In Honor of Breastfeeding Awareness
Eight months and going strong!!!
Apparently, August is national breastfeeding awareness month and this week is world breastfeeding awareness week! There are events ALL over the world to promote breastfeeding, so I thought I would get in on the festivities by posting about our personal breastfeeding experience.
I am a HUGE proponent of breastfeeding but it didn’t really start out that way, honest!! Frankly, I hate to say that I started out wanting to breastfeed for selfish reasons- to save money and help me lose the baby weight. However, NO one who has breastfed for any length of time has EVER continued to do so for selfish reasons.
A Labor of Love
See, in my pregnant brain, breastfeeding was going to be natural and easy. HAHAHA. Did I have a lot to learn! While breastfeeding definitely IS natural, the natural thing isn’t always the easy thing! And I actually had a pretty easy time starting out as far as these things go. Baby Chase latched on like a champ and I had a prefect supply for him! What I learned quickly though, is that breastfeeding takes true dedication. You can’t cheat your way through it. No one can buy it for you or give it to you. You have to work for it, every hour of every day.
And when I say every hour of every day, boy do I mean it! In the first few months, during cluster feeds, Chase would sometimes be latched on for 16+ hours a day. I am not exaggerating. It seemed never ending. My maternity leave is just a milky blur. I wanted to give up practically every day. For the first few months, I couldn’t sleep for more than 2-4 hours without having pain, even IF the baby would sleep. So many people tried to convince me to give myself a break and supplement with formula- which happened once or twice, before I started pumping, but by this time I realized I wasn’t breastfeeding to save money or lose weight. I was doing it for him!
Breastfeeding is SO good for both momma and baby. He’s happy and healthy. The milk has made him strong and provided him with the nourishment only momma milk can give. It helps keep him well and comforts him when he isn’t. As for me, it helps reduce my risk of breast cancer and has saved me a ton of money.
Capture The Moments-
I realized, when looking at a friend’s gorgeous breastfeeding photos, that I don’t have a single photo of us nursing. This spawned a realization about how sad I would be if this special time got away from us without a single photo to document this precious bond. I am super shy about my body but decided I wanted to take a photo of us and our special bond. So, here it is, me stepping out of my comfort zone to document this magical time in our life together.
I look at this photo and realize there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. However, I’m so self conscious and afraid someone will say something negative that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve nursed in public! I’ll go to the car or pump a bottle to take with us. Of course, I wish I could be more confident but I realized, it’s my body and my decision. I shouldn’t feel bad for nursing him in public just like I shouldn’t feel bad for choosing NOT to nurse him in public.
Looking back, I had NO idea that breastfeeding can be such a polarizing, hot button issue. I really wish it wasn’t; I really wish the judgement would stop. While I am so proud of myself for nursing him this far, if you formula fed, there’s no shame in that! Please don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Even though I DO wish more American mothers would try to breastfeed, I TOTALLY get why they don’t. This time in your life is SO chaotic. If breastfeeding wasn’t the right option for you, I’m here to tell you, you’re doing great. No matter what- You’re amazing and I’m proud of you, momma!!!