My name is Juliana, I am 37 years old, I am Brazilian and I have been living in New Zealand for 3 ½ years. I have 2 children, two boys, the oldest, Theo, is 12 years old and the youngest, Ben, is 18 months old.
When Theo was born, I was 26 years old and although I had become a mother, I was inexperienced. I was afraid of not being able to breastfeed, I had no guidance from any professionals but I read a lot about it. Despite having suffered at the beginning of the process, feeling pain, having my nipples injured, I did not give up because I knew that the connection between us would be even greater. I started to love breastfeeding; besides the bond with him, it was super practical to have the food there, easily, wherever we went. I breastfed exclusively for 6 months, then I went back to work and the milk dried up when he was eight months old, I no longer had any milk.
With Ben, it was different. I had an initial orientation from the midwife, then the Plunket nurse too, but I already had Theo’s experience, so I thought it would be easier. In a way it was, as far as pain and injury was concerned – with Ben it didn’t happen. However, everything has been quite different, much more intense, since the pregnancy itself. The whole process of breastfeeding, with him, has been much more tiring. He, like Theo, exclusively breastfed until the sixth month. After the introduction of food, I thought that the rhythm would naturally decrease, but I was wrong! He continued to breastfeed a lot, especially during the night, up to 16 months, so he slept in my bed with me and my husband. Because of this, I was feeling exhausted, I woke up very tired from the bad sleep, stressed, and sometimes impatient. Until I decided to stop overnight feeds. I suffered for four days, I cried a lot listening to him cry, screaming for his chest, but even though I was suffering, I got over it and managed to not only stop the night feeding but also to get him to sleep in his crib, in his room. Today he still feeds a few times during the day. At times, I feel tired of this routine. But, in some moments, while he suckles, I look at him and I feel how big and important this bond is, this connection, I feel his affection and it’s so rewarding.
Breastfeeding is LIFE! Thanks for this opportunity!