The Last Feed

Motherhood is a rollercoaster of emotions and like so many aspects of parenting, breastfeeding had its own ups and downs. There were many times that I felt like quitting.

I felt like quitting before I’d even begun! I felt like quitting when reflux made all my efforts seem pointless. I felt like quitting during cluster feeds. I felt like quitting when he got fidgety and curious. I felt like quitting after a year of night feeds. I felt like quitting when people told me he was too old. I felt like quitting when I wanted just 5 minutes peace. I felt like quitting when I was suffering with morning sickness during my second pregnancy.


“Don’t quit on a bad day”. 

That's what a friend told me and I am glad I listened to them.

We got through our early issues. Breastmilk made the reflux easier for him. The growth spurts, the fidgeting, the night feeds – they would have still happened even if I was formula feeding. People would have just found something else to pass judgement on. I wouldn’t have had any extra peace with bottle feeding. Breastfeeding was a good distraction from the morning sickness.

Eventually though, my sweet boy decided it was time to stop. He asked for milk less often. He dropped his feeds until he was only having milk in the morning, at naptime and at bedtime. Then he dropped his bedtime feed and instead he fell asleep with cuddles. Soon he dropped his morning feed, and instead he demanded breakfast upon waking. All that was left was his naptime feed. Our special milky cuddles were reduced to once a day.

Any day now could be the last feed.

He was 19 months old and I was 5 months pregnant. He started falling asleep at naptime without any milk. He’d lay down and hold me while he drifted off. He’d feed one day but not the next. I cherished each feed because I knew that I was on borrowed time.

When the day came I just knew. I stroked his soft hair as he nursed and drifted off to sleep. I knew it was our last feed and I felt so sad. I don’t know how I knew; just call it mother’s instinct. As he lay asleep next to me, holding on to my dress, I took a photo of us. It’s the picture above. I knew he wasn’t going to ask for milk ever again and I wanted to hold on to that moment. A bittersweet moment. It was the last time.

The last feed.


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Following on from my journey, please do hop over to Run Jump Scrap to see how her journey ended and be in with more chances to enter the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Keeping Britain Breastfeeding website. UK residents only.
 
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40 comments

  1. That's so lovely. I'm so jealous you have a photo of your last feed. It's a beautiful one x

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  2. Unfortunately with my first I only fed her for 2 weeks, but am 30 weeks pregnant now with my second and determined to make it work this time. So hopefully that final feed will be a lot later on x

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    1. 2 weeks is still 2 weeks of amazing milk, be proud x

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  3. Mine was sad, I fed twins and that in itself was pretty tricky, but managed for 5 and a half months. I so wanted to be a Mum who fed for quite a long period, but proud I did that far even with a mastitis attack and Drs saying give up. Final feed for two a bit sad, wistful but proud.

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    1. Wow feeding twins is something pretty special, you did fantastically well especially with mastitis (ouch) x

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  4. I am still breastfeeding my 18 month old.

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  5. at 6 months before I returned to work

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  6. This is such a beautiful post, and although sad that you've reached the end I think you've done so amazingly! Our breastfeeding journey never really began due to a severe tongue tie, and I do think I would enjoy that close bond breastfeeding gives - maybe if we have another things will be different! xx

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    1. Thank you Chantal! Aww bless you tongue tie can be tricky to get dealt with in some areas of the UK :( x

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  7. Still going at 4 years 5 months, so no final feed yet.

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  8. Awwww your post made me tear up - I am already so emotional about Boo's last feed and she is still feeding twice a day. I hope we have a few more months left before our final feed at least (she is 20 months old next week). I hope the end to our journey is gentle like yours was.

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  9. wow!! you fed him until he is 19 months old and you have a picture of last feed. absolutely amazing.
    I'm pregnant with Twins and they due on Christmas day. im so very excited! cant wait to meet them and breastfeed my babies. and im sorry but im going steel your idea and take a picture of first feed and last feed of my babies. xx

    Thank you SO much for pro breastfeeding articles. they definitely boost my confident and I really enjoyed reading them. #NationalBreastfeedingWeek xx

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    1. Thanks Niru, I hope all is going well with the twins x

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  10. I haven't finished yet but my boy is 18 months :)

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  11. This is such a lovely post. Well done on feeding for so long, I only lasted two weeks :(

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    1. Thank you Leanne - two weeks is wonderful x

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  12. 13th December 2015. Our final feed. I knew it was coming. Similarly to you actually. Jaxon started going down at bedtime without a feed. We tried whole milk once or twice just in case it was me rather than him. He'd sometimes have milk during the day then that stopped too and then we were down to morning drink and instead we changed our morning system and he stopped completely. That was it. 17 and a half months. He's now 20 months and a ball full of energy.

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    1. Aww he sounds an absolute joy! It's nice when it ends on their terms but still sad x

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  13. Aww what a lovely post. I love that you have a picture of the last feed. There has been a few occasions where Clem has fallen asleep just holding my hand and I always think it might be the end but then the next day she wants it again.x

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    1. I was so lucky to have got this photo. It's funny how their feeding habits change as they get older! x

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  14. I have another idea, which I wanted to share here. just apply any sour thing on nipple it also tested way to stop breastfeeding.

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    1. I've heard of that tip before, someone told me vinegar x

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  15. I'm sobbing my heart out. What a beautiful article. Well done for 19 months and pregnant... I'm feeding my 19-month as I type and it really resonates. X

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    1. Awwww hugs to you Rebecca! x

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  16. This actually bought a tear to my eye to read! I've been breastfeeding for six months so far and it's one of the toughest yet most wonderful things I've ever done. xx

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    1. Well done Megan! 6 months is amazing especially if you have found it tough so far x

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  17. Ah what a lovely, bittersweet post and picture. My LO is 13 months now and I am ready to stop breastfeeding, he is SO not. I know when they get to this age though it can fizzle out quite quickly.

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    1. It can change quite quickly at this age for some toddlers, I imagine it must be hard if you want to stop but he's not ready. Might be worth speaking to one of the ladies at the National Breastfeeding Helpline , just to chat about where to go from here?x

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  18. I'm nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey after almost a year. Bedtimes are all we do now and I'm feeling a mixture of emotions about it! I regret not taking pictures of me feeding more often so will be sure to get a picture of the last one. ❤️

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    1. I very rarely took any photos of me feeding, it was amazing that I got this one and then that was it. Definitely take a few more, especially if you think you're near the end. It can be sooo emotional when the end comes, so I am sending you lots of hugs x

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  19. This is so lovely. I didn't really know that the last feed was the last feed either. After fourteen months, we slowly wound down and then one day she just wasn't interested at all and that was that. I don't think I was prepared for it even though I knew it was coming. It's such an emotional time. You've written a lovely piece. xx

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  20. Aw this tugs at the heart strings. My little girl just turned one and even though we still breastfeed a couple times a day I often wonder when the time will come. It goes all too quickly! Chloe

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  21. Congrats on making it to 19 months. It's great you knew when your last feed was. I didn't know when it was mine, he was 2.5. My daughter is still going now at 22 months and I reckon she's a long time in her yet!

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  22. I've been feeding for ten and a half months. I am dreading that last feed :( Ive strauggled the past few months so I've a feeling it will be soon! <3

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