I'll be the first to admit, long before I knew I was pregnant I thought breastfeeding was "weird". I would see women at the mall covered up on a bench nursing their baby and I thought to myself , gosh that is gross they need to do that in private! I never once thought I would ever breastfeed any of my children. My mom always told me she breastfed me and I would cringe at the thought of me doing that. I grew up thinking breasts were for sexual purposes and the thought of a baby suckling on them was just inappropriate.
When I found out I was pregnant I told myself I wouldn't even try it. I did my research and learned that breast milk was the absolute best thing for my baby but I still didn't want her to actually feed from my breast. I decided I would try the whole pumping thing since I knew it was best for the baby. I went out and bought this fancy double electric pump all of these expensive bottles and read up on strict pumping regimens and how to keep up my supply without nursing. I was prepared. I knew it was going to be tough but I wanted my baby to have what was best for her without me having to actually breastfeed.
It wasn't until I was 8 1/2 months pregnant that I started to think I would at least try it in the hospital and then quit once we got home. I talked to many women and read many articles about the bond you have with your baby that comes from breastfeeding and I still felt it just wasn't for me.
I can still remember when Peyton was laying on my chest while they were stitching me up the nurse asked if I wanted to try breastfeeding now. I figured what the heck i'll try it. I thought it might take my mind off the pain from having to get those stitches without being numb. It didn't take long for Peyton to get latched on and in that moment I knew exactly what every article I read about breastfeeding meant. There was an instant bond between her and I. She looked up at me with those big deep blue beautiful eyes and I was hooked! It is hard to explain but it was nothing like I had anticipated. It was so special and it was just for me and her.
I didn't notice anyone else in the room but her. After that first nursing session I decided I wasn't going stop. I set a goal to breastfeed for at least 12 months and if I make that goal I will continue to breastfeed until she no longer wants to. I've had many snarky looks and comments from this but it is the absolute best thing for her and I have no intentions of stopping until she is ready.
In the beginning I had many struggles after leaving the hospital. In a few days she lost her latch and I got cracks and scabs and it was excruciating to nurse. I would sit in her room and nurse her and just cry because it hurt so badly. I've nursed 'round the clock, but I never thought about giving up. I have been through days of low supply, plugged ducts, even one case of mastitis but I never once thought about giving up. We are 6 1/2 months in, going strong and she hasn't had or needed an ounce of formula. Something I am pretty proud of!
It is amazing how the moment you see your child your whole world changes. What you thought you needed, wanted or ways you wanted to do things can change completely. She has made me into the mother I never thought I could be. I see life in a whole new perspective and want to live my life much differently.
One of the most important websites that showed me how important breast milk was to a baby is Kellymom.
Also Dr. Sears was helpful too. Did you know that as babies grow, mother's milk continues to provide important protection against infection and disease. Human infants receive antibodies through the placenta, but these are gradually used up during the first six months. Human milk fills in the immunity gap until baby's own immune system matures and kicks in. Even babies who continue to nurse into toddlerhood benefit from the many immune factors in their mother's milk. Amazing right?!
When it comes to deciding if Breastfeeding is right for you and your baby it is so very important to have a strong support system. It is not an easy road and it takes a village to breastfeed one baby. Brad and Peyton are the reasons I never gave up. He always encouraged me and never once made me feel guilty.
This blog by no means is "dissing" moms who chose not to or cannot Breastfeed. All moms need to stick together and support one another no matter what our personal choices are.