Lansinoh Stars No. 3

Our Lansinoh Stars No.3 are Anoesjka and her 22 month old Luca who are still breastfeeding and have overcome hurdles such as jaundice and nipple confusion.

Despite many hurdles Anoejeska has continued along her breastfeeding journey with Luca and is still going strong at 22 months as for her there is no other milk better than breast and no other option!

Here is Anoesjka's story:

My husband and I decided that our baby will one day be breatsfed even before we were even pregnant. I educated myself very well about facts and myths. I learned to love a La Leche League leader and had her on speed dial from day 1.

My son was born at 40 weeks 2 days weighing in at 9lb 6oz. I made sure I laboured at a pro-breastfeeding hospital and the nurses were awesome! He latched perfectly from the start and I was estatic! From factual information gathered, we decided to wake Luca every 2 hours to feed. This wasn't always easy as he was really sleepy because of jaundice. Me and him had to learn to breastfeed, although it's natural and normal, it's still a skill that needs to be mastered.

Unfortunately I gave my son a dummy 2 hours after birth (because I thought it was cute - ignorance!) and he was terribly nipple-confused by day 3. But we were perservered. Not breastfeeding was just not an option for me. We expressed colostrum by hand 2-hourly and spoon-fed him. Offering breast repeatedly. Out of desperation I started using nipple shields and he took to it instantly. I knew this wasn't ideal, as his saliva needed to go into my milkducts to make the perfect milk for my newborn. But I sort of had him on the breast and close to me and he was getting breastmilk.
On day 5 my son was admitted for jaundice, the hospital let me feed him 2-hourly - if they didn't I would've fought for it. And now and again I took the shield off and put as much breast as possible in his mouth and he latched! Joyful tears!

I'm an attachment parent, which means Luca's needs are being looked after 100%, he always comes first. No clock watching for feeds, no timing feeds, just giving him breast whenever he wanted it - which was constant! We also bed-share as it's very convenient for feedings. His every need is fulfilled through breastfeeding and I still cherish that today. Whether he is hot, cold, scared, excited, over-stimulated, thirsty, hungry, tired, a feed cures it all.

At 6 weeks he refused the left breast, my La Leche League leader recommended chiropractics. 8 sessions sorted out his restricted pelvis, back and neck and he fed like a champ.

At 3 months old my maternity leave was over. I expressed once a day from 6 weeks old to build up stock and I still express for him every week day currently. My son had to take bottle and he refused. I remember coming home to a very weak, very traumatized, very young baby - hungry and tired. Going 8hours without milk. My mother was exhausted as she LITERALLY tried everything. This time for us was a nightmare. Somehow, someway, he started sucking the bottle just before he turned 4 months. We rejoiced! It was bittersweet - my son needed milk but if I could have it my way, he would've only had breast.
Today he switches between cup, bottle, sippy cup, breast like a champ.

He's had 2 operations and a broken leg in his short life and those were the times I was most greatful for breastfeeding.
Luca never refuses breast, he does however refuse food when he's sick - so breast then comes in quite handy too.

 I've  spent months at La Leche League meetings, I've made friends with random breastfeeding mums. I respect every breastfeeding mum, as i know we're not lucky to breastfeed, we are determined to breastfeed. Which takes hard work, growth spurts, sleepless nights, perseverance, snotty comments. Breastfeeding is a desicion, come hell or high water, whatever it takes, to continue and not give up. Because 1 bad day doesn't define a breastfeeding journey. I'm a proud non-cover up feeder, I'm a public feeder, I have a breastfeeding toddler and I'm not stopping in the near future.

The most important thing about breastfeeding is support. Seek it. I have an activist husband. My mother and sister-in-law are of wonderful support. My La Leche League leader is still on speeddial.

My feeding times with Luca can't be compared to anything else that I spent time on with him. I treasure our feedings with my whole heart as I know someday this will be over.