Unsugar Coated Motherhood

Boobies: My Ultimate Ace Card #breastfeeding

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere has been a lot of hoo-hah this past week about a breastfeeding study that was conducted over a thirty year period documenting data from 6000 babies. The controversy comes from its suggestion that the babies who were breastfed for at least a year ended up with higher IQs than the ones that weren’t. The Guardian wrote a great piece about it, which you can read here. Before I continue, I’d like to say that I’ll be discussing my own personal views on this matter, and if you are sensitive to the subject of boobies you might want to stop reading now.

I have exclusively breastfed all three of my children, and I felt quite strongly about doing so even pre-pregnancy first time around. I had severe reflux as a baby and young child myself, which led to having major stomach surgery when I was just five years old. I have had a dairy intolerance forever, and there is now a lot of evidence that link dairy and reflux. In light of this I was always against the idea of giving my kids formula, which is essentially cows milk. I’m aware that there are alternatives on the market, but I wanted to have a good crack at breastfeeding first. Fortunately for us, after a hairy first fortnight with my eldest, I was able to successfully do so. I’d like to say loud and clear that I don’t feel superior to formula feeding mums, nor do I look down on them in judgement. I’ve written about it before, and still stand firmly in the camp of it being a personal choice.

My three breastfeeding experiences have largely been positive ones, but I have also had a few ups and downs. Before Xmas I endured the complete torture of co-sleeping/comfort night feeding gone wrong, which resulted in me being bitten (a lot) and getting hardly any sleep. Although we successfully weaned my son off the boobies at night in January, due to recent illness we’ve regressed and I’ve fallen back into the habit of night feeding so as to not wake up the girls.

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Boobies = Happiness (in my boy’s world)

For the most part, with all three, boobies have been a handy ace card to have when I’ve been out of other solutions. Here are a few examples.

Baby has fallen over in an attempt to cruise between the furniture and is yelling the house down – administer boobies for an instant cure.

Baby is teething and calpol isn’t touching the sides – administer boobies for an instant cure.

I need five minutes peace to finish off some work – administer boobies for an instant cure.

You get my point?

There is pretty much nothing so bad in my little fella’s world that can’t be fixed by a feed, in fact the mere mention of the word boobies will have him smiling from ear to ear. Due to the recent sleep regression, and because he’s now 13 months, I have contemplated just cutting off the milk supply for good. We have a holiday to Greece coming up in May though, and with two four hour flights to contend with, I think I’m going to need my ace card just a tiny bit longer.

If my son happens to end up with an exceptionally high IQ as a result, well that’s a bonus as far as I’m concerned πŸ™‚

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mummytries

Full time wife and mummy to three, home educator, blogger, wannabee chef and published author. Follow me on my journey through life...

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29 Comments

  1. Boobies are fab aren’t they! Glad it all worked out for you. I’m not sure I’ll manage 23 months…

  2. I’m the same, I feel so thankful that I’ve managed to bf all three of mine

  3. Interesting reading about everyone’s experiences here… I feel very lucky that breastfeeding worked relatively easily for me and do think it would be a good thing to spend some money on working out how to support new mothers breastfeeding.

  4. I breastfed Oliver til he was 23 months and self weaned, sometimes I think I didn’t quite use my boobs to their full potential, but I think part of that was him being a daddy’s boy so he always wanted a cuddle from daddy. However, we knew that if that didn’t work he would be happy on the boob! Boobs are ace! In soooooo many ways! haha

  5. I have been ADAMANT that I would exclusively breastfeed my entire life. To me, breastfeeding and babies goes hand in hand and I never considered any alternative. Well, arrogance gets you nowhere and I ended up combi feeding from day 2 until I stopped breastfeeding when Gwenn was 40 weeks old. Talk about a climb down! I absolutely hated myself for ages. To be honest, I think I still do. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me I’m silly for feeling this way but I didn’t feel like a real mum because I wasn’t feeding Gwenn 100% myself.

    Anyway, these findings and articles in the same vein are always in the press and I think they make mums who wanted to BF and couldn’t feel like shit and I’m not sure they would convince somebody who didn’t want to BF that actually they should? If the findings are published in order to encourage BFing rates in the UK I’m not sure that they are all that successful.

    I hope you don’t mind the spam, but I wrote this a while ago and you might find it interesting?

    http://bettyandthebumps.com/2014/08/07/happy-world-breastfeeding-week/

    xxxx

    #allaboutyou

  6. mummytries says:

    I can’t wait, so looking forward to it x

  7. mummytries says:

    I’m sorry to hear that your own breastfeeding journey wasn’t the one you wanted. I do agree with you, that the right support makes all the difference. I had trouble in the first couple of weeks with my eldest, and one day she had been screaming at the breast for well over an hour as I could not get her to latch on (which felt like an eternity at the time). Completely coincidentally the midwife knocked on the door in the midst of it all and helped me get her to latch. She stayed while I fed her and gave me some useful advice. We also had a breastfeeding group run by counsellors nearby, and my hubby and I attended one of their sessions too which was really helpful.

