Breastfeeding, that is.
I've wanted to write about this subject for a while. But, I sat back and processed my thoughts, and learned more as time went on. Besides, I've been breastfeeding for two months now--and I feel I can talk more on the subject having some more knowledge under my belt, right? If you figure I've been breastfeeding now for say...60 some days...and baby girl eats anywhere on average 8-10x a day...that's about---- 600 feedings. So--I'd say I'm an expert! Okay, kidding. Not exactly an expert, but still.
It won't stop me from speaking on it, anyway.
For me, I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. I know that it has amazing benefits to the child and is great bonding between momma and baby. But honestly? I didn't dwell much on the whole thing before having Emeline. In fact, I remember a few days before my due-date thinking, "Wow...maybe I should, like...look stuff up online about breastfeeding..." Lame, I know. What can I say? I've been Mother of the Year right from the start. [Teehee] Kidding.
The thing I recall actually making a conscious decision about ahead of time was that IF my body worked properly (hey-ya NEVER know), then my goal was to breastfeed for 3 months. [I set that goal before I knew I'd be taking the year off, and knowing that weening her would make most sense by then, seeing as my crazy school schedule allows ZERO time for pumping.]
And you know what? It turns out that I really, really enjoy it. In fact, now that I know I'll be home for the next year with her, I'd really like to do it for longer. I honestly don't know for how long, but I'll just keep on keepin' on for now.
I really enjoy the time with her...the bonding....the fact that I'm her sole nourishment and she's thriving.
If I sat here and told that it's been easy, then I'd be lying. It definitely takes heart, persistence, and sacrifice.
Breastfeeding is a natural thing, yes. But, it does not always come "naturally". It's new for both mommy (first time mom), and for baby. It takes time. It's really easy to get frustrated. It's really easy to want to give up. It's beyond painful at times (but this gets better with time). It can be really time demanding on the momma. But I'm already learning that it's so stinkin' rewarding, too.
It's rewarding when the pediatrician can look at you and say, "Good work, Mama!" when your baby gains the appropriate and healthy amount of weight. I can, literally, take all the credit. Heck, after all those hours upon hours of time that goes into it---heck yes I'll take the credit.
For me, breastfeeding was the right choice--and it works for my life and schedule. If your body produces enough (I realize sometimes it's out of our control), and you have the desire and drive to do it--I say, go for it. It's something I've learned to love, and I'm sticking with it.
On the same topic, but shifting gears slightly....
Lately, I've seen and heard things people have said about breastfeeding that has been completely inconsiderate to those of us who do it. I most certainly do not appreciate people saying it's barbaric, or gross. I don't think it's amusing in the least bit. In fact, it's seriously rude.
Look, I'm no hippie on the subject--truly, I'm not. I'm just a regular old mom who decided to give breastfeeding a go, and it worked for us. I don't walk around with my boobs hanging out feeding my kid (well, not in public anyway), and I do it modestly when I do it around others [I use a hooter-hider, or pump a bottle for on-the-go].
But, please...if you've made the choice not to do it, for whatever reason--don't bash on those of us who do to justify yourself. It's caddy, it's childish, and it's mean.
Yep. It's true. It's a sacrifice. My body is still not my 'own'. I may have to moderate what I consume. I may have "watermelons" hanging from my chest. I may leak a little, and it's awkward. But, whatever--it's a very small time in the grand scheme of things.
So, there you have it. I'm in no way voicing my opinion on what you should or shouldn't do--because obviously, that's every woman's choice. Also, I realize that every body just functions differently and all women aren't even able to do it.
What I am saying is for us...for me...it's been a great experience. Two months in and I'm going strong. It works for us. I'm really glad about that.
So, if breastfeeding is something you're considering...I'll tell you the same thing 1209812 women said to me:
Don't give up. It gets easier. It can be frustrating and difficult. It really is worth it.
And, if you're someone who has zero desire or intention of ever breastfeeding--that is SO your choice and I wouldn't argue with you. But, please...be respectful of those of us who do.
The respect goes both ways, mmkay?
and I digress....