The Pros & Cons of Extended Breastfeeding to a Toddler

 

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First of, we define toddler age as 1-3 years old

We all know that breastfeeding is good for your baby but what if that baby becomes a toddler and has decided to pinch and pull your nipples? Ouch! right? you may think of stopping but please hold your horses first and let me convince you to push a little longer and do an extended breastfeeding for these reasons:

PROS
1. Health benefits to your baby. 

From his newborn feedings up until now during his toddler years, the quality and health effects of your breast milk continues to provide your baby the nutrients he needs.

Boosting the immune system – I observed that Seb rarely gets the sick. For common colds, if he does get it a week tops and he’s okay. As for fever, he had 4 days on and off and I blame it on his teething (some would disagree that fever is related to teething but I stand firm that it happens based from experience).

Brain development – imagine all the vitamins the milk supplies to help those neurons get in their right places and since I am not that consistent in the “Tamang Kain” as I want to be, I rely on my good milk to compensate for that. I am a vegetable eater so Seb’s been getting the liquid version.

2. Keep Mommy fit. 

I think this is a big factor to why I am back to my pre-baby weight aside from chasing after an active toddler. We all know that breastfeeding gives you the appetite of a hippopotamus – after every breast feeding is a food for you too and I eat a lot and I am thankful that those meals burn fast.

3. Instantly calms the baby.

Why instant? The moment Seb gets fuzzy I just lift my shirt up and he’s running toward the boob – his crying and  meltdown forgotten. Whenever he is about to sleep, he will cry a few minutes, feed and he’s off to dream land. I am wondering what I will do comes the day that he is no longer breast feeding. Oh well, for now this works and I am using it to my advantage.

4. Convenience and portability. 

You will never forget this wherever you go and the clean up is easy.

I tried giving Seb breast milk in a bottle when he was around 6 to 8 months as I do freelance work before and gone for a couple of days and the chore of pumping, washing and sterilizing those bottles is not something I look forward to. We are together 24/7 now and so direct feeding is the way to go.

5. Minus your expenses.

Whenever I passed the milk section on markets, I thank my lucky stars that I am able to breast feed my baby up until now as the prices of formula milk these days are not cheap. This free milk saves me a lot of money which I can allot on other baby needs such as wipes and diapers. I know that when he weans we’ll be buying the formula too but for now let me enjoy those little savings.

 

Not every moment of breast feeding is bliss. From that first 2 weeks of toe curling pain as your newborn sucks and open your duct, to this day that a very active toddler seems to think that your nipple is a chew and squeeze toy. And so to make this post relateably realistic, let me present the cons too.

CONS
1. Fidgety. 

Yes, that is the word that best describes them. Seb for one, cannot stay still. He’s kicking, climbing, pushing and keeps playing. Count those few moments of biting too. Oh the horror of nipple pulling! Remember those days of side lying with just his mouth moving and his cutie little hand on your arm? say good bye to that.

2. SOMETIMES it gets to you. 

When the mood strikes you, this question will surely arise. Am I just a milking prop? because it will feel like that. There will come a moment when it is not relaxing, easy and comforting. Those are the hard moments. It would not last long I assure you but you will feel that one time or another and please don’t feel bad or guilty that you thought of it. It is natural and everyone’s been there and done that. Its just a phase.

Clearly, the pros outweighs the cons because breast feeding is a blessing. Not everyone can do it and commit for a long time and that is okay. Whatever feeding method you chose for your baby is right as long as he is fed.

The secret to a lasting milk supply? Unli latch. It is the law of supply and demand. You may try those breast  massages, milking cookies, soupy foods, moringa vitamins and beverages but based from my journey, tried and tested – plenty of water and unli latch.

When will we wean? I say to let him lead and I will follow as weaning is a child’s decision.

For now, let me enjoy this moments as this will never happen again with him. Let me wear my breast feeding mommy badge a little longer while I still can and until he wants me to.

 

Love,

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Seb Update: The Moving Months

There’s this thing that Mothers always tell me before…

The Days are Long, But the Years are Short. So enjoy your baby while they’re a “baby”.

Ever since I had Seb, my life has become erratic. A feeling that I am always in a hurry, my eye on what is ahead, imagine a blur and craziness… but as Seb reaches his 6th month (I hope that I am not speaking too soon) I feel that I am now more calm, slow, mellow and at peace. A little dramatic it may sound. But that is my current state, not only as a Mom but as Me.

Why? … A little back story.

On my 37th week of pregnancy, My husband arrived from his work and decided to stay until we have the baby and a few more months to experience parenthood. He’d been with me since day one to the point that I’ve become reliant on him. Too reliant If I am being honest. That’s why the thought of him going away again for work got me really worried on how I will handle the baby alone as a parent. So the feeling of “urgency” has never subsided when he left, It actually escalated.