  8. mummytries says:

    Boobies definitely help with teething, my little man is cutting molars and it’s the only thing that cheers him up πŸ™‚

  9. mummytries says:

    The boob card, love it xx

  10. mummytries says:

    That’s so ignorant, I think if you have views like that you really should keep them behind closed doors because they cause so much upset πŸ™

  11. mummytries says:

    Totally agree hon, happy mummy will always equal a happy baby, they sense our stress don’t they. Everyone does what works for them, which as mums is all we can do! Thanks for your lovely comment hon xx

  12. mummytries says:

    I feel the same, and for me the idea of making up bottles would add too much stress to my life. That’s just me though, other people would find making yoghurt from scratch a stress or litres and litres of chicken stock every week… we all just have to find the best solutions to our own challenges in life don’t we πŸ™‚ Bless your son, I have a feeling mine will be the same xx

  13. mummytries says:

    Totally and utterly agree Louise, at the end of the day there is no ‘right or wrong’ way to feed a baby, as long as that baby is getting fed and nourished. Glad the magic boobs helped at the naming ceremony xx

  14. mummytries says:

    Glad it’s come in handy for you too! Thanks so much for dropping by πŸ™‚

  15. mummytries says:

    Perhaps your mother’s intelligence was passed onto you, breastmilk or not? There are so many factors involved, and as we know it’s all about what works best for the family.

  16. mummytries says:

    Holy moly three kids in three years, you are one brave lady! I’m glad it worked for you, even through the chapped nipples. It’s certainly not super easy all the time, but if you can make it work then it can be a truly wonderful thing πŸ™‚

  17. Like you, I was determined to breastfeed, however I also believe it is personal choice (I have known multiple people who, for whatever reason, haven’t wanted to or haven’t managed to). My husband and I even had an “argument” about this when I was in the latter stages of pregnancy when I said I’d give it a try but if it didn’t work I wouldn’t force it (by argument I mean I was sitting in the bath eating After Eights whilst he sat on the floor also eating After Eights whilst we both argued our points lol).

    Anyway, breastfeeding didn’t work out for us. I had major oversupply issues leading to so many painful blocked ducts (sometimes so swollen they would be the size of golf balls and completely distort the shape of my breasts) that after 6 weeks of dreading each feed and just hoping to go a day without developing a new blockage I finally gave up in despair. This was at 3 months, because the first 6 weeks weren’t too bad thankfully (except for my son feeding constantly!) I called the health visitor, who came around and acted like she didn’t want to be there. I went to a breastfeeding cafe, where the health visitor tried to force my screaming baby onto the breast despite him clearly being in distress and then when I told her to back off and finally got him latched on she told me he was just a “fussy feeder” even though I pointed out I’d done my research and was convinced I had oversupply issues and needed help getting on top of it. Needless to say, the lack of support was a massive contributor in my giving up… I gave one comfort feed a day for a few weeks but then both myself and my son got a sickness bug and we missed a couple of days and by the time I tried again he decided he couldn’t be bothered with the breast and wanted the bottle only πŸ™

    I know it was the right decision for us, but it still breaks my heart, especially as I won’t ever get to try breastfeeding again (and learn from our experience). So when I see research like this come out, my heart sinks. Not because I don’t agree with the research being carried out, but because there is a fair amount of research out there about the benefits of breastfeeding already but not so much about how to support new mothers, you know? It’s all well and good saying “breast is best” but with so many mothers choosing not to breastfeed, why are we not looking into the reasons behind this?

    There is an awful lot of assumption that it is because people don’t understand the benefits of breastfeeding, but what research do we have to support that assumption? Where is the research about the difference easily accessible support from a fully trained specialist breastfeeding consultant makes? Most people I spoke to had no idea what oversupply was, so the support was terribly lacking. On the opposite side of things, I have a friend who didn’t produce enough milk and yet she successfully breastfed both her son’s because she had excellent support, including someone bringing her a supplementary feeding system to try! Her story could have been so different…

    So, that’s what I think about this research, it’s great that it tries to look at the benefits of breastfeeding but I cannot help but worry about all the women who, for whatever reason, didn’t breastfeed and so feel guilt for their choice. I see nothing wrong with this kind of research, so long as it is complemented with research that looks into why people don’t breastfeed and whether there is any way of improving service etc. Without that, it is just another study that confirms what we already know but doesn’t give us any action plan for acting on the results, you know?

