Breastfeeding at 9 months- An Update
Breastfeeding at 9 months – Firstly I want to give myself a massive pat on the back for getting so far into our breastfeeding journey. Given our initial struggles with stopping and having to go through the relactation process I had no expectations for how long breastfeeding was going to last.
I’m so happy to report that we’re still going strong. Aside from Freddie starting weaning onto solids at six months, he is otherwise exclusively breastfed.
We also have a routine going on which looks a bit like this:
05.30 – Feed
06.30 – Feed or time to get up
07.00 – Breakfast
08.30 – Feed
11.30 – Feed and a nap (could be 10 minutes or an hour)
12.30 – Lunch
14.00 – Feed and nap until 14.45 when it’s time for the school run
16.30 – Feed (bit of a nightmare as trying to get dinner sorted and he quite often falls asleep)
19.00 – Feed and sleep
21.30 – Feed and bedtime with Mummy (yes we co-sleep)
AND then everything goes downhill from there. Freddie feeds every 1 – 1 1/2 hours throughout the night!
He’s been feeding st night like this since around six months and I have no idea how to stop it.
He doesn’t scream (unless teething) and is very easily settled back down on the boob, but it’s the amount of times during the night that this happens. I’ve tried to settle him without feeding but it only lasts for about ten minutes before he wakes up, clearly realising that he’s been fobbed off in search of milk.
It’s with this in mind that I feel a slight panic about having to go back to work in May.
How am I going to function on so little sleep?
Am I going to be able to get myself out of bed in the mornings?
Is Freddie going to cope without me there feeding him?
It’s likely that he’ll miss out on four feeds which he will have a bottle of expressed milk. Will he prefer the bottle over breastfeeding? Will he even take a bottle now?
And then there’s the whole nightmare of having to express whilst at work. I have no worries about having a comfortable place to do it, and also store my milk. I worry more about the practicalities of having to pump in the middle of my working day and how many times as well as the worry of leaking.
When will you stop breastfeeding?
I get asked this all the time. I’m not sure why it matters to anybody else, but it seems that everybody wants or needs to know.
The answer to this is that I really don’t know. I have no plans to stop at the moment, and going back to work isn’t going to stop me. I worry that he might prefer the bottle and will self wean from the breast. If this happens I’ll be really sad but hopefully he’ll adjust to our new normal.
I probably should point out at this point that I’m only hoping to go back to work for two days a week, pending approval so hopefully it won’t be too much of an upheaval for him.
Breastfeeding a 9 month old
I’m not going to lie that this breastfeeding malarkey has been filled with ups and downs from the beginning. Everything from Sepsis to a bad latch we’ve had it.
Every time I feel like things are getting better something has happened. The damn sleep regressions and teeth have been really tough, and it’s only been the last month that I haven’t been sore during and after most feeds.
When he got his first teeth and bit me for the first time I really wasn’t sure if I could carry on. If you’ve had your nips bitten by a newly cut tooth you’ll know how razor sharp they are. There were tears from both of us.
He didn’t bite down for a good few weeks after the first time, but he started grazing my nipples with his teeth throughout every feed which really sets your teeth on edge and quite frankly is pretty unpleasant.
He still does bite every now and again, but I can tell when he’s about to do it most times and can stop him.
Freddie is pretty easy to read. He only cries when he’s hungry, tired or teething so if he’s crying it’s because he wants something.
His latch is much better as he seems to know the best position for getting the most milk out.
He has started to pull my hair, pinch and smack me in the face during feeding, all of which makes it super fun. He likes to twiddle so I either wear my teething necklace or give him the end of my dressing gown cord which he likes.
The positives of breastfeeding
Reading this back there doesn’t seem to be a lot to feel positive about but in general I feel really good about feeding Freddie.
Although he wakes a lot during the night, I don’t have to go downstairs to make up bottles, no sterilising and we can leave the house quicker than if I had to grab bottles and formula.
The bond I have with Freddie is so strong, knowing that I’m his biggest source of comfort to him is enough to keep me going.
The money we must have saved on formula. I’d love to know how much money we’ve saved by not buying formula, new bottles and teats.
Breastfeeding also forces you to rest. As new mums we all rush around trying to fit so much in. Having to sit down and physically rest during feeding I think keeps me going. I’ve never watched so much TV or You Tube, it it’s lovely having the time to cuddle Freddie during feeding.
Most importantly is that Freddie wanted this. When we stopped when I became ill, I thought that was it but Freddie had other ideas and persistently searched for the breast and struggled against the bottle.
Well he got his way and we’re not looking back.
Are you breastfeeding and going back to work? I’d love to know how it’s going.