What does breastfeeding mean to you?
I love the quiet time, even in the middle of the night, that we spend together. I usually just stare at her, reflect on our day, marvel at how quickly she is growing and changing, and say a prayer of thanks that I get to be her mother.
Who (or what) has helped you along this journey?
When I started nursing in public, I noticed lots of women make eye contact with me, as if they had been there or are still there with their little ones. I take strength from this, like we're part of a club, and any feelings of weirdness about being exposed (under the cover) in public soon disappear. And as others have mentioned, the lactation consultants at the mama'hood have been wonderfully supportive and instructive.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
Lillian had jaundice in her first few days and was extremely drowsy. I had to wake her to eat and then keep her awake. We used tactics from cold washcloths to flicking her feet to try and motivate her to keep eating. When the bilirubin levels subsided and her appetite returned, it was a huge relief!
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
Giving birth and breastfeeding have both given me tremendous respect for my body. I am proud that I can nourish another human being. It's a responsibility that I treasure.
Any advice for moms who want to breastfeed?
Find a convenient support group while you are still pregnant. Surround yourself with other mamas who have been there. And something I had to learn slowly for myself...nipples heal fastest when they are out in the air! So let it all hang out!