Each week, we feature Colorado moms who breastfeed. I had the privilege of photographing Hilary and her boys earlier this fall...and I'm excited to be photographing the birth of her daughter this Spring. Yes, not only is Hilary nursing her two boys...but she was also pregnant at the time of this photo shoot. Wonder woman in my eyes! If you'd like to be part of the Breastfeeding Project, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
I have been breastfeeding for so many years it has morphed a lot during that time. When they were both little, I loved being able to hold them, snuggle and bond. It was great coming home from work and having that time with them, that ability to reconnect. The built in time that I could hold them. Now as they have both gotten older, I appreciate that time before bed where we can cuddle and breastfeed.
I love the health benefits both me and my kiddos get from the experience. I think it is amazing how that immunity is passed from mom to child. How I am healthier because of the experience and so are my boys. It's amazing how the body adapts as the child gets older, and still has that nutritional value in its milk. How breastfeeding helps with melatonin and serotonin levels. It's amazing.
I love the convenience of breastfeeding. It was nice not to have to worry about milk when going out. I would not have been able to function if I needed to get up in the evenings and make a bottle, feed my little one, then get up a few hour later for work. Breastfeeding has kept me sane over the years when sleep has been inconsistent.
What does breastfeeding mean to you?
For me it is an emotional way to connect with my children and visa versa. It has given me an opportunity to bond after being out of the home all day. It has amazing health benefits for both of us. Breastfeeding is a natural way God gave us to nourish our little ones.
What have been some of your struggles/obstacles during your breastfeeding journey?
I have been blessed with an amazingly supportive husband who has been extremely supportive of the process. It has been two years since I have breastfed an infant, so the memories of those struggles have gone away.
I think the biggest obstacle over the first year of my breastfeeding journey for both boys was full time pumping. It was an emotional drain and a different kind of soreness. Plus sometimes it took some creativity finding a place, and the default often ended up being my car (thank God for awesome pumps).
Now as my boys get older the obstacle has been weaning them off those middle of the night nursing sessions.
Who (or what) has offered you support in your journey?
My husband has been amazingly supportive throughout this entire journey. He has never once asked me when I was going to ween. (Although frequently asks when we will have our bed back).
I had great midwives who have supported me while breastfeeding through pregnancy.
My nursing journey started in a community on the east coast where breastfeeding was normal. I attended a great church that fully supported it and where women often would nurse without covers.
I have also had wonderful pumping buddies, great supervisors, and great professors who have all allowed me to pump regularly and have supported me through this journey.
Any advice for moms who want to breastfeed?
If you have the option- do it! It is an amazing experience. If you work outside of the home and spend a good part of your day away from your baby, those moments are priceless. That time of nursing and reconnecting was the best part of my day. It will be hard at times and there may be people who look at you funny, but always know you are giving your little one the best start you can - and that's an amazing thing.