Breastfeeding Baby. Breastfeeding, who knew it would be such a hot topic! It seems there are strong feelings for and others that are horrified by it! I was a ” long term” breast feeding mom, I finally stopped when my toddler was almost 3 but I wasn’t always an advocate.
When I finally became pregnant I educated myself about all of the amazing benefits and substance that breast milk is. Becoming pregnant totally changed me. I already valued being healthy, I ate right and exercised throughout my pregnancy but I realized that it was no longer all about me. I was responsible for this long awaited tiny human and I knew that I had to do everything in my power to protect her. I took breast feeding classes, read books and talked to friends with experience. I learnt new information about latching and nipple creams that I’d never even heard of before. I was fully prepared and ready.
As many of you know reading about something and actually doing it are a little different. I wish I could say from the start it was easy but it wasn’t. Why did the baby not just latch on? Is there something wrong with her? With me? I learnt that my nipples were too flat! What? That’s a thing? So the hospital nurse recommended nipple shields in the beginning, this was new. With a little trial and error we made it work and I was able to breast feed my baby. I was determined to be successful at this. One of the best pieces of advice given to me was to pump between feeds to really get the milk flowing, so twice a day I donned a milking bra with pumps that resembled something Madonna had previously worn and I pumped. At first there was only a tiny bit of milk, just a tiny few ounces but soon my freezer resembled something from a milking shed. I was so proud we couldn’t fit anything else in there!
On my first outing I sat outside with my nursing wrap and fed my baby. I felt like the entire world was looking at me but I just had to concentrate on feeding my baby. Fast forward a few weeks and I was nursing like a pro. I could nurse everywhere and anywhere, and I did. Talking with friends, at restaurants, drs appointments, in the car or just out walking. I even nursed pretty much the entire flight back and forth across the Atlantic, several times. I was told it helps with pressure for their ears and it certainly did, in fact I even received compliments from fellow passengers that my baby never cried once on a 9 hour flight!
I read somewhere how amazing breast milk is and that you can use it on the baby too for rashes or teething, I did and it seemed to work for us. The motto in our house was let’s try breast milk. Did you know breastfeeding burns an extra 200-500 calories? It’s a great post baby body workout without really working out!
I loved the bond that I was the only one who could feed her and enjoyed all the cuddles that came with that. In the beginning I made it a priority to nurse my baby and not have many visitors, this really helped in the early weeks when you are still trying to figure everything out. Plus that gave me more time to bond, just the two of us.
I remember talking with a few moms that were almost embarrassed to tell me that they had nursed their babies into their second year, to those I would say well done that’s something to celebrate!
I’m not going to lie, after 3 years I finally could enjoy a glass of wine and it tasted amazing but for me it was well worth the wait. I know that some people are unable to breast feed whether physically or by their own choice and that is ok. One thing that I think we should all agree on is to support each other and respect individual choices. For me if you can and choose to do so I highly recommend giving it a go, it’s great for baby and great for mom too!