Wednesday, April 21, 2010

B: Breastfeeding

This is a part of my ABCs of (my) Parenting series.

It's one of those things that I (any many others) plan to do when they have children. It just seems so natural. After all, that's what our boobs are made for, right? I did tons of research about breastfeeding when I got pregnant and learned all that I can. The biggest point that I came across: it's in no way as easy as you'd think it is/should be. So, I prepared myself for the worst and that it was going to be super hard. Jony and I took a breastfeeding class at the local hospital, and I started attending La Leche League meetings at 6 months. I figured that hearing about other people's troubles would help me. I'm pretty sure that it did.

While I had it EXTREMELY easy with a baby who latched on within 10 minutes of being born and never really experienced any nipple pain (at the beginning- it came on about 2 months for a bit. Wierd, right?), there's also the emotional aspect that I'm glad that I was somewhat prepared for. It is hard stuff to be so stuck with your baby. It took a long time for me to be able to figure out when to shower, when to eat, when I could leave the house for just a few minutes. He needed me there when he got hungry, and only his little tummy knew when that was going to happen. I had many feelings of resentment towards Jony because he couldn't do it. I became the clogged duct queen. Christmas was fun with two breasts as hard as rocks and extremely painful. I probably had at least one every two-three days. I was not a fan of breastfeeding, but I was going to do it.

Now, with my baby now being a whopping 5 months old, it's my favorite activity in the world. It gives me a reason to just sit down and relax. It's usually when I catch up on the internet. It's my "me" time, even though the little man is literally attached to me. In another sense, it's "our" time. There's nothing more perfect than our snuggles and the feeling that he needs me (a nice feeling when I've come to realize how much I need HIM). He rests his little hands on my chest or sometimes reaches up to my face and grabs my chin while he eats. He likes to hold on to the chair or scratch it if it's a couch with his hand that's behind my back. When he gets super serious, he closes his eyes and goes to town. I love every aspect of it. How long do I plan on doing it? That's still unclear. I doubt it's going to be automatic weaning at one year, but I have no idea after that point. I'm just going with the flow (ha!).

I truly wish that everyone was able to experience this, and I know how extremely lucky that I am to have had it so easy in comparison to some. My hope is to be a great support system for others and help them through their struggles so that they can potentially get to where I am now. Unfortunately, I think this is where the downfall is for most women. Lactation consultants can be a joke a good portion of the time, and society is just coming around to being pro-breastfeeding. It's tough to get through the hard times when everyone is throwing the word "formula" in your face. I'm in now way anti-formula, but, if someone wants to breastfeed, they should be given all the support that they deserve. That goes for all aspects: if someone chooses to stop, do a mixture, or go formula from the get-go. It's all about support.

1 comment:

Rachel H. said...

I love this post, and I too LOVE breastfeeding. It's the most rewarding thing that I'm able to do for my son! I'm so glad to read other people's experiences!