Nobody tells you how darn difficult breastfeeding really is. They also don’t tell you how emotional, beautiful and unpredictable it is being a breastfeeding mum or mama.
As you know, I never thought I’d breastfeed past the first six weeks, let alone, going for six years and some!
But what would have really helped me and still does help me is seeing photographs of real breastfeeding mums and babies, toddlers and children. I’m talking all those weird and wonderful positions the child or baby gets into, sometimes tandem feeding and whilst I’m so positive about breastfeeding, this is real life.
Here are some of my breastfeeding heros (real mums who have shared their breastfeeding photo and/or story with me, Mama Mei, I salute you!):
Let’s begin with Welsh Powerlifter mum Rachael Ruddock: ‘Breastfeeding on the leg curl in the gym! Before I had my eldest I was on the Welsh powerlifting team and lifting until 2 days before she was born. I’m currently tandem feeding my 6month old and 2yr old.”
Next up Becky Dickerson chills with a drink during a sleepy rather than an acrobatic breastfeeding moment.
She said: “This is me and my two year old.
“I never thought I would be feeding a toddler, in fact I still remember seeing people feeding six months old when I had a newborn and thinking it was weird!’
Breastfeeding a tube-fed baby
Becky Young said: “Not quite the usual journey but this is how breastfeeding looks for us!
“My daughter was born with various medical issues and is fully tube fed.
“I exclusively pumped for 22 months until my milk stopped due to pregnancy and I have enough frozen to give her one or two feeds a day until she’s at least 3 years old.”
Abi Jones said: “This is the reality of breastfeeding for me second time round – baby on the boob with a toddler draped across my lap.
“I was lucky this time as it’s usually my head he’s sat on! Breastfeeding second time around has meant learning to feed on the go, in all situations – but it definitely works for us!”
Rachel Lancaster has some words of advice for mums.
She said: “I’ve just scrolled back through thousands of photos on my phone and was really sad to find only one picture of me breastfeeding, and even that I took myself! This is me feeding my eldest at about 1 3/4 years old. I love how he used to play with my hair, and still does now! We carried on until he was about 2 1/2. I don’t seem to have any photos of me feeding my youngest, I’m totally gutted about that. It’s such a special time, so make sure you get someone to take a few photos!”
Nyomi Winter: “This is me nursing my three-year-old who is performing ‘gymnurstics’. As you can see, she never stays still these days! I think it’s great if you can let your kids self wean. My first self weaned at 2.5 but my second is still going at 3.5. I’ll let her choose when to stop.
Nyomi also vlogs at: https://www.youtube.com/c/Nomipalonyuk
Megan Rossiter of Positively Birthing said: “I fed this little monkey until he self-weaned at 18 months- a total surprise and all the emotions! I can’t believe it’s finished! So glad I have photos like this though.