Reading About the Benefits of Breastfeeding Helped me Make My Decision
No one in my immediate family breastfed, I was never around it, in fact I had never even SEEN someone nurse their baby until I was 23 years old. I was a nanny and the mother nursed her baby on her work from home days. It wasn’t uncomfortable or awkward for me and the moms confidence inspired me. From that moment on I knew I would at least give it a shot.
Fast forward 3 years and I am pregnant with my first child. Being the researcher that I am I started reading up on EVERYTHING. Pregnancy, natural birth, breastfeeding, babywearing..You name it I read a million articles on it. The more I read about the benefits, the more I knew I wanted to give my baby what was best, what was natural, breast milk!
The first latch….
After a 39 hour labor, I thought I would be too tired to hold my baby, let alone learn how to breastfeed. I was so wrong! That precious oxytocin kicked in and started our bonding. I caressed my baby boys bare body as we lay skin to skin. He chubby little cheeks nuzzled against my breast. After a few minutes he found my nipple and latched on. It was, next to the birth itself, the proudest moment of my life. It felt so right. We were right where we belonged. Sebastian and I began out journey.
The first few days were difficult. Not for me, but for everyone around me. My milk “wasn’t coming in” quick enough. So care providers were worried about my son losing some weight and told me to supplement. I denied the advice. I felt like it was fine. He was still outputting diapers and was happy. It was fine. 5 days later my milk came in full force.
The next few months were easy. I was lucky. We didn’t have latch issues or intolerances. No Mastitis or Thrush. We just grew together as mother and son. Learned to function in our new roles. Before I knew it I had made it to 6 months then to a year! A year was my original goal. Once I hit that I knew there was no end in sight.
Toddlerhood was our biggest challenge. Sebastian was/still is very much a boobie boy. The minute I sat down he would sign for milk. Every nap, he needed to nurse. Every night he was latched on the entire time. I was getting worn out and stressed. I almost gave up so many times. I felt like my body was no longer mine.
With the help of local support through my La Leche League group, and new friends through SoCal Babywearers , I was able to relate with other moms in my situation. I no longer felt alone in the journey. I realized it was normal and short lived.
So here we are, 2.5 years later. Sebastian and I are still enjoying our snuggles many times per day. Every moment is one step closer to the end. I realize that more and more as he gains independence. It makes me sad sometimes to think about it, but I know we both benefited from the nursing time. Our bond is unbreakable and I owe it to our nursing relationship.