I've been breastfeeding Ammarah since she was born now and am proud to say mashaAllah I'm still going strong. So much so that I am dreading the weaning off stage. What kept me going for so long you're possibly wondering? Well it was the encouragement I got from family and friends around me. In fact, at the very early stages, just when I thought this was proving to be far too painful and difficult for me, my sister called and encouraged me. All I remember her saying was, It gets better and easier! And alhamdulillah she was right! So here I am to tell the tale :) So to all the new mamas out there, trying so very hard in the early stages of breastfeeding, don't give up - here's a few extra reasons below straight from the NHS website:
In fact since I've met a few other mamas, I've started to believe that breastfeeding is back in fashion now :) When I struggled to decide how long I could go on for, after so badly wanting to fast last Ramadaan, I met mamas who breastfed each of their children the 2 whole years - one particular mother had 3 children - So 6 years of breastfeeding! I thrived on such encouragement, as if Allah was sending my signs to help me make my decisions. After all the anxiety about weaning Ammarah off before Ramadaan, I actually found it difficult. But Allah swt heard my dua and allowed me to complete all my fasts and continue breastfeeding Ammarah throughout last Ramadaan. They were certainly some of the longest fasts I ever kept and only Allah knows how I managed - the power of dua is amazing!
At 14 months, I now breastfeed Ammarah 3 times a day maximum and have only just purchased my first breastfeeding apron - well it's better late than never. It's really handy so I would really recommend buying it right from the beginning so your baby gets used to it and doesn't start thinking you're playing a peek-a-boo game!
So my top tips if you're taking breastfeeding all the way to the finish line:
1. Invest in the breastfeeding apron - its good coverage, airy, light weight and doesn't allow your baby to get too hot - it's about £7 on eBay.
2. Invest in a new wardrobe of button down, zip down, wrap style tops or dresses. For those who wear them, you may also want to consider the same for the abayas too
3. You may as well invest in a breast pump (electric double ones seem to work best) especially if you plan to go back to work or everything starts to become painful, it's a great way to take a break to heal up.
4. Drink plenty of water. Drink plenty of water. Drink plenty of water. It was necessary to say this 3 times. :)
5. Find mamas who also breastfeed, just nice having others encourage you along the way alhamdulillah.
And for the little experience I did have of sterilising baby bottles, I would definitely rather breastfeed!