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Mummy, I need your 'pookie'

It’s World Breastfeeding Week from August 1st to August 7th 2013 and this year’s theme is Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers. You can read more about it on The focus is on community support, particularly in the form of peer-to-peer support.
To show support for World Breastfeeding Week, the Irish Parenting Bloggers group is holding a blog march about varied breastfeeding experiences, including experiences with breastfeeding support in Ireland. This inspired me to write a post about breastfeeding as well.

My breast feeding journey

When I was pregnant with my first child, I decided that it would be a great idea to combine breast- and bottle feeding.
But in the hospital they convinced me how healthy and important it was to breastfeed exclusively and then I decided to go that road.
I got a breast pump to express milk so my baby could get a bottle with breast milk when I was out and about or for the scarce times that I would leave her in the care of her dad.  I ended up not using a bottle a lot. The baby didn’t like drinking from the bottle, even though it was the same milk. So when she had to be fed when we were out, I’d just look for a quiet place with a bench and fed her there.
In the hospital where I stayed five days because of a c-section, they decided to give my baby a bottle once because she was crying so much and feeding a lot (which led to painful nipples) and they wanted to make sure that she wasn’t crying because she was hungry. I learned from that time that babies sometimes just like to suck a lot and I gave my baby a soother to ‘solve that problem’ and that seemed to keep her happy in between feeds.
But after that bottle in the hospital she was only fed with breast milk until she was ready for solids. But even then, the breastfeeding continued. I never really tried a bottle with formula with her because she also had a milk allergy and even though there is special formula for babies with milk allergies, I ended up not giving her a bottle because she didn’t like to drink from bottles anyway. Those bottles with special milk would also have been very expensive.
She drank ‘mummy milk’ until she was almost four years old.
I had to make her stop since I was expecting her baby sister and I never forgot what I was told in the hospital when I was about to lose a baby through miscarriage, that it was quite hard for your body to be pregnant and nursing a baby at the same time.
I didn’t know if there was any truth in those words but when I got pregnant again after the miscarriage I decided it was time to make her stop. She loved the idea of having a baby sister and even though she loved ‘mummy milk’, it helped when I explained that mummy’s milk was going to be for the new baby now.
I found it much easier to say no now and little by little she managed to give it up.
Ofcourse, it was a bit emotional to me because I always saw it as a very special thing to give to your child. And I would’ve loved her to stop out of herself and now I had to make her stop but I had to keep the new baby in mind.

My next baby was also breastfed exclusively for 6 months. After she was born I quickly got a lot of breast milk and it started to hurt quite a lot and I didn’t feel really well. So I bought a breast pump and a few breast milk bags and started to express the extra milk. I made a lot of bags and froze them in to be used when I would be out and leaving her home with my mother or her dad. This seemed to help the problem of engorgement. She ended up drinking mummy milk for 15 months and I had to make her stop for the same reason as I did her sister. I was pregnant with baby no 3. In her case it was a bit harder and since she didn’t like to drink from bottles (even though she had had to when I went back to work for 4 full days when she was 7 months), I had to give her yoghurt instead to wean her off. Apparently breast milk has a sweet taste which bottle milk doesn’t have. So even though I would not recommend it to anyone we started to add some sugar to the milk and that helped her to start liking the bottle and how we got her to drinking bottle milk without any problems.
It made me quite emotional that I had to stop breastfeeding her but wanted to be sure that the baby growing in me would be alright. It also didn’t feel the same to have her drink. It didn’t feel so comfortable as before, probably because of the pregnancy.
But even later –when the baby was already born- I regretted that I had to stop because she still seemed to need it and there were times when she was a bit older where she asked about it, but I sadly had to decide that it wouldn’t be a good idea to start again. I also didn’t like the idea of nursing two children at the same time.

Baby number 3 was breastfed exclusively for 6 months as well. And when she was older she sometimes got a bottle with cerelac added with milk and water and some sugar like her older sister was drinking as well.
She is almost 2,5 years old now and still wants to drink ‘mummy milk’, even though she also sometimes likes ‘a bottle’ (a beaker with the above contents) when I’m busy or not around but she seldom finishes it completely.
My goal was to at least let her breastfeed till she was two years old but she doesn’t seem to get enough of it, so no telling when we will stop, even though I try not to let her drink mummy milk too often.

If it was up to her, she would drink almost all the time and that’s just too much for me so I sometimes have to say No, even though it makes me sad when that makes her sad. But I know that she has other food and drinks to help her grow and stay healthy and that she is not depending on my milk to stay alive and grow so she should be fine.

And she knows that I love her and that a lot of time she still gets to have ‘pookie’. She sometimes says : ‘mummy I need your pookie.’(I don't know where she got that word from.) Or she says ;'mummy, I like your pookie'. She is also learning to say ‘please’ now and one day she asked ‘Can I have pookie please? ‘So how to say No to that?
I might try to wean her off when she is turning three if she hasn’t stopped yet. But we’ll see.

Nevaeh drinking in the bus
My thoughts about breastfeeding

I love the idea how God has created our bodies; that our bodies produce food that can help our children stay alive and grow for 6 months. That for 6 months those tiny creatures are depending on this milk. How beautiful is that ?
I also love the bonding expect of it and how special it is to give that to your baby.
It feels great for them to be so close to you and it so comforting to them.

Breast feeding is also cheaper, healthier, easier and quicker to have ready. It is very natural to breastfeed. Our bodies are created to be able to nurse a baby.

I would definitely recommend giving breast feeding a try.
Even though it can be difficult when dealing with sore nipples, engorging or public feeding, I believe that the benefits certainly outweigh the disadvantages.

That said, ultimately it’s up to the mother to choose which way of feeding suits her and her newborn baby the best.
Bottle feeding might not have certain benefits that breast feeding has, but ultimately it also helps to keep our babies alive and to make them grow and it can have certain advantages which might lead to a mother making the choice to bottle feed.

For those mothers choosing to breastfeed; don’t give up easily. Even if your start might not be as smooth as you expected, it will get better. (most of the time)
There are different possibilities for support in Ireland to help you in your breastfeeding journey for instance breastfeeding support groups which you can find on

And if it doesn’t get better, I’m sure that you will be happy that you at least tried.

Are you breastfeeding your child or are you planning to? What are your thoughts or experiences regarding breast feeding? Where did you find support?

I’d love to hear from you.

This is the total list of blog posts written by bloggers from the Irish Parenting Bloggers Group.


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