Friday, 1 January 2010

No more nursing

Have I told you that my baby has stopped nursing? I no longer have a nursling.

When I was pregnant I told myself that I would be really happy if I fed my baby for six weeks. Yes, that would be a long time in comparison to how long I fed Hermione! Who would have thought that he would self wean when he was four?

Friends have asked how I feel. I have told them I’m fine. They have asked how I really feel. I really do feel fine. I’m not sad, nor am I pleased. We shared something which by its very nature must come to an end – and the end has come right on time – as most things do when left to run a natural course. I feel content, no doubt in part because as every day passes I see new ways in which I can nourish him.

I feel blessed that I had the necessary support and information which helped us to get on the right path. So many women out there beat themselves up about not breastfeeding, feel that they have let their baby down, when really it is them who has been let down by a system which in my humble opinion pays lip service to supporting breast feeding mothers.

When I gave birth to Hermione I asked for breast feeding support. You know what I got? Diddly squat - that’s right – nothing! The only person who did try to talk to me about breast feeding was a guy handing out leaflets at the doorway of Woolworths. Goodness, I can still recall him shouting about the evils of formula. Every time I think of him I feel sick to the pit of my stomach. How many babies had he breast fed? How many hours had he paced the floor with a screaming baby who could not or would not feed? How many times had he sat night after night on a crappy orange plastic chair by his baby’s hospital bed when they were hospitalised with digestive difficulties? How many times did he remove his underwear to find more of his nipple stuck to it than what was left on his body? How on earth did I not drop my shopping bags on the spot and take a running leap and pull his skanky looking dreadlocks right out of his head?

Here’s hoping that the lottery nature of breastfeeding support will end soon and all women will be offered advice, help and guidance. Actually, I’m hoping for even more than that - I’m hoping that people will wake up to the benefits of mothering new mothers.


Hannah said...

Great post Claire :o)

Mam said...

I'm foaming on your behalf, and still wincing at the idea of nipples stuck to underwear - I didn't have it as hard as you but that did happen with my first and oh dear me nothing compares :-( I remember how it felt to be so excited about the arrival of a baby then have the first few weeks ruined with the pain every time she cried and needed to feed, then the sense of dread, wanting her to stay asleep. Stinks that there's so little support, though I think things are a little better for mums of babies old enough to go out and bolshie enough to go to a group (which isn't everyone) as ther are all the drop insthese days. Hospitals and midwives stillv ary widely it would seem. I'd lvoe to see some sort of enforced national policies so they have to support people and actually know how to, and have people looking over their shoulders to enforce it. We have policies but they're not always adhered to and they're not enough.

Claire said...

We need more people like you :-) You do a great job and I hope all goes well at the conference.