You WILL regret it.
Everyone will tell you how proud you should feel but you won’t feel proud. You’ll just feel a bit shit that you put in all that hard work and now it’s over.
If your baby didn’t sleep whilst feeding, it’s likely they won’t after you stop either.
Don’t listen. Don’t listen to your family members telling you how they’ll sleep if they were on proper bottles. Don’t listen to that tiny ounce of doubt in the back of your mind when they’re awake for the 3rd time in an hour wanting boob. Don’t listen to the random lady in the shop asking how the baby sleeps (why do randomers care?). My LB does sleep slightly better but 1. He’s still in my bed. 2. He wakes for comfort now and I don’t have boob anymore so he just pulls my hair instead… 3. He wants to be just as close as he did before.
Everyone will tell you how easier it is now you’re not feeding, but it’s not.
Ok some parts it is. But I still do 100% of bottle feeds. My partner doesn’t do any. I am still up every wake up. When I go out it’s a massive faff and you have to worry about bottles and formula and sterilizing and washing and powders and timings and temperatures. It’s hassle. It’s annoying. Especially that first 6am bottle when you remember how easy it was to just roll over and give him some boob.
You just sort of feel a bit sad. We got so far but I am sad it’s over. Family members will tell you how nicer it is now. And they just won’t get it at all.
You’ll feel like a complete lurker on Facebook groups about breastfeeding but won’t want to leave.
It will be a big black cloud over you – you don’t do it anymore!!! My LB is small for his age, and I worry people judge me when I’m out and give him a bottle, I want to scream ‘WE BREASTFED EXCLUSIVELY TIL 3 MONTHS AND THEN HE WAS COMBI FED TIL JUST GONE 7 MONTHS HOPE YOU DON’T MIND DON’T JUDGE ME SORRY I DIDN’T DO LONGER.’
If you think stopping will mean they’ll get into their own routine and be in their own cot (or someone tells you this)… wrong.
We are still bed sharing but after a fall () I’ve tried the cot. Obviously gently… He wouldn’t settle so I got in and cuddled. He’s woken up once and I’ve cuddled again. I’m sure some sleep training specialists will want to stab me for breaking rules but I just couldn’t. (He woke up 7 times in 6 hours and was back in bed with me at 1am, when we both finally got some sleep).
So that’s it. My LB is 8.5 months now. I’m already looking forward to my next breastfeeding journey whenever that will be… and I’m even more determined to show everyone I can do it for longer next time
I was a big advocate for breastfeeding and would talk the face off anyone that would listen to me about the benefits and how amazing it is. I grew in courage and managed to feed in public! We fed through the night, cuddled in bed. We fed on the sofa, for hours on end in the early days. We fed in pubs, restaurants, sandwich bars, supermarket cafes. We fed on Christmas day whilst eating turkey with one hand at the in law’s. We fed during three course meals with friends. We fed on benches, seats, ‘feeding areas’/toilets. We fed and fed and fed. And now we don’t feed anywhere.
If you’re reading this before your journey has begun, or have just started, be excited. Get through those hard early days and weeks and you’ll find the experience so rewarding when you both ‘get it’. If you’re struggling in your journey or thinking about quitting… Think before you stop. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.
By Amie Snowden – CIBII group member