World Breastfeeding Week; My Final Feed

Thanks for hopping over from Renegade Feminist and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 6 The End of the Journey; sponsors today include Close Parent who are providing an organic Close Caboo Organic Carrier, a £20 voucher from Burble Baby and a breastfeeding necklace of your choice from Baby Beads for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs – get your entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

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As World Breastfeeding Week draws to a close, it’s appropriate that the final theme is on the end of our breastfeeding journey.

I’m not sure when I decided that it was time to stop feeding. I’m not sure it was a decision I came too abruptly or whether it just kind of happened. I’m not even sure if it was all me or whether the toddler played his part too.

My last feed was sat in a food court, in the middle of Aquaventure in Dubai when the Toddler was 11 months old (See public feeding anywhere in Dubai!) after a morning breakfast of pancakes and handling the headache of the hangover from a Dubai brunch the day before. Later that night when he woke in the night, he refused feeding from me. Like that our journey was done.

I guess in a way I shouldn’t be surprised, we introduced a bottle of expressed milk EVERY DAY from 3 months old as his feed from Daddy after the bath. In time he accepted it from Mummy as well. Then that bottle shifted to a bottle of formula around 8 months, as it became a mission to pump everyday to get him the 7ozs he would drown. I only had a manual pump and it was taking me a good 30-45 minutes each day. Attached and squeezing. Like a cow. 30-45 minutes where I could have been crawling round after my commando crawler. 30-45 minutes that, I felt, could have been better spent. And so, with no guilt (oh ok with a modicum of guilt) I introduced formula.

honeymoon sundowners

The weeks went past and turned into months and the formula worked fine. More than fine in fact. He happily switched between the two but always preferring mummy cuddles for sleep.

Then around 10 months I switched out the next feed for a bottle. For no other reason than I had a routine waker and I was no longer confident in the fact I was producing enough milk in the afternoon. A fact I now know to be wrong and irrational. But it felt good at the time to know he had drank at least 7oz of milk at lunch and 7oz before bed before his milky cuddles.

That was the beginning of the end. Bottles are easier for a baby to get milk out of. He became a lazy baby. And the world continued to get more and more interesting. And our milky cuddles dwindled. He still fed every morning and through the night. It was still my ultimate way to comfort him.

Asleep after feeding

Asleep after feeding

Then that final feed in Aquaventure. Later that night as he woke I did my usual and he turned his nose up. So I cuddled him to sleep. And didn’t offer again.

I definitely wouldn’t say he self weaned he definitely had a decent push from me to do so.

Am I sad at the way our journey ended?

No. I was pleased to have my body back. For him to be less reliant on me to sleep. To start going to the gym at 7 and not worry that I’d have to rush back to him and feed him all sweaty.

I loved every minute of our journey right up until the end, so much so it was never a doubt that I’d give it my best shot feeding Baby Boy. And who knows where this journey will take me, as I’m starting to realise, every baby is different as is every parenting experience. One thing I do know is, I’m going to enjoy the ride!

Feeding as I got ready for our wedding

Feeding as I got ready for our wedding

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18 Comments

  1. August 7, 2015 / 10:15 am

    What a lovely calm story about ending breastfeeding. I also found pumping horribly time consuming and on top of that, barely fruitful. I’d end up with milk everywhere, frazzled hair, a lost half hour, and only 3 ounces of milk! Lol not really worth it! 🙂
    RF recently posted…Breastfeeding Aversion And MoreMy Profile

    • August 7, 2015 / 11:21 am

      Oh I remember the plonking him in the jumperoo and squeezing like a cow while I watched him bounce! Not my idea of a good time x

  2. gemma clark
    August 7, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Unfortunately with my first I only fed her for 2 weeks, but am 30 weeks pregnant now with my second and determined to make it work this time. So hopefully that final feed will be a lot later on x

    • August 7, 2015 / 4:26 pm

      Determination is the key, or stubbornness in my case! X

  3. August 7, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    Mine was sad, i fed twins and that in itself was pretty tricky, but managed for 5 and a half months. I so wanted to be a Mum who fed for quite a long period, but proud I did that far even with a mastitis attack and drs saying give up.
    Jo Bryan recently posted…Freebie Friday 7th August 2015My Profile

    • August 7, 2015 / 4:25 pm

      Well done on feeding twins for so long – I bet that one wanted feeding just as the other finished. Besides if you look at it as 11 months with both twins 🙂 xx

  4. Elizabeth Cooper
    August 7, 2015 / 4:44 pm

    My journey hasn’t ended yet, my little one is 18 months and I will feed until he’s 2. I really don’t want to give up but I’m unable to get pregnant and we want another soon!
    Go Breast! 😀

    • August 8, 2015 / 4:02 pm

      Good luck in getting pregnant Elizabeth, 2 kids is more different than I could have imagined but oh so rewarding!! X

  5. August 8, 2015 / 12:42 am

    Thanks for sharing the end to your breastfeeding journey it was lovely to read for me, as I can feel the end of my breastfeeding journey approaching it’s nice to read about endings where mum has a positive memory! We haven’t got to our last feed yet, Boo last fed just before she went to bed and I am hoping our final feed is a good few months away
    Jenni – Odd Socks and Lollipops recently posted…WOTW – BreastfeedingMy Profile

    • August 8, 2015 / 4:06 pm

      Thanks Jenni, I have no regrets about the way it ended. I do remember a night about 3 months later when he was inconsolable we went away for the weekend and he wouldn’t settle. I wished I was still feeding at that point!! X

  6. August 8, 2015 / 1:05 pm

    Enjoy the ride, we must; whatever tupsy turvy turn it takes. Each baby is indeed different and we are different with each child.

    Whatever we do, it’s helpful to be happy with our decision and you are with yours 🙂

    I haven’t experienced a last feed yet and the thought of it feels me with ‘I’m not even sure’. But thinking about it encourages me to enjoy our moments now. I know it’ll be nice to be depended on less, for sure 🙂 #PositiveAboutBF
    Adventures of a Novice Mum recently posted…5 Things to Make Breastfeeding at Work, WorkMy Profile

  7. kim neville
    August 8, 2015 / 1:59 pm

    I breastfed for 6 months then had to return to work so had prepared myself

  8. Rosie
    August 8, 2015 / 2:31 pm

    It hasn’t ended yet.

  9. Maria Hackett
    August 9, 2015 / 2:35 am

    what a lovely article! congratulations on your amazing journey!

    I’m pregnant with Twins and they due on Christmas day. im so very excited! cant wait to meet them and breastfeed my babies.

    Thank you SO much for pro breastfeeding articles. they definitely boost my confident and I really enjoyed reading them. #NationalBreastfeedingWeek xx

  10. Maria hackett
    September 14, 2015 / 3:54 pm

    Hi, who was the lucky winner please? Thank you very much xx

    • September 18, 2015 / 12:35 am

      Hi Maria, it was announced on the KBBF Facebook page and was the lucky Laura Z Banks xx

  11. Maria hackett
    September 18, 2015 / 8:04 pm

    Thank you for letting me know 🙂 xx

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