What does Breastfeeding mean to you?
Breastfeeding has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. I am in awe every time I feed my baby that this milk my body custom creates at each feeding several times a day will nourish, sustain and feed my baby, both physically and emotionally. I get to give him that. I love that I have to stop whatever I am doing and sit with my baby to breastfeed him. Watch him eat, grow, share space and bond with him. It is something only I can give him.
It’s our time.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
With each one of my babies I had a new/different challenge to overcome. My oldest breastfeed till she was 2 1/2 and I had an emotionally hard time separating and ending breastfeeding with her. I was ready to stop but she was not. We had to find other things to bond over and do together to get us through it. My second baby was so easy going and laid back that it would take him a while to breastfeed and I felt like at the time with an older one, that I had other stuff to get done. I had to change the way I looked at it realizing we both needed that extra time together. My third child breastfeed until almost 2 years old. I became pregnant with my fourth child and continued to breastfeed into my second trimester. At that point a felt like I needed to stop breastfeeding her to maintain my health and the health of the baby and stay mentally sound with three older kids. She was not ready and it was a hard transition. We made it through with toddler wearing and special time for just the two of us. Isaac is my forth baby and like all the others took right to the breast and it has been an easy process for me. But I do think that when we are ready to move on to the next chapter without breastfeeding, my challenge will be having breastfeed my last baby! Bittersweet.
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
I love the quite, snuggly, clam, relaxed time together. Peaceful and sweet. And when the breastfeeding baby looks up at me and smiles.
Who (or what) has offered you the most support?
I think in the beginning before any babies were born- my doula. She introduced me to Bradley Natural Child Birth and Breastfeeding. Helped me in the first days home with how & when to breastfeed. My Bradley Instructor, my mother-in-law. Friends that where breastfeeding mamas too!
But most of all my husband. I have never felt like my choice to breastfeed our children has ever been an issue with him and he has stood up for me and cheered for me. Lovingly cared for me and did what needed to be done when I couldn’t do it because I was feeding a baby.
Any advice for other mothers who want to breastfeed?
Love yourself and your baby no matter how breastfeeding ends up for you. Get informed/educated. La Leche League International local meetings and their book is a great start. Find other breastfeeding moms. Don’t give up every mama and every baby is different so breastfeeding will be that way too. Thanks for loving your body and your baby.