Monday, 11 October 2010

Bye Bye Boobies - A Post Breastfeeding Lament

I'm saying goodbye to my bosoms, my lolas, my fun bags, my givers of life, my baps of milk.  They have served my babies well and now they are waiting to deflate back to their shrivelled up pancake-esque former selves.  I am not a fan of breasts I like being flat and boy-like, so breast feeding for fifteen months has been purely for the baby and not for me in any way shape or form. So, I'm just going to give myself a little pat on the back and call myself a trooper, because it has been a time of great personal conflict.

I love to run and exercise and eat healthily - breast feeding definitely makes my chest ache when I do cardio (even with two bras on)and gives me the most almighty cake craving ever. Don't get me wrong - and please don't take my moaning as advice - breastfeeding is nutritionally perfect for your baby and convenient once you get the hang of it, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to be able to breastfeed as some women can't for many reasons.  While some women really enjoy breastfeeding, the closeness, convenience, (some even find it sensual!)  but for me, it just felt like another job towards raising a baby, like the nine months of carrying in my womb, I would much rather not do that part of the baby thing!  But it's for the best, so I did, and now it's done.  I feel rather sad, hormonal, very guilty and (when the mastitis and swelling has subsided) I'm sure I'll feel relieved.  It's been a week since I stopped, the toddler was not really that interested any more and I just want my body back.  I've been pregnant, recovering from pregnancy and breastfeeding non-stop since January 2009 Along the way we've had a miscarriage after the first scan showed the baby's heart beat was too slow, I needed surgery after that which added to the heart wrench. Six weeks later we were joyfully married and on our honeymoon we were delighted to discover we were pregnant again, but it soon turned out I was having an ectopic which didn't get sorted until I'd gone into shock and my body started shutting down - despite four visits to the hospital that week! I lost my right fallopian tube amid a huge kerfuffle and panic, it was incredibly traumatising and made the beginning of married life really emotional for all the wrong reasons.

Shady Characters - the teen and the baby
Then my beautiful third baby arrived with an infection and needed intravenous antibiotics, so we had to spend a week in hospital on the Jeremy kyle Ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital, the midwives were wonderful, the other inmates were not, then four weeks later I was readmitted when I had appendicitis and had to have more surgery to have the appendix removed!  I took the baby in with me and fed him round the clock despite being completely dehydrated and confused, the only break I had was when I was at theatre for three hours! .

I know that is a lot to be sharing with everyone, but I need to justify what I am doing with myself and yes, this breastfeeding lament is a cathartic blog, a laxative, a colonic for my soul. Thankfully though, everything has been going well for our little boy who has been strong and healthy since his early beginnings, we worked long and hard to get where we are today and even though I feel sad to stop breastfeeding, I think I deserve a little me time now.

On the bright side - I just bought these!

And these! You can't tell that I have a Napoleon complex at all, can you?

If you are still breastfeeding and would like some advice, then please check out La Leche League International breastfeeding support for mothers. Or check out Portsmouth's local branch here:


  1. Whoo! My God, that's a journey and a half. Supermum breastfed for nine months with both of ours and stopped at that point. She says her and both kids were both thoroughly bored of the process by that point.

  2. At 15 months old, my little man is showing no signs that he wants to wean himself off of his boobs! One day they will be mine again. xxx

  3. Wow, you've been through a lot. I'm so sorry about your miscarriages, it's really remarkable that you had the emotional energy to breastfeed after that and through surgery and recovery too. It's great to read a post that's ambivalent about breastfeeding as so often breastfeeders feel obliged to stick to the "I love the amazing bond" line and that can make it difficult to admit that sometimes it's rubbish and a real pain.

    I fed my first son for 15 months - I stopped when I was about five months pregnant as (probably due to all the hormones) it was making my toes curl, it didn't hurt but felt cringey and awful and there were times before I stopped when I just hated it. But the pros far outweighed the cons. This time I'm being the queen of selfishness and planning to stop a few weeks in advance of 15 months, so that he's ready to stay over at my parents' house while I party at my good friend's wedding. And I'll probably feel terribly guilty about it.

    Oops, that was a bit of an essay! In conclusion: I love your taste in shoes.

  4. Ooh, toe curling - I can imagine! Teeth and pregnancy are not conducive to comfortable breast feeding. Well done to all though. It is hard to know what's best when you have the milk mafia on one side of the fence and bottle tops on the other. When all you want to do is stay on the fence without falling off!

    You are certainly not being a queen of selfishness by deciding that 15 months is enough, because really that is above and beyond an amazing length of time for you and your baby. Breastfeeding is part hard work and part easy, but our babies seem to love us no matter what. So we need to burn our horrible guilt crosses that us mothers have to bear.

    Oh to be a man sometimes, eh?!

  5. I think you're amazing having gone through all this. I think any woman who has lost a child but kept on going is amazing, like my own mum who lost 4 children in a similar way to you. I'm not a mum but I love your blog, keep writing, I'm reading :)


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