What does breastfeeding mean to you?
To be simple, blunt and to the point breast feeding is part of my job. God designed me to be able to care for, nurture, love and FEED my child with nothing more than the love in my heart and the body he gave me. Breast feeding is simply part of motherhood for me. There is no shame, no hiding, no embarrassment, and no resentment in this task to me. It is simply what I was designed to do for my babies.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
My biggest struggle has been trusting my body will do what it needs to do. With my first daughter I was stressed and worried every time she had a growth spurt or seemed to want to nurse more often than normal. 'Do I have enough milk?!' 'Is she starving?!' 'What can I do to up my milk supply?!' Even though diaper counts and my happy little girl told me day in and out that she was perfectly fine and getting enough to eat I still had a hard time trusting that my body was making the perfect amount of milk for her. The worried are normal but I have learned with my second daughter that relaxing and trusting my body know what it is doing makes the entire experience much less stressful and more enjoyable.
What do you love most about breast feeding?
There are SO many things I absolutely love about breast feeding but the snuggles and the closeness are by far my favorite! Yes we nurse in a hurry or on the go more times than I can count but there is something SO special about bringing your sweet little baby to your breast and snuggling them so tight while they nurse and relax and finally drift off to sleep all in the comfort of your arms. The way they look at you and watch you with their loving trusting eyes as you nourish their physical and emotional needs is a moment that will fill my heart forever! I wouldn't trade a single nursing session for anything!
Who has offered you the most support?
I was fortunate enough to have breast feeding come very naturally to me. From the way I held my babies to the way they latched and my attitude towards nursing everything just seemed to fall right into place. I was blessed with an abundant milk supply and good little eaters and therefore personally I didn't need a ton of support. It helped that both my mom and my mother in law nursed all of their children so it wasn't strange or negative to anyone in the family it was just part of having a baby.
What advice would you offer moms who want to embark on this journey?
DONT GIVE UP!
It is as simple as that! I tell other mamas YES it is hard, YES it is tiring, YES it hurts. BUT that will all go away if you can just hold on! I feel like there is a belief out there among new moms that if breast feeding hurts or is stressful or tiring that something is wrong or they aren't making enough milk or breast feeding just isn't meant for them and yes there are I some people who have true issues but the vast majority or women can breast feed just fine if they would just stick out the tough part. My nipples hurt SO bad for the first couple months with my first baby but I promise it did get better and we successfully nursed for 18 months (I dried up due to being 20+ weeks pregnant with my second at this point) a newborns belly is so tiny and even though you think they aren't getting much they are getting the nutrition they need! Breast feeding is 90% mental and 10% your body so overcome your mental hurdles and than enjoy the months or years of sweet moments and incredible bonding with your baby!