Name and age of your nursling?
Oliver was 8 months in these pictures. He just turned 10 months on 10/24/14 and we are still breastfeeding strong.
What does breastfeeding mean to you?
Its my time to be with my son and to be able to do what I feel is best for him. I am able to nourish him. He in turn nourishes me by just being able to be with him and watch him grow. Its our time to bond and make memories. Breastfeeding has been one of the ways I have learned to empower myself as a mother and parent. Being a parent is so sacred and breastfeeding is a sacred act I can do every day for my child. I am so happy I can do it for him.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
The first week or so. Adjusting to a new way of life and doing things. Staying hydrated and well fed. Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around it and I have had to learn to be OK with that. The nights where he likes to eat non stop. He has taught me how to have patience, especially the day after a restless night. Growth spurts and me feeling that I am just touched out. Bitting and finally getting teeth. Now that he is aware of whats going on around him and gets distracted easily, he likes to pop on and off a lot. Its a challenge to always find somewhere that is quiet and free of distractions.
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
Its taught me so much. Its taught me to have more patience. Its taught me how to put myself aside. Its been huge in teaching me how to be a mom and that every day is a learning experience. Its taught us how to communicate with each other. I love the extra time I get with Oliver to just be. I love being able to massage his feet and hands, to talk and sing to him, play games with him. I love that I feel like we are a team and a bonded family. I love when he looks up at me and giggles and smiles. I love that it has taught me about Oliver and about myself and how strong we are together. I love being able to watch him grow and change and have this experience with him.
Who (or what) has offered you support in your journey?
My husband and midwives. Our doula during those first few weeks. Our pediatricians have been very supportive. My sister who breastfeed her babes until they were toddlers, set a good example for me to follow. She normalized breastfeeding for me a long time ago. The community I found myself in was so supportive of breastfeeding and helping any way they could to make sure we had a successful journey.
Any other advice for moms who want to breastfeed?
You can do this, it will get easier and its so worth it. You are both learning from each other and sometimes it takes time to do that. Its OK to safely co-sleep if it makes it easier for you. Don’t forget your partner and the relationship. At times I feel that we are often disempowered along our journey into parenthood and as parents. One of the challenges I experience is seeing other moms struggle along the journey and not seek out community or help when they need it. Reach out for support if you need to. There are so many breastfeeding support circles and resources in and around Denver. See a good and recommended lactation consultant if you need to. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than or a failure if it doesn’t work out. There are plenty of other ways to nourish and bond with your baby. Capture the small moments and imprint them into your memories. All the little noises they make, which change so quickly. Remember what their little hands and feet look like. Fall in love with your baby every day. Use this breastfeeding experience to empower yourself as a parent and know your child in ways no one else can.