Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Breastfeeding Journey...Year 2

I remember being pregnant with Trent and registering, and I put a formula dispenser on my registry. Because everybody used formula, right? I didn't even think about what that meant honestly. My mom had breastfed me and my sister but so many moms I knew used formula. {And I don't say any of this as a knock against formula. It is just not what I choose for my children.}

Once Trent was born and I started learning more about breastfeeding, I decided I WOULD nurse him for a year. There would be no need for a formula dispenser. And through hard work, sheer will and determination, great supply and a great relationship with Trent, we nursed for 14 months. I also donated almost 1,000 ounces to the Mother's Milk Bank of Austin. I felt so accomplished and proud of what we'd done.

While pregnant with Drew, I started learning a lot more about breastfeeding and decided my goal with Drew would be 18 months+ to help fully develop her immune system. I learned how it hasn't really been that long that breastfeeding has been 'accepted' again {my mom apparently would have been in the minority with me and my sister}. And that makes me sad because the benefits of breastmilk are just phenomenal. Even for a toddler!

Amazing benefits to a toddler

Did you know that UNICEF has long encouraged breastfeeding for two years and longer, and the American Academy of Pediatrics is now on record as encouraging mothers to breastfeed at least one year and then for as long after as the mother and baby desire. Even the Canadian Paediatric Society, in its latest feeding statement acknowledges that women may want to breastfeed for two years or longer and Health Canada has put out a statement similar to UNICEF’s. {via}

In addition to the chart above, in the second year of life, 15 ozs of breastmilk provides {via}:

  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements

  • I love my milk {and spaghetti too}!

    When Drew actually got here, I was so worried breastfeeding wouldn't work. It had been such an amazing relationship with Trent, and I didn't want to think it had just been luck, but I was worried nonetheless. Other than a few setbacks {thrush, reflux, low weight gain, refusing bottles...#nobigdeal}, our breastfeeding relationship has been amazing. Drew loves to nurse. LOVES. Now I worry she nurses too much, but then I remind myself how silly that is. I guess a mom has to have something to worry about? {grin}

    A Dad's Thoughts on Breastfeeding:

    So Drew and I are entering new, uncharted waters for me. About this age, I was weaning Trent. I had stopped pumping, we were using frozen milk at school and drinking whole milk too. Now, Drew nurses whenever she wants on the weekends {which is sometimes still every 2-3 hours} and nurses in the morning, after school and before bed during the week with 2 sippy cups of breastmilk at school. I am still pumping once or twice a day {although producing about half as much as I was at our peak} and have yet to use frozen milk, so I still have a TON in my parents freezer. I did donate around 600 ounces to moms in need through Eats on Feet.

    My goal is now 2 years of nursing, and after that it's up to Drew. Eventually I want to stop pumping {but I get too uncomfortable still...and am still getting clogs, wtf} and we'll use frozen milk at school until that runs out and then probably switch to almond milk. Brent has been 100% supportive {and why shouldn't he be...see chart above, ha}, so I have high hopes we'll be successful!

    P.S. - That formula dispenser has actually been used. As a snack holder!


    the blogivers said...

    Ha, I love the chart about how dads feel!

    Kelly said...

    The idea of still nursing right now at 16.5 weeks makes me shudder. I am definitely a better mom for switching to formula and I know Trey is a happier kid. Kudos to you! For sure!

    Kathryn Bagley said...

    I can't comment on BF but I can comment on how super cute Drew is!! :)

    Jaclyn said...

    Congrats on extended breastfeeding! Nursing a toddler is great. I nursed both boys until they were ready to wean. One went for 2 yrs 3 months and the other was just under 2 yrs. It becomes more of a comfort for them and at least for by boys was only at bedtime towards the end.

    It worked out great and I remember a couple of times when they were really sick and wouldn't eat, but they nursed a lot and we were able to avoid dehydration and a trip to the hospital :)