A big congratulations to Medela mum, Kim, for reaching her 12-month breastfeeding goal with the gorgeous Coby! Thank you for sharing your journey with us and other Aussie mums.
Breastfeeding is Giving Your Baby What Nobody Else Can
12 months later and I now have an almost 1-year-old. Even though he was 2-months early, he has hit many milestones and has almost “caught up.” We are now onto the next chapter, which involves getting him ready for childcare and me going back to work.
We had an early first birthday celebration on the weekend with close friends and family and Coby had his first experience with a smash cake!
The Next Stage in Our Breastfeeding Journey
Over the last few weeks, I have started to cut down Coby’s breastfeeds to prepare for giving up breastfeeding altogether at 12-months. With so much frozen breastmilk after months of expressing, I have a good supply of EBM to give him both as bottles and over his food while we prepare for transition to cow’s milk.
A month ago, I cut Coby’s breastfeeds down from 4 to 3 per day. I wasn’t sure if he was ready for this, especially as his corrected age was only 9 months. He also isn’t a big baby, but, his solids intake went up at the same time, which was reassuring.
The following week, I switched one breastfeed to a bottle, so, within a couple of weeks, I was down to breastfeeding him only twice a day.
I felt it for the first couple of days but it’s amazing how our bodies adapt. The next week, I dropped another breastfeed so I was down to breastfeeding once a day. The week before his birthday, I was only breastfeeding once every second day.
I Have Mixed Feelings About Finishing Breastfeeding
On one hand, I am looking forward to having my body back. I struggled with my back and pelvis this pregnancy and post-partum. So, I am hoping that, once the hormones start to drop, my symptoms will slowly go away.
At the same time, Coby’s last feed is likely the last time I will breastfeed a baby. We celebrate so many of the firsts in our lives and don’t often talk about the lasts.
For me, it is a time to reflect and both a happy and sad milestone in my life. I will have managed to breastfeed 2 kids for 12 months each and am really proud of this. My experience with breastfeeding has definitely been a journey, especially having had 2 premmie babies. Both times I have had to solely express at first as my babies were both too small and young to breastfeed. Then, there was a slow transition from tube feeding to bottle and eventually to mostly all breast once they were big enough.
Both of my boys also had silent reflux, which meant that, at times, we had to exclusively bottle feed with EBM. If it wasn’t for my pumping and ability to bottle feed, I think we would have given up breastfeeding both times.
This time around with Coby we had the challenge of nipple thrush. This meant that I solely bottle fed and expressed multiple times a day for a week until it cleared.
Having challenges like this, however, makes you so grateful for the good times and those quiet moments with your baby while you give them what nobody else can. I get teary as I write about the end of this breastfeeding journey for the last time and wish you all the best on your own journey.
How would you describe your breastfeeding journey? What challenges have you experienced? What was the best part of your journey? Let’s have a chat!