  18. Oh gosh, miss my ace card boobs, def don’t stop until after the holiday. Greece is gorgeous, you will have a fab time. #allaboutyou x

  19. I am in your camp and have exclusively breast fed all four of my children for as long as was practically possible. My youngest is six months at the moment and into boobs in a big way. He has several teeth and more coming through and it really helps. #sharethejoy

  20. I breast fed my daughter until she was around 18 months old – I played the boob card a lot too! They come in VERY handy don’t they!? Loved this post xx

  21. Love your dress and the easy access to boobie feed πŸ™‚ I was a combined feeder so I’m forever jumping defence of both parties. I really love that you’re so passionate about breast feeding but not judgemental at all. I’ve seen one nutjob call formula poison but thankfully found they are a minority!

  22. I breastfed our eldest for 16 months but had to stop at 6 months with the Little Man after I became very ill and had to take anti-biotics that would have been dangerous for him. It broke my heart. I’ve always considered that time so special between me and both my children, a connection that I cherish in my memories (even if it wasn’t always so easy at the time!) That said I champion every Mother’s choice to feed their baby in the way that works best for them both – while breast may be best nutritionally it isn’t always best practically, emotionally or from a health point of view for Mum and at the end of the day a happy Mummy is going to equal a happy baby I think. Lovely post Renee thank you for linking it up at #sharethejoy this week x

  23. I’m a massive fan of breastfeeding – I don’t know how I would have coped without it, both practically (I loved the ease of being able to leave the house knowing that – apart from a nappy – you had everything your baby needed under your top!) and emotionally. After a difficult birth with my first, it was breastfeeding that restored my faith in my body even though the first six weeks were REALLY tough (blocked ducks, cracked nipples, mastitis etc.). My first two babies were breastfed for a year. Baby no. 3… well, he’s just turned two and still likes his morning feed! If you’d told me when he was born I’d feed him for this long I’d never have believed you but with it just being one feed a day, all cuddled up in bed, I can’t find a reason to stop just yet even though I keep thinking I will ‘soon’! It’s an interesting study you’ve linked to isn’t it? I feel very lucky to have been able to breastfeed. Great post ReneΓ© xx

  24. Love this post. I use boobies as the ultimate ace card too – found it very useful during a friend’s babies’ naming day today to try and keep Sophie still during the ceremony. I’ve never been on a flight with little ones but can imagine breastfeeding could be quite helpful there too. And like you I am very much pro-breastfeeding and pro-choice when it comes to feeding – babies are babies and mums are mums – we make our decisions based on what is right for us under our own circumstances x

  25. I’ve been crafting a post in my head about the debate that has been reignited with the newly released research.

    Breast is best, but not for everyone! I must say that I’m glad it’s been the best for us. I can totally relate with it being the ultimate ACE card, majority of time. I’ve especially appreciated the magic of mummy’s milk as we’ve grown in our toddling. It fixes lots and lots of upset, a fab one for the mothering journey.

    Glad it’s come in very handy for you too. #aNoviceMumTwitterfeed

  26. Interesting read. I was exclusively formula-fed and happen to have a high IQ (which I generally loathe). That being said, it’s a family’s choice and sometimes the options are limited, such as with the risk of dairy intolerance because you had it and the other way around, in the case of my mother because she took meds that pass through into breast milk. I am glad your boobies will calm your son in almost any case. I totally understand you want to continue breastfeeding for a while.

  27. I love so many aspects of this topic…especially the fact that not a single woman should feel ashamed of breastfeeding in public. It’s our right as a woman and a mother to do so! I am very strong on that subject…perhaps I should put that in my ‘blog ideas’ box πŸ˜‰ Anyway…I breastfed all 3 of my babies and yes it was my choice and not based on any statistical fact. I wanted to bond with my baby and I felt that the body to body contact was so important. I got mastitis twice (almost 3 times) with my first baby. But even though it was enough to bring me to tears…literally….I kept on…at around 6 months he started weening himself. My second child I had to stop breastfeeding for I got pregnant with my third (a surprise) and my doctor advised that I stop breastfeeding right away…therefore she only got the boobie for about 3 months. And my last one…I tried very hard to breastfeed her but my milk was not producing as much…probably due to the fact that I had been pregnant, had 3 babies, and 3 c-sections in 3 years and my hormones were completely out of whack! So she got breast and formula. I loved the experience with all 3 of my babies even through the chapped nippled and mastitis.

  28. mummytries says:

    Hahaha that’s brilliant, so true xx

  29. Ha, love this, I’ve got magic boobs as well! So many uses that I never imagined. Best one yet though is being able to clear a room and make anyone who’s getting on your nerves instantly uncomfortable simply with the words,” I think he’s hungry”

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