Name and Age of your Nursling
Our little boy’s name is Aiden and he is nearly 20 months old.
What does breastfeeding mean to you?
To me breastfeeding means providing the best start to life for your child. This has many meanings as well – both physically, mentally and emotionally. Physically, my milk is designed as the perfect nourishment for Aiden’s body. The composition of it is meets his nutritional needs, provides antibodies for a healthy immune system and lowers my risk for certain cancers and postpartum depression.
Mentally and emotionally, it provided Aiden and I with a bond over the past 20 months that nothing else could substitute. We have spent countless hours nursing since the beginning of his life and during this, the world is able to pause and we are able to take a time out and just be with each other. I love looking into his eyes that are instantly calmed when he is nursing and know there is no where else he would rather be. During times when Aiden was sick, fussy, teething, tired, unhappy, unsettled or any other array of turmoil, I know that nursing him will help whatever we are facing.
I know these times are not going to last forever and in the scheme of life, it’s only for a blink of an eye, even for those mom’s that practice extended breastfeeding, so I treasure the fact that we had a relatively uncomplicated breastfeeding relationship and it did for us what it promises to do for all moms and babies.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
We have been extremely lucky to have such an easy time with breastfeeding. I would say the biggest challenge was in the beginning when we were both learning how to breastfeed efficiently. I was in pain for several weeks and it was uncomfortable. I knew I had to just get past these little barriers and it would get better. I sought out help from a local lactation consultant and went to a few breastfeeding support groups to meet other moms in the same boat and reassure myself that Aiden was gaining weight and we were succeeding. In the beginning, there are so many questions. I was worried that Aiden wasn’t gaining enough weight, he wasn’t getting enough, he was hungry still, etc. but as time went on, I gained more confidence in myself and from then on, it’s been smooth sailing.
Who (or what) has offered you support in your journey?
As I mentioned earlier, the best support I received was from other moms in the same boat and at the breastfeeding support groups. I didn’t really have anyone I could go to for help in my family because Aiden was the first baby in many years. My mom breastfed my sister and I, but that was nearly 26 years ago!
I found it extremely helpful to go to the groups and talk about newborn care and breastfeeding issues. I always left reassured and with more confidence.
Any other advice for moms who want to breastfeed?
It’s a difficult thing to get used to in the beginning and I thought it was hard. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever done, it was painful for a few weeks, I was hormonal and exhausted, but as time went on, I started liking it more and more and found myself looking forward to our nursing sessions soon. My best advice is to stick with it and it’ll be worth it! I just wanted to make it to 1 year and now nearly 20 months later, we are still in the thick of it and I couldn’t be happier.