My Breastfeeding Journey: The Mum Who Wasn't Ready To Wean

Laura Doyle is a mum of four and when her youngest baby unexpectedly self-weaned she was heartbroken. In her own words “The sudden drop in hormones is no joke. Believe me."

Breastfeeding is something I never really gave much thought to, being honest. I had my first child when I was 21 and I couldn’t even think passed how I would get through the night feeds without some help. I didn’t even really acknowledge it. I certainly never expected it to be such a massive part of shaping me as a mum and changing my life, but it did.  

I had my second child 5 years after my first. I had mentioned to my husband that I would “try” breastfeedingafter she was born. After her traumatic labour I was exhausted and felt too tired to try but with a small amount of encouragement from my fantastic husband I gave it a go.  

It sounds dramatic but from the second she latched on I knew that being a mum was my calling in life. I was in awe of this beautiful tiny doll that knew exactly what to do and helped me to learn how to breastfeed her so beautifully. 

Growing up I had anegative imageand relationship with my body. I wasn’t kind to myself and would go as far as to say I hated my body. Breastfeeding is the sole reason why I fell in love with my body again. It grew my four beautiful babies and through breastfeeding three of them, I grew as a person and as a mum with each journey. 

Breastfeeding encouraged me to reach a level of love with myself I never imagined possible. It gave me such an incredible bond with my little ones that I still feel today. I am as much a part of them that they are of me. 

Laura Doyle in hospital with a newborn baby on her chest.
It is an unexplainable thing to do. Full of pure love and joy. But it is for some, not easy

It is an unexplainable thing to do. Full of pure love and joy. But it is for some, not easy. Support is key. Breastfeeding can be challenging but by god is it worth it. I have shivers even typing how much I loved it. The bond you form with that little one is just unbreakable.  

I felt genuinely like my true calling was breastfeeding. It is not only empowering but it made me feel like such a powerful woman and mother to be able to sustain my child with their mommy’s milk and the protection and love that was being given through my heart into theirs with each feed.  

On our last, I intended and hoped to breastfeed her for 2 years, or whenever she self-weaned. To my absolute devastation, she self-weanedat 13 months. I was utterly heartbroken. She was going through some sort of developmental stage where she just no longer required it. I tried for almost two weeks straight to keep her feeding, but it was our time to end despite how lost I now felt.  

The ending of such a positive journey so full of love and warmth is never easy. It is a grievance in some ways. I feared our bond would be different, I feared who I would be if I wasn’t breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and I at this point were so interconnected. I found it difficult to separate the two. I felt a significant loss when Milla self-weaned. The sudden drop in hormones is no joke. Believe me.  

But we soon found our way. I was so anxious that she would not require anything from me- love, affection, reassurance. Looking back perhaps I feared she would not give me the same back. But she was as close to me as ever. Still happy to have me breastfeed her bunny! If you are on the fence about breastfeeding, try it. Even just once - it could just change your life.

Laura Doyle

Mum of four, Gentle parent living on coffee and trying always to stay positive and motivate in the midst of the madness.

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