Breastfeeding in special circumstances

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about breastfeeding in special circumstances. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!

Away from my baby for weeks

by Christine Poirier-Brotchie

When I was pregnant, I had decided, amongst other things, to breastfeed for as long as my daughter and I wanted to. Why not? I had no idea how long it would last, and once we started, I wanted to enjoy every moment of it.

At the back of my mind, I was always wondering when breastfeeding would stop. Would it be when she started going to daycare full time, as I was starting a business and needed time alone to work? We would have to nurse less, and my milk supply would diminish… Nope, nursing still took place many times a day.

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When my daughter was about 18 months old, I went away for a week. I thought that would be it, that my milk supply would dry up as we were, this time, separated for more than just a couple of days. It did not. The first night, I woke up in the middle of the night in the hotel room, my breasts hard as rocks and shooting milk in bed. As if I was a mother of a newborn with a milk supply that had not quite settled yet, I had to go in the shower and express my milk by hand, to relieve them from the pressure and avoid pain. The same thing happened the night after, and the night after. I had not taken a pump with me (I did not own one anyway). When I came back home from the trip, it was as if I had never left. My daughter picked up nursing again and we had absolutely no issues. I remember being very surprised. I did not feel so special later  on when I learned that a friend of mine who had been hospitalized for a month, without nursing, still had milk when she came out. Our bodies are amazing.

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Nursing went on, and one week trips did not hurt our nursing relationship at all, until we were separated for an entire month. That time, my milk supply had also not dried up (I was not engorged anymore, so I tested once in a while to see if anything would come out!), but when we were reunited, something else had changed. My daughter, then 2 1/2, told me that she was “a big girl and that big girls do not breastfeed”. It saddened me quite a bit at first, as I was secretely hoping that we’d easily pick up nursing again, and I weakly tried to make her change her mind. I was also angry that, while I was away, someone had put this “big girls don’t breastfeed idea” in her mind, but we had been nursing for two years and a half and I consciously decided to be proud of us. We really did nurse for as long as my daughter and I had wanted to.
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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