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Breast is still best for now; New Mum.


ARE you still breastfeeding?

It's a question I'm asked periodically by people who generally think they already know the answer.

To be fair, they're undoubtedly remembering the trials and tribulations of my early attempts to provide sufficient nourishment for my ever-hungry newborn.

"I'm determined to make it until six weeks," I recall telling Wayne, at a time when even that sounded like a pretty tall order.

When that particular milestone came - and went - I vowed to stick with it until Eleanor Elizabeth was two months old, then three, then six...

Eventually the pair of us reached that milestone too and I couldn't get out of my head those posters listing the many and varied benefits of breastfeeding for both mum and baby during those early weeks and months - and well beyond.

Of course, by then Ellie and I had got it cracked.

Largely due to the three square meals she was also tucking into each day, her demands had lessened to such an extent that my supply finally seemed more than capable of meeting them.

Perhaps even more significantly, we were both so used to the drill that Ellie was happy to quench her thirst anywhere and everywhere, and I was happy to let her.

It always saddens me when I hear about women who have experienced negative reactions to breastfeeding in public.

Ten months on, I'm still feeding Ellie myself twice daily and I've let her latch on everywhere from cafes and restaurants to playgroups, the park, the public library and even the odd church pew.

I don't feel I've made an exhibition of Ellie and myself, but neither have I tried to hide the two of us away.

No-one's ever complained and I've been happily unaware of any tuts of disapproval.

How long am I planning to continue? These days I've stopped setting myself targets and we're simply taking it one day at a time.

But one thing I know for certain, when the time comes to button up my blouse and offer Ellie a beaker of milk instead, as sure as breast is best, we're both going to miss it.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 14, 2006
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