Breastfeeding isn’t for every mum. Some hate it. Some put up with it. Some simply find it a natural part of postpartum life. And some love it so much they just don’t want to give it up.
One mum who isn’t looking forward to the day her 14-month-old child stops breastfeeding is Mallory Bourn, who says she can’t bear the thought of being without the “powerful connection” it brings.
The Bourn Sisters blogger from London told MailOnline she feels “emotionally attached” to breastfeeding her daughter Blythe twice a day and feels “jealous” when Blythe feeds from a bottle.
“Breastfeeding, for me, has been an amazing experience,” said Mallory, who lives with her partner, Joe. “I think I am addicted to the attachment and the closeness it brings, that powerful connection. When I think about stopping, I feel really sad. I’m so attached to it and can’t imagine my day without those feeds — although I never expected to feel the way I do.”
Although Mallory’s breastfeeding journey hasn’t been without its problems — in the first week as a new mum, she was frequently sobbing and screaming in pain with her nipples raw and bleeding — she says “there is something so sacred about breastfeeding that I don’t think you can understand until you are a breastfeeding mum, and I am just not quite ready for it to be over yet.”
Mallory revealed that Blythe refused to feed from a bottle until she was 10 months old, but she now “can’t help feeling a little jealous and replaced” when she does.
Mallory isn’t the only mum to react to breastfeeding in this way. In 2013, Penélope Cruz told Allure magazine that she found nursing “addictive,” saying, “It’s hard when the day comes when you have to stop.”
I breastfed both my babies — the first for six months and the second for just over a year. While I wouldn’t refer to it as “addictive” (exhausting is probably the first word that springs to mind), I can definitely relate to the feeling of loss when you stop. For me, it was both a huge challenge and a pleasure to breastfeed my babies, one that first-time mums are seldom prepared for. It was all-consuming, and over time, it became such a natural part of my daily (and nightly) life that when it stopped, it was a little unsettling.
According to the NHS, breastfeeding gives babies the healthiest start in life and lowers the risks of stomach bugs, chest and ear infections, constipation and obesity. The NHS recommends that babies are fed exclusively on their mother’s milk until six months of age.