As Dan waited for the bus on Friday morning he struck up a conversation with a lady and her 18 month old child. She was heading off to ‘The Big Latch On‘ at Wellington Town Hall for World Breastfeeding Week. He told me he said how proud he was of his wife breastfeeding for so long and I thought, ‘How wonderful is that.’
I know it isn’t easy for everyone and I speak from painful experience. There is no way I would have made it to six week’s with Charlotte, my first child, if it hadn’t been for my midwife, my husband and an amazing lactation consultant. I ran the gauntlet with cracked, bleeding nipples and was in tears of agony every time she latched on. She lost weight and didn’t regain her birth weight till she was one month old – but there were plenty of wet and dirty nappies and she was a good birth weight, so I was encouraged to persevere. By six week’s everything turned around for the better and I fed her till she was 2 year’s of age, at which time she was only feeding once a day if that. She sweetly kissed me one day and said, ‘Bye, bye Bah Boo,’ (her made up word for Mummy’s milk).
December 2005 – Charlotte kissing Sophie’s head whilst she feeds after watching Charlotte swimming at the local pool:
Here in New Zealand nearly 90 percent of babies are being exclusively breastfed on discharge from a Baby Friendly accredited facility. However this soon falls to 65% of all babies at six weeks, 54% at three months, and 26% at six months (Ministry of Health, 2007 data).
Breastfeeding hit the headlines this week for more than just World Breastfeeding Week. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen called for a worldwide law requiring mothers to breastfeed their babies for the first six months of their lives in an interview with the UK edition of Harper’s Bazaar. Of course this comment was blown entirely out of perspective and sparked plenty of controversy, but at least it brought the subject of breastfeeding into the main-stream media.
I am just so grateful for the support I received with my first born and wish all new Mums the very best.
I am still on my breastfeeding journey, with Alice having been exclusively breastfed till five months. She’s now starting on solids, but breast-milk is still her primary source of nutrition. I have no ‘end time’ to breastfeeding in mind, but I kind of hope she doesn’t match up to Sophie’s marathon breastfeeding till 4 year’s old! She was only feeding once a day – just before bed, but I really didn’t think it was ever going to end. Thankfully, with a little bit of gentle encouragement she stopped – just months before Alice arrived!
Quotes on breastfeeding
There are three reasons for breast-feeding: the milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can’t get it.
— Irena Chalmers —
A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three.
— Grantly Dick-Read —
Breast Feeding should not be attempted by fathers with hairy chests, since they can make the baby sneeze and give it wind.
— Mike Harding, The Armchair Anarchist’s Almanac, 1981 —
Breastfeeding is nature’s health plan.
— Author Unknown —
Mother’s milk, time-tested for millions of years, is the best nutrient for babies because it is nature’s perfect food.
— Robert S. Mendelsohn —
Breastfeeding is a mother’s gift to herself, her baby and the earth.
— Pamela K. Wiggins —
O, thou beautiful damsel, may the four oceans
Of the earth contribute the secretion of milk
In thy breasts for the purpose for improving
The bodily strength of the child
O, thou with the beautiful face, may the child
Reared on your milk, attain a long life, like
The gods made immortal with drinks of nectar
— Sushruta, translated —