Monday, May 25, 2009

I have just been told by my homeopath that she has never, ever met another woman in her life who breastfeeds as much as me! Hmmmmm.... is this a good thing? Is it possible to over breastfeed?

I have been pregnant or breastfeeding or pregnant for both for over five years now, and I suppose I am vaguely curious to find out what I look and feel like when I eventually stop. And it is true that in Laos was on the boob nearly every hour when possible, or sometimes simply on it for hours... but what else is she going to do on a five hour bus journey right?

I have always found it easier to stick 'em on than to face the screams and complaints if I don't. No idea how I will be received back home in the summer! I have long stopped caring about what anyone else thinks when I breastfeed but am aware that here in Cambodia anything goes, whereas in the UK I am in danger of causing an accident when some unsuspecting passer by catches a glimpse of 22-month-old Bella clambering onto my lap, demanding 'mam mam!' (Actually she is quite polite. She now says very softly: "Please, Mummy. Bit of mam mam now?"), from time to time pulling off to chat, baring me to all, or humming loudly while feeding, and generally being far too big and active to pass off as a baby. Her hands are always occupied in some Khmer dance or scrunching up my tummy fat. Still at least no one understands 'mam mam'. Jemima used to come back for holidays when she was two and I was pregnant and shout "I want mummy milk" in front of my in-laws. Cringe.

Not that my homeopath recommended I stop or feed less, mind you. She was just merely recognising that it is possibly related to my constant recurring colds and coughs.
It is possible that all this breastfeeding is wearing me out. Ah well, I would love to hear from those of you who also think back over their day and realise that they just may possibly have fed their nearly-two-year-old rambunctious toddler, urm, say, eight times in a 12 hour period. (and I work most mornings!) I know you are out there! And half of you probably feeding at night-time too which thank goodness I have finally stopped doing. I am off to put Bella to bed.. on the boob of course. Hoping to have a little snooze myself. Look forward to hearing about wearier boobs than mine ;-).

P.S. Still wonder if I should rename my book "Places I have breastfed". I topped the list this year in Laos by feeding B on a log, half-way up a very steep hill in mountainous jungle, over looked by two young park rangers (or very possibly poachers actually) with AK47s slung over their shoulders. I have felt more relaxed before. James was half an hour behind us with a very ill Jemima on his back, so we were all alone. This was a few hours before we got arrested but this is another story. Coming soon I promise.

12 comments:

Jeanette said...

There are lots of us toddler breastfeeders here in the UK, and despite being "undercover" most of the time, we do tend to seek each other out.
I only recently stopped breastfeeding my almost 4 year old, and that's because he weaned...but I am 32 weeks pregnant with baby number 5. ;0)

Georgie said...

Hooray! I shall seek you out when I come home. 5!! So how many years is that then altogether? Wow am in awe xxxx

Gayle said...

You’ll be pleased to know I haven’t had any negative comments here in the UK about feeding my nearly two year old and I generally have to quite a bit when out and about. I think some people are surprised/ interested but I’ve never had even a tut. I’m pretty discreet so I don’t think anyone can really see. Being in a restaurant with a tantrumming toddler shouting boob and a helpful 3 year old also pointing out quite loudly that ‘Margot wants your boobs mummy’ has meant it’s been easier for everyone for me to feed her.

I have to admit my boobs are weary now and I am wondering how to stop. I think I’ve had enough as I’m not sure that her continual demands for “boob” are anything different to another toddler whinging for a dummy. I’m not sure that much milk goes in and I think |I’d like her to find another “comforter”. Don’t get me wrong I have loved breast feeding and I’d love it if I could continue to just feed her at bedtime and in the morning etc – some special time together, but at the moment I can’t sit down anywhere without a small person flinging herself on me and undressing me. I’d be love to hear if anyone else has been able to tame over enthusiastic feeding.?

Georgie said...

Ha ha, yes I would be interested too! Not thinking about it now but somehow can't imagine she will ever stop so would like to know how they do! I guess would start by cutting out one feed, offering something more exciting instead?? Hmm, what could that possibly be? Bella loves ice lollies - we have them in freezer - I make them from royal d - you can tell we live in tropics - you know what they are? Those rehydration powders! But orange flavoured and very necessary here! the only thing she will accept instead of boob (well chocolate would prob work) but it is not exactly sustainable and one the lolly is down of course she is ready for mam ma again. Hmmmmmm, look forward to other's ideas too! And very happy and remembering that I too never really had any issues when feeding J in England either so am just worrying about nothing. Yippedees xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Emily said...