But I guess reality hit me and made me realize that most women, mothers go through this every single day alone. Without help pa nga. Just herself on her own. So why can’t I? From there, I found myself settling on a routine. And one of the best advice that I can give which I am too hard headed to try before is — To sleep when the baby sleeps. (Before, I use my spare time to check in on my social media accounts. But now I realize that by doing so, I am depriving myself a good and rejuvinating moment, which is more rewarding than spending time online).

Enough of my “side-drama” here’s the update on Seb’s 7th Month this May 7, 2017!

  • He can crawl, long strides if he really wants the toy ahead
  • He eats cereals and vegetables and fruits (mashed) and drinks water from a sippy cup. i bypassed the water on a bottle as I don’t see the need for it
  • He is very expressive and loud! you can tell if he wants or hates something
  • Thank God for diaper pants as it saves me the inconvenience of putting taped diapers on him while he toss and turns repeatedly
  • He sleeps straight from 8pm-6am with very few waking moments to nurse.
  • His gums are showing signs of teething. There’s a white trail where you’ll see the tooth about to come out.
  • His poop smells (not cute) 😦

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Since it took me more than a month to compose this post, Seb has reached his 8 months already😂 so here’s his 8th month milestones too.

  • He can sit and can stay that way almost steadily
  • He can stand in his crib. He achieves this position by pulling himself up from sitting
  • The boy can cruise in his crib
  • He still loves to put everything in his mouth and his grasping of objects has improved too
  • He keeps saying the word “abu” and sometimes I think I can hear him say Mommy but that’s yet to be proven and be heard by others for confirmation
  • Mommy is thankful for his unchanging sleep schedule of 8pm-6am
  • No teeth yet but a lot of razzing sounds and drooling
  • Now weighs 9.97 kg and lengths 74cm👍🏼

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Time really flies fast. Whoever said this quote totally nailed it! A lot happened during a day. Inbetween his nursing, feeding, morning and noon strolls. To his playtime, daily massages, poop and pee. It may seem routine now but this are all treasured moments…

My favorite part of everyday is when he’s down for the night. I would watch him sleep and cannot resist kissing him causing him too steer a little and make my heart skip a beat that he may wake up hahaha. But really, he is the cutest baby ever especially when asleep.

But not everyday is perfect. His 7-8 month transition had been worrisome to us. the culprit? CONSTIPATION. I would never have thought during my single years that I’ll be waiting and be ecstatic over someone pooping and will never be gross to touch it. (more of this on my next post)

I just regret that I am not able to have a monthly update on his progress. That would have been a very good cheat sheet for the next one. Anyway, this are all for now. See you on my next post.

Back to Mommy duty,

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Breastfeeding: How to Increase your Milk Supply?

Currently on my 15th (3 months++) week of breastfeeding and I feel like my supply is dwindling. It’s not how it used to. The morning breast engorgement is gone. So is the 8oz in an hour pumped milk. The question that I keep asking is … What happened?!

And so I researched and found out that the 3rd month of breastfeeding is usually a phase wherein the milk supply somehow subsides. Why? Because the feeding pattern has been established and mothers have become complacent that their supply is supple thus a decrease in milk booster foods intake. Also, since the feeding pattern has been established, mothers have become more open to leaving their child to do errands or go back to work. So the direct latch practice lessens, sending a wrong message in the supply = demand cycle of the breasts.

I plan to breastfeed my baby for a year the least. And so it really bothers me and had me very worried when It took me hours just to fill a 4oz bottle when before, I can do it in 30 minutes. I have nothing against formula but… they’re really expensive!

The solution? Consume these milk booster goodies:

  • Hot beverages – currently I am drinking Malunggay tea, also hot Milo. But I’ve read in a breastfeeding forum that Ovaltine works better than Milo. Not sure why though🤔
  • Soup with green leafy vegetables
  • Natalac or any other malunggay supplements twice a day
  • Lactation treats – I ordered Oatmeal raisin cookies with Sunflower seeds… Yummy!
  • Taho – I eat Php 20.00 worth everyday
  • Buko juice
  • Oatmeal rolled oats – I found this to be very effective!
  • M2 malunggay concentrated tea
  • And the simplest and most effective of them all — drink plenty of water.


Fast forward to 18th week (4 months++) my breastmilk is now back to normal. Yehey! It was nice seeing my milk collection grow again.  It gives me security that I have enough milk to feed my baby anytime, anywhere he demands. And for my husband’s… a security of not needing to buy expensive formulas.😑

*** I am just one lucky mommy to be able to breastfeed my son, and please never think that I am against formula. Its just that I am very thankful that I do not have to buy them… yet.

There are many groups and forums, especially in facebook that one can join to share their problems and thoughts. You’ll be surprise how many women are on the same boat as you and they are more than eager to share and discuss solutions with you.

Continue giving what’s best for your child, either breastmilk or formula as long as he is never hungry, then that is more than enough and you are a good mother no matter what!

Anyway, this post is to share my recent bump in the road on my breastfeeding journey. All breastfeeding moms go thru this phase and its just a matter of going back to the basics. To feed on good stuff and have a positive outlook that your milk supply is enough for your child.

 

 

Enjoying my baby Seb,

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