breastfeed but 4 months on I am loving it.

  2. June 28, 2013 / 5:03 am

    I’m still breastfeeding, one week off 23 months and also never knew we’re would continue for this long after some initial feeding problems. Well done you! I’ve not had mastitis, so to have it twice and still keep going is some achievement. You must feel very proud!
    PS what is it about mothers and their jokey comments?! Mine’s the same!

  3. June 28, 2013 / 10:27 am

    A great piece – love the interview style! It’s been great to read about all these happy, relaxed mums today!

  4. Sophie
    June 28, 2013 / 4:40 pm

    Great blog, I am feeding 7 months on, something I’m very proud of as little man was 6 weeks prem, and hope to continue as long as we both want x

  5. June 28, 2013 / 7:13 pm

    I’m feeding my 22 month old but i think we will have to think of stopping sometimes soon as he is getting near to 2 years now

  6. June 28, 2013 / 9:21 pm

    this is beautiful. its given me confidence to allow my little one to self wean.!! well done for doing this for your child.

  7. Donna McP
    June 28, 2013 / 10:13 pm

    I breastfed my daughter for 19 months, we’re currently 18 months with no sing of stopping with my son…. we’ll stop when we are both ready hopefully

  8. sc2987
    June 29, 2013 / 8:44 am

    There’s some interesting research by Kathy Dettwyler about the natural age of weaning here: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html

    My daughter is 27 months and will wean when she’s ready to.

  9. Samantha
    June 29, 2013 / 1:50 pm

    Been feeding for 3 months now and i dont want to give up.. im going to feed as long as she wants 🙂

  10. June 29, 2013 / 10:59 pm

    I fed my son until he was 25 months and I will feed my daughter for as long as she wants to!

  11. Laura Moore
    July 5, 2013 / 10:01 pm

    I’ve been feeding my daughter for 22 months now and would like to feed until she wants to stop. Will have to restrict her a bit when baby 2 arrives in November as I have IGT and want the baby to get first dibs on as much of my milk as possible.
    Thank you for linking to my blog.

  12. Anne
    September 3, 2013 / 1:49 pm

    Really good post was looking for reassurance as my son is 13 months and I am still feeding him and i will continue to after reading this thanks x

    • gillian
      September 8, 2013 / 8:52 pm

      That’s so good to read, glad I could help out even in a tiny way xx.

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