Your breastfeeding journey is yours, and yours alone.
Breastfeeding is different for everyone, and we all have our own goals in mind of how we’d like to feed our baby. We may plan to feed for three days or three years, use a bottle, or breastfeed until our baby decides to stop on their own.
The reality is your breastfeeding journey may look a little different than what you expect, and well-intentioned plans can go haywire at any stage. Your three year plan may hit you like a sack of brick at three days – suddenly you decide this just isn’t for you. Maybe you find it painful, or difficult to maintain. Maybe your mental health is affected, and you decide it’s just not something you enjoy.
Often our babies or toddlers have an opinion of their own and suddenly conclude they’re done with breastfeeding and much prefer their new bottle! Just like that, with no notice, your goal of two years is cut short.
Whatever reasons you have for starting, or stopping, the most important thing to remember is that breastfeeding goals change as our journeys progress. One month turns into 12, or three years turns into three days. Whatever your breastfeeding intentions at the beginning are, remind yourself along the way that you are trying your best as a mother.
Your goals might change for your own personal reasons, or your baby’s preferences – either way it’s fine, and you’ve made the right decision for you.
We know the decision to stop breastfeed rarely comes lightly. Ignore the haters who comment on how you’ve given up easily – they bring no joy, and no benefit. Instead listen to the mothers who have been in your position, the midwife who’s seen the struggles many times over, the nurse who’s helped many new mothers get that first difficult latch.
Listen to your inner wonder woman – your breastfeeding journey is complete, well done. Congratulations for feeding your baby. You were a baby nourisher, a milk maker, a comforter. It wasn’t easy, and you did it.
Whether your breastfeeding goal is three days or three years, I hope your journey is as long as you both wish. Enjoy the snuggles and the precious moments of bonding between mother and child.
It’s often over before we know it, and the 3 a.m. feeding is but a distant memory. Take a deep breathe and enjoy each precious moment you have – you are an amazing mother.
How was your breastfeeding journey? Join our Facebook community for breastfeeding support, at Sporty Mama. You may also like to share this with a mum who needs to hear how amazing they are.