I too, have been either pregnant or nursing for the last 5 1/2 years...my youngest son is also 22 months and shows no sign of weaning. Lately he's been much too busy to bother nursing during the day and makes up for it at night, Aaaaarrrrggggg! But I was rather sad when my older son had to stop nursing at two because of my being pregnant with his baby brother, so...other than the no sleep problem, I don't mind. I do love the way they look up at you, and their little cheeks from that angle. But, I have had cold after cold all winter, I think the constant breastfeeding certainly does suck out my immunity and I catch everything.

hana said...

Glad you made it back safe and sound - sounds v adventurous! I do admire yr nomadic spirit w not one, but two, little'uns aboard! Look fwd to more tales (arrested!?)
Well rather aptly, after my beseeching mail re breastfeeding advice, I took action and, dare I say it, have successfully and painlessly cut down 18month old bean from CONSTANT feeder to just nap and bedtimes (2x a day). This
followed a dreadful holiday w childless pals and Hardy breastfeeding on the hour, everywhere, getting my boobs out every mealtime (they couldn't quite hide their horror), screaming for attention/boob and tantrumming if denied etc and me exhausted and a bit too upset by it all.
So recently I just decided to cut out the all-day feeds and it has worked A DREAM. Thought he'd be inconsolable but he was surprisingly compliant. It took 3 days- a week MAX to get it and be absolutely fine with it. I just gave him extra attention and cuddles (and snacks) wore a T-shirt (no easy access) at all times, and explained it was now just for bedtimes only. He really seemed to get it.
This REALLY isn't meant to be a pro-weaning rant. I am much happier now it's on my terms but certainly not ready to give up those bedtime feeds for a long while yet. If anything, it's made them more special and deffo less of a drain on me and my resources. He never seemed to suffer, complained very briefly til (easily) distracted just once or twice and I was amazed at how quickly he adapted. This was a baby who SCREAMED for breast in public/carseats/when I talked to anyone, quite often. He now starts giggling as soon as the lights go down in anticipation of the top coming up! Just wanted to share that it was possible for me to do it on my terms in the end. And I was/still am a huge breastfeeding/babyfirst addict. So hope this doesn't offend...

hana said...

PS. I also intend to carry on for the 'long bus journey' and other emergencies uses! H had to have a jab at hosp the other day and despite slightly sneering medical staff (can you believe it!!?)was his usual stoic self after a quick nip.
'Have Milk Will Travel' still applies.. x

Georgie said...

Woo hoo sounds very good! And your holiday sounded a nightmare so not surprised that you wanted to make this change. I shall come back to read this I bet when we go for hols in England and everyone is horrified at Bella's singing through the boob trick... xxxx

Georgie said...

Woo hoo sounds very good! And your holiday sounded a nightmare so not surprised that you wanted to make this change. I shall come back to read this I bet when we go for hols in England and everyone is horrified at Bella's singing through the boob trick... xxxx

greatbalancingact said...

Hi Georgie, it's great to get the chance to check out your blog and read your stories. And congratulations on the AsiaLIFE articles - great job! I knew I was leaving the column in good hands. Speaking of AsiaLIFE, what news of Naomi's baby?
Anyway, thought I'd weigh in on the breastfeeding discussion, having finally weaned Natasha after just under 3.5 years. We dropped the number of feeds gradually; last to go was her favourite, first thing in the morning. I wondered if giving up breastfeeding would give me a new surge of energy, but sadly no. In fact, breastfeeding gave me a rare chance to sit still and 'single task'; I do that now by cuddling Tash (good advice I received for weaning: replace the intimacy of breastfeeding with other intimate time).
That said, I reckon 8 times in 12 hrs is a big ask. Perhaps Bella needs to drink more water...
Good luck and best wishes to all the family,
Angela

Georgie said...

Ooooh hello! Lovely to hear from you! B is now feeding more normally again I am pleased to announce! And I have become a little more restrictive - though I am still very much of a oh come on then I can read a chapter of my book while you feed sort of mother generally! And I do wonder about that time i might lose that you describe, when she stops feeding. But that is a long way away, may also go on for another year. and interesting to hear how your energy levels are the same regardless! I must go read your blog soon see what you are up to! xxx

MorganMoon said...

I too have a frequent breastfeeder (22 months) and I have days when I'd like to stop...but then I know he's nowhere near ready and it doesn't seem worth the trauma. I never understand it when people say 'I just cut out this or that feed'...what feed? the one when he fell over, or the one when he didn't get something he wanted, or...you get the picture. I also nightweaned a couple months ago (4th attempt lucky!) so now have a little person attached to my breast for 2 1/2 hours in the early morning (when he's again allowed boobie)...I'm aware some think I'm mad, 'don't you want your body back'? But like you Georgie, I find it far easier to continue than stop!