Breastfeeding Revisited!

SO, in the past, I've written about my breastfeeding worries, what it's like to breastfeed a newborn, motivations, opinions, experiences, & resources (you can find those things here) as well as writing about the reasons why I want to continue our nursing relationship (you can find that here).  But what I haven't really done is write about what I love about breastfeeding - which is incredible considering how much enthusiasm I have when it comes to breastfeeding!  Without further ado... I bring you...


  • ZERO prep time & it's LOW maintenance!  I don't have to prepare a bottle hand I didn't have to transition Presley from a bottle to a sippy cup (because we almost always have breastfed rather than bottle feed - I realize there are a great many of nursing mamas who pump and use bottles eiter for work or for other reasons, so this one doesn't necessarily extend to each breastfeeding mom!) and I don't have to fuss over measurements.  Our bodies are so amazing in that way... it is able to produce exactly what our kiddos need!  No trying out different bottles/nipples, no cleaning and sanitizing parts... you just use the parts you got!!!  Another thing and perhaps one of the best perks there is in my opinion?  I can feed Presley while sleeping and/or laying down!  We do this EVERY morning and it really helps give me some extra time to slowly wake up and take in the day piece by piece.  Not having to hold a bottle is a huge perk for me!
  • Bond/closeness.  As most of you now, the first few weeks and months were bumpy for me (because of baby blues and/or PPD) and therefore the bond between Presley & I was shaky at times.  Looking back, breastfeeding REALLY was such a humongous part of what bonded me to her.  You can certainly bond with your children who are not breastfed (obviously!!!) but for me personally, I don't know if it would have done as much for Presley and I as breastfeeding has.  Not only that, but breastfeeding sends happy hormones (oxytocin & endorphins) through your body!  And what about bonding Presley to me?  Because of the physical proximity of Presley and I throughout the various feedings throughout the day Presley has a level of comfort with me that is higher than anyone else.  It's something that really makes me feel extra special!
  • Taught me responsibility.  It's imperative for parents to be there for their kids' well-being, right?  I am here for Presley and I make myself readily available for my little family, but since I was in charge of feeding her.  Therefore, if for some reason I wasn't able to be there for Presley for a feeding, I would have to make sure she had pumped milk ready as well as pumping while away to keep my supply up (if needed).  When you breastfeed, you do have to be mindful of what you intake to a certain point.  I can't go out and binge drink and expect to nurse my child a few short hours later.  (I got TERRIBLY drunk on New Years Eve this past year and didn't have a pump with me - not fun!!!  I am very lucky everything turned out well for us in that situation but I made sure that I would never put myself in that situation ever again because of my poor choices.)
  • Setting & achieving goals.  As I've said here on my blog before, I didn't always feel so enthusiastic about breastfeeding.  I would set short, attainable goals for myself to keep me going.  That way, once the next goal was met, I could reevaluate our situation and figure out if we would continue nursing or not.  It felt so great to hit the goals I set for myself!  This alone has contributed a great deal to our success in breastfeeding!  (Our first goal was to make it 4 weeks.  Then 3 months.  Then 6 months.  9 months.  And then like I said, the finish line was 12 months!  And now we are just going until one of us has had enough!)
  • Immune protection.  Enough said.  We're all exposed to a slew of germs each day and to be able to provide as much support for her developing immune system has given me so much peace.
  • FREE!  Anyone who knows me likely knows that I LOVE a good deal.  What is better than free?  If we would have been paying for formula for the last fifteen months, I would haven't been able to stay home with Presley.  Who knows, maybe I would have loved to be a working mom!  But I have been here for Presley's everything and watched her grow right before my eyes and I get to be her mom full-time with her at home.  Considering how fast they grow, I don't think that'll be anything I ever regret.

As I've said before, Presley is 15 months old.  Nursing a 15 month old is worlds away from what it was like to nurse a newborn!  I currently nurse Presley (typically) three times a day - morning (after she wakes up), noon (before naptime), and night (just before bedtime).  I also nurse her on command and as needed.  For example, after immunizations when Presley is upset, I am able to nurse her and it calms her down.  Likewise, if Presley falls and hurts herself, I am also to nurse her at that time to help her to feel better.  Sometimes Presley will indicate that she wants to nurse (like coming up to me and tugging on my shirt near my shoulder) and I will nurse her on command at that time too.  It's so very low maintenance at this point and not at all an inconvenience.  So yes, you moms nursing your tiny babies - IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER!  So hang in there.

My overall, huge goal was to nurse her the entire first year and here we are 3 months later!  I continue to nurse her and LOVE it.  Even more important, she still loves it.  So I can totally understand Shakira when she {jokingly} said she is going to nurse her son until he goes to college!!!  I empathize with what she's feeling - it's a bond that you just don't want to break when you are right there in the thick of it!  Do I think I'll still be nursing my kindergartener?  Absolutely not.  But if for some reason I was, would that be the worst thing in the world?  And if you think it would be, why?  So many people feel like it is such a gracious and beautiful thing you could do for your child - but the moment you continue to nurse your child past the first year, it turns into something almost heinous!  Why is that?

Since breastfeeding has been such a demanding and enriching part of my life for the last fifteen months, I wanted to make sure my feelings were chronicled here in my blog.  This post was written to give support and encouragement to women who have made the choice to breastfeed and was not intended to give anyone shame or guilt who have chosen a different route or to set the two parties apart.  I know for a fact that if breastfeeding had not worked out for Presley and I that I would instead be writing blogs about the ways formula feeding my child had enhanced our lives and I encourage every mom to share the things they have loved (or maybe not loved so much) about the method they've used to feed their children!

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Chasing Moonlight & Roses

Comments

  1. This is so encouraging since I am in the throws of trying to figure this thing out!! I'd live to be able to nurse Evie for 2 years if that's what we both need. You asked if it was hard not having cloths and such since we didn't know if she was a file or boy and no it wasn't. I handsome gender nutral things to get us started and lots of family and friends have given us some lovely clothes!!

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