18 Moms telling their stories with extended breastfeeding
On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week, 360Moms team had made a survey in collaboration with the Facebook group “Breastfeeding in Jordan” and asked nursing and post nursing mothers about the reasons and things that have encouraged them to breastfeed longer!
Many mothers liked the idea and shared their beautiful experiences with us, by revealing the most touching and truest feelings.
We picked for you some of those genuine answers which came from unlimitedly giving hearts.
"My child has helped me to get through this. He did not get sick very much, and I was waiting for him to finish his teething phase because breastfeeding was totally a painkiller for him. I weaned him at the age of 15 months."
"I have to leave my son for very long hours due to my job’s nature, so I feel the need to compensate by nursing him because breastfeeding gives us a very special time to play together and feel the intimacy of being close to each other. When I went back to my job after ending my maternity leave, I was afraid of losing my breastmilk, I started expressing it for the first 3 months, which helped me in maintaining it. I have gone through very difficult circumstances; my father's illness and losing one of my relatives in addition to my child's nipple confusion between the breast and bottle teat.
Everyone is interfering with my decision to continue with breastfeeding him till the age of two. But, I will not be affected by any circumstance or opinion. I will keep doing this. He is just 7 months old now. "
"I have gone through very tough circumstances, and the only thing that was alleviating and making me feel calm and comfort were breastfeeding my daughter."
"My husband has the credit, he kept encouraging me and he was against the formula under any circumstance."
"For me, the time that my daughter had spent away from me in the nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was the biggest motivation for me to make it up for her and compensate for the absence we both faced. Being born as an immature baby, breastfeeding was helping her in getting better and increasing her immunity and decreasing the effects of lack of oxygen she had. The encouraging groups on social media have played an efficient role in keeping me motivated and on the right path as well."
"The hospital I used to go to during my pregnancy check-ups was considered as a child-friendly facility and breastfeeding was very essential from their perspective, therefore, their medical staff used to conduct five-minutes awareness sessions during each visit about breastfeeding and expressing breast milk in addition to how to maintain a healthy nutrition as an expectant and a nursing mother.
I also remember seeing a poster in one of the floors describing the difference between breastfeeding and formulas. The picture stuck with me and it became the reason why I decided to become a nursing mother instead of giving my child any formula.
And that what happened for the first 45 days during my maternity leave, I was able to breastfeed my son successfully. After that, I had to go back to work which had to take place in Ramadan, so I resorted to expressing my milk which I couldn't do more than once a day because of my job conditions.
Therefore, I had to introduce formula milk when he was in the nursery as the pumped milk was not enough. And when the holy month was over I made my decision to cut off the formula milk.
Till now, my son is refusing to nurse, but I won’t give up… I am doing my best to make him accept it again. I am increasing the times that I express, I take care of the food I introduce to my body.
We are progressing but in a slow manner, but this will not demotivate me at all!”
"Following blogger moms' accounts on social media during my pregnancy has played the main role in encouraging me to breastfeed my son, and after giving birth I thought that breastfeeding is way much easier than the unlimited process of boiling and sterilizing milk bottles. I remember my first visit to the pediatrician, he informed me that losing weight in infants is a common thing in their first days, but he was surprised of the increasing weight of my son, he even asked me about the type of formula I usually give! In addition to the beautiful moments and the indescribable feeling of closeness and tenderness. I also felt that I was in a big challenge as the society nowadays and the commercial ads are all encouraging the formula as an alternative."
"I have learned the hard way. My first child was given formula milk and has not taken his needs of breastmilk. His immune system was so weak, he was ill most of the time. Unfortunately, I did not have any experience or knowledge about the importance of breastfeeding.
Therefore, and starting from day one of my pregnancy with my second child, I started my journey in learning more, and the specialized groups and individuals in breastfeeding on social media have given me the support I needed. My child is 14 months now, and we will not stop until he becomes two years old."
"The look I see in my child's eyes while nursing is irreplaceable! Those looks reveal love, security, and unlimited bestowal. I pray I can keep breastfeeding him as long as I can."
"The maternal passion itself. The way you feel when he puts his face over your chest just when you carry him to make him feel secured is more than enough."
"My child made the decision for me, she did not accept the formula. Plus, she always smiled at whenever I put her on my lap to start breastfeeding."
Amina Al Masalha
"I take my son with me and breastfeed him at work."
“ My love for breastfeeding, my husband’s support and infinite determination…”
"I am very grateful that I could breastfeed my baby for 23 months. She helped me with her cuteness in addition to her irresistible looks that were full of innocence at nursing time."
"My body had the capability to produce enough milk, and my children were hooked on breastfeeding. For me, I am so glad that I could give them something special, something unique that is a part of me, and I thank my family and the whole surroundings for supporting me during the time when I was nursing. It is really amazing how a limited period of your life let you contain your child and make him so close to you that you become the only one who can grant him passion, health, and love. This is one of the most beautiful feelings and graces in the world, which I really hope that everyone can experience."
Ru'a Al Ramahi
"My mother was the biggest supporter at the beginning of my maternal journey, I was waiting for my child to finish his 6 months to wean him, but my life has become much easier after passing the first 3 months, in addition to his attachment to me and to be breastfed.
These reasons made me keep nursing for a year. Then I decided to wean him, but he was running through the teething phase and refused to eat or drink anything but my breastmilk, which forced me to continue our beautiful experience till the age of two. Breastfeeding for us is like a magical medicine! for pain, anger, sadness, tiredness, and madness. I am very grateful for this. My son is 15 months now."
"My love to my daughter and to keep her close to me. My beliefs that breastfeeding is one of her rights, and that it is my responsibility to be good to her when she is young, in order to gain goodness from her when I grow old. In addition to my beliefs of the benefits of breastfeeding for both of us. All of these reasons have affected me and encouraged me to keep nursing. Plus, one video I once watched about breastfeeding."
"My husband's support has played a major role in enabling us to continue despite all the challenges I had faced during my breastfeeding journey, even when my baby had to enter the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the medical staff insistence of giving her formula. His motivation helped me not to listen to any misleading advice even from the closest people to me. He even helped me with house chores and taking care of our daughter when my maternity leave had ended.
In addition to my awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and how it is the best and most precious gift that I can give, and that it is a lawful right for her, which made me more than happy for being the reason in obtaining this right."
Eventually, we hope that those words can be a kind of support for every mother who faces everyday-challenges in nursing her child. We want her to know that she is not alone in this phase especially with the increase of awareness among mothers and social media, in addition to the availability of breastfeeding consultants and experts who are always there to offer all the sorts of support a mother need. And remember mama, things will get easier by time, and one day you will look back miss these special moments and you’ll feel grateful for having to go through such amazing experience.
*This article was published in collaboration with the Breastfeeding in Jordan – Facebook Group.