I saw the hashtags. I saw the pictures. And I have to tell you, I am very disappointed I didn’t have one to post myself. I have been exclusively breastfeeding my baby boy for 8 months now and it is something I am very proud of! I feel the need to add a disclaimer here that I have nothing against formula feeding and have empathy for moms who for one reason or another cannot breastfeed. I too supplemented with formula for the first 6 weeks of my baby’s life. I have much emotion for this topic because I feel like I was completely blindsided. I often say it is a blessing and a curse. Okay that may be a tad dramatic I’ll admit so I will explain.
When I was pregnant and I would be asked if I was planning on breastfeeding, my answer was always; “I will try.” You see I had in fact heard that some women couldn’t breastfeed for very long therefore I set my expectations low. Down to minutes before surgery I was asked this question and my answer didn’t change. I wish I would have said; “Absolutely!” I wish I would have taken a class or have had someone sit down and talk to me about the reality of the importance of building a supply, maintaining a supply, starting a freezer stash, nursing pads, preventing mastitis, thrush and most importantly the attachment associated with it! I spent HOURS upon HOURS on the couch, so many that to this day my couch cushion is a tad lower than the rest. No one talked to me about any of this. Not a co-worker. Not a family member. Not a friend. I am telling you, my naive self didn’t even register for a boppy! Lol Here I thought oh babies eat every 2-3 hours. Nursing on demand? Complete uncharted territory.
You know where I found solace? The Bump! It was a saving grace. I rejoiced and commiserated with a community of women all who gave birth the same month as I. I will forever be grateful. I say it is a curse because I feel at times my body isn’t mine. I have to be conscious with my wardrobe and ensure it is nursing friendly. I cannot (or will not I guess I’ll say) have more than 1 drink because each drink causes me to refrain from nursing for at least 3 hours. I cannot diet or be careful with exercise as it will affect my milk supply. My son literally clings on to me 24/7. Ball in chain I joke at times…
Sounds miserable? Why do I do it? Because it is the biggest blessing I feel to know my body is maintaining such a healthy handsome baby. It is his comfort place. He relaxes and puts his arm around me every time and I melt. It is a huge sacrifice but it is just only one of the firsts of many of motherhood.
I am unsure how long I will breastfeed beyond a year. I am certain it will be bittersweet and do not want to think of the time it will end. All I know is that if I have an opportunity to do it again, I will be prepared. I will not allow my bias pediatrician to mislead me to give him a bottle at the hospital. I will have all the nursing accessories I wish I had from the get go. I will nurse in public and damn it take a picture! Ha!
*You can also follow my journey day-to-day on instagram. Link is below.