One of many reasons why I love breastfeeding

In all the avid weather-forecast checking and essential supplies packing on Friday before we went away for the weekend, and then the not-so-anti-climax of the snow, I almost forgot to write a quick post on the experience we had at the end of last week at the doctors surgery.

Andrew was due his MMR jab and two boosters of those he had as a baby, so we had an appointment with the nurse – lovely lady, and such a shame that all the littluns must leave thinking she’s just the meanie who sticks needles into their thighs. We toddled into her room, Andrew looking round at all the fascinating equipment. Whilst she and I talked about the injections, like what to expect afterwards, and whether he was allergic to egg (one of the vaccines is cultivated in egg apparently), he managed to open a cupboard labelled ‘Diabetes’ – well, fair game, it didn’t have a catch on it like at home! I quickly whisked him away before he grabbed any needles himself.

Then came the hard part. Andrew smiled a the nurse just before she did the mean thing, and his smile quickly turned into a cry. ‘That hurt!! How dare she stick something painful into me!’ I saw written across his little red face. But I knew I had something up my sleeve (or rather up my jumper) that would calm him down. When he saw that a nipple was on offer, he lunged towards it, latched on, and sucked hard, occasionally letting out a little whimper but soon got back to sucking. It worked so well, and it was so good to see him instantly much happier after that initial cry. The nurse looked glad too, so much so that by the third (and final) injection, she let him just carry on sucking from the previous one while she actually injected.

This experience reminded me of a very good reason why I’ve continued to breastfeed. Given all the problems we had in the first months of Andrew’s life (if you haven’t read our story, see here), I really didn’t think that I’d still be feeding him mummy milk at these vaccinations when he had his first lots back at 8, 12 and 16 weeks (I think that’s what they were…. he was little at least, I know that much). It’s not just jabs that this mummy tool comes in handy – it’s also great for calming him down after any knock or bump that upsets him, which is starting to happen more often now that he’s walking (still a bit wobbly). I guess my main point in all of this is that breastfeeding for us is not (and never has been) focused on ‘food’ in a calorific sense, but rather on the comfort and bonding that we both get out of it. And I’m pretty sure Andrew would agree with me.

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