1) Breastfeeding is hard. Moms that say that it is "easy" have it pretty lucky. The actual act of breastfeeding isn't difficult; it is all the other things that go along with it. You really have to be committed to it and want to make it work. There is lots of overthinking and worrying that goes along with it (just like with pregnancy). The first few days (and week) are kind of painful as your body adjusts to this new task. There are things that help with the pain and it subsides. The pain is never excruciating, just discomforting. I just would tell myself "Let's try one more day" everyday until things got easier... Kind of like running a half marathon. "Just one more mile.. I can do this." And then it got easier, just like everyone said it would. Thankfully there was a support group at the local hospital as well as a wonderful Facebook group that are always discussing all things breastfeeding. They helped me get through those first few days/weeks.
|Patsy and I at the Nursing Moms group Halloween Party|
Start feeding baby at 12:00, finish at 12:45.
Put baby in car seat, finish packing diaper bag, start car, put baby in the car.
Finally pulling out of the driveway at 1:00.
Drive to the mall 25 minutes away. Get out of the car, unpack stroller, load diaper bag onto stroller.
Get into the mall at 1:35. Get to shop for 25 minutes before it is time for Patsy to eat again.
|Hanging out in the backseat after one of our many backseat nursing sessions|
3) Everyone has a different opinion about breastfeeding. I am extremely lucky to come from a family where all of my relatives nursed their babies. I spend a lot of time with my in-laws and they all nursed their babies as well. My husband is also hugely supportive of breastfeeding which makes things so much easier. Without such a strong support system, things would have been a lot more difficult. Thanks to my trusty Boppy nursing cover, I've been able to nurse Patsy around friends, relatives, and in public. (Patsy has eaten at Panera, Bakers Square, TGIFridays, Portillo's, and all around the Michigan City Outlet Malls) I've gotten a few stares here and there while using it, but I don't really mind the stares. I'm not going to feed my baby in a bathroom. I wouldn't want to eat in there, why would I want to feed my baby in there? :) I know every mom has to make their own decisions as to what works best for them, whether that is formula or nursing. I'm pretty lucky that breastfeeding has worked out for me. I hope to breastfeed for 6 months and eventually a year. Right now we are just over 3.5 months and still going strong! :)
|Nursing Patsy Rose at Ann Taylor LOFT!|
5) Despite the difficulties, bumps in the road, and worries along the way, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world! The bond that I have with my child through breastfeeding is something I really can't describe. I won't go into more mushy details, but it really is quite amazing. :) I feel that this is what our bodies were meant to do. Even if I don't meet my end goal, I am grateful for every time I get to nurse my child and for every ounce of milk she gets from me. As I go back to work, I know the challenges will only increase, but I'm about as ready for them as I can be! :)
As I mentioned in a previous post that the most important thing I've learned about being a mom is that you have to think beyond your original plan. Babies don't always do things according to plan so you have to be able to roll with the punches when the changes come (and they will come). I hope some of you found this post helpful!