What does breastfeeding mean to you?
Breastfeeding has meant more to me than I ever thought it would. I had it in my mind that it was simply just a time of feeding, until I had my son and a whole new relationship blossomed that I never expected. It became way deeper than just a feeding time, it became a special place for both and me and my son. A place where all worries could melt away in one quick latch, a place where fear no longer existed in my son's eyes. Breastfeeding is the strongest bong possible between a mama and her baby, and the surest way to provide the most basic, yet most crucial needs for her baby.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
The biggest challenge was overcoming recurring mastitis. I battled mastitis 8 times, and each time took a really hard hit on me physically and drained me emotionally. I had it 6 times before my son even turned 4 months, and I was about ready to give up because I could not take getting sick anymore. Everyone around me was telling me to stop breast feeding, but I was determined to make it to 6 months at least. We discovered my son had a tongue tie which could have been creating latching issues even though it appeared he was latching correctly. Once we got that re-visioned TWICE, our breastfeeding relationship was saved. Now here I am still going strong at 13.5 months!
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
The bond it creates between my son and I and the way he just melts when he latches. He knows that he can find safety though breast feeding. I always LOVE how my body can provide the full nourishment a baby needs for even up to a year without any other nutrition. Watching my son thrive on my milk alone brought me to amazement, and it changed the way I view and love my body forever.
Who (or what) offers you support?
My husband has been my biggest support. He is the one that really cheered me on to make it to a year breastfeeding, then cheered me on further when we met that mark. He helped me through the most challenging times and not once told me to just give up. Also, finding other mama groups and breastfeeding support groups helped me realized that some of my problems were "normal" and they can be overcome. It was nice to know I was not alone.