Breastfeeding - One Mothers Story (I did it my way)by Karen Town
I am the mother of four beautiful little girls, all of which were breastfed. In fact Alice, my youngest, is still nursing at the tender age of nineteen months. I am not a health care professional so our resident midwife can answer any medical questions you may have, what I am however is a mother who is passionate about breastfeeding.
I was only twenty when my first daughter (Kylee) was born and I soon discovered that there was very little support available where breastfeeding was concerned. All the pregnancy books I had read prepared me for the pain of childbirth and told me how 'breast is best' but what these books failed to do was prime me for the sore, cracked nipples and engorged breasts. Without someone to tell me how to overcome these perfectly natural hurdles I assumed I must be doing it wrong and I ended up turning to formula after six weeks, something I now look back at and regret.
There wasn't much improvement when my second daughter (Kassidy) was born four years later but I was determined not to 'fail' this time and went on to nurse her for eleven months. During that time I encountered several incidences of abusive comments from strangers as I fed my baby in public. One elderly lady approached my table as I discreetly fed my daughter in a pizza restaurant and demanded that I 'go to the bathroom to do that'. I informed her that my daughter would gladly lunch in the ladies' room if she agreed to eat her lunch there. This was just one of the many encounters and as a result I weaned at eleven months, earlier than I would have liked.
Daughter number three (Madeleine) was nursed for fourteen months and I was happy to continue but then I encountered another obstacle - the unkind comments about my 'extended' breastfeeding from family members who felt it wasn't natural to nurse longer than a year. One again I caved to peer-pressure and weaned my daughter before she or I was ready.
I am now older, wiser and more 'thick skinned' and so my younger daughter, Alice, will have her 'milch' for as long as she needs it. When asked "how long are you going to breastfeed for?" I now answer "for about another five minutes". Both Alice and I decide when our nursing relationship is over and will not be influenced by others.
Karen Town is co-Editor in Chief of Why Men Are... an online magazine for women, and your one stop shop for lingerie, leather, adult novelties, clubwear, pvc lingerie and more! She lives in the UK with her husband and 4 children.