What does Breastfeeding mean to you?
For me it is just what my body was meant to do. I nourished my children when they were inside of me and I feel very blessed to be able to continue to do so after they are born. Also it's something that only I can provide them. I know it's selfish, but I like that they rely on me alone for that. I love that there is a certain level of comfort that only I can provide and that it is effective in almost any situation. I love having my children all to myself, curled up in my arms.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
The actual act of breastfeeding has always been very easy for my children and myself. The biggest challenge is actually stopping. Given the option, my daughter would still nurse all day every day. As proud as I am to nurse my kids, past the age of 1 I found that I started to feel like it was something I needed to hide. Now that she is 2, not even her doctor knows she still nurses because I am afraid of what people will think. It is tiresome to nurse both a toddler and an infant, but my daughter is not ready to wean. She is so advanced in so many ways, I feel like she is older then her years. Nursing is one of the last pieces of her early childhood that she has and I am not willing to take that away from her altogether. But physically and emotionally, the slow process of weaning is hard on both of us.
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
I successfully nursed while going back to work, through pregnancy, and now I nurse 2 children at the same time. In our culture, I feel like that is something not a lot of women do and I love that I am able to provide that for my children. I love the bond that I have with them, and them with each other from nursing together.
Who (or what) has offered you the most support?
My husband has always been very supportive of my nursing our children. I think I never notice if people are offended when I nurse our son in public uncovered because it is so accepted in our home that it doesn't cross my mind. Even now, though I know he would like for my daughter to have been weaned quite some time ago, he rarely mentions it because he knows how important it is to me to allow that relationship to run it's course.
Any advice for other mothers who want to breastfeed?
It is not always as hard as you hear it is. It is also not as easy. As with most things, you will never know what you will need to face until you try. Remember that the only people who matter are you and your children. If you focus on that, all the rest will fade into the background.