Breastfeeding is a natural experience for some, a no brainer for others and a shot in the dark for many. While there are many strong opinions on the topic, one thing is true; breastfeeding has incredible benefits for your child. Breastfeeding also has some wonderful benefits for the nursing mother, think calorie burn and calming/healing hormones. I never gave much thought to breastfeeding but went ahead and signed myself up for a class anyway. I figured at worst I would walk out of the class terrified to breastfeed and at best I’d get a few helpful pointers. During the class I was asked how long I planned to breastfeed. This question took me by surprise and I answered as honestly as I could, telling the instructor that I have absolutely zero expectations and don't want to pressure myself if it doesn't feel right or if my body can’t keep up with my son’s needs. While I knew that breastfeeding was beneficial for my son and myself, the main appeal to me was the cost. FREE.
I was also intrigued by the convenience of nursing. I wasn’t going to have to worry about packing bottles into a diaper bag that was already exploding at the seams. When my son was born I was given some quick tips from the nurses, then my son and I were left to figure the rest out on our own. Luckily for me, he was a hungry fellow and had no problem latching. Over the days, weeks and months to follow my supply kept up with my son’s demand and frankly, I must say we nailed this whole breastfeeding thing. There were certainly hiccups here and there, but for the most part we showed breastfeeding who was boss.
While many people love to interject their thoughts or experiences on others, breastfeeding is completely based on you and your child. I was told to not offer my son a bottle or pacifier within several weeks of birth to make sure he didn’t get confused. By taking the word of others as gospel, I completely missed the window to get my son to accept a bottle. To this day he has zero interest in one unless it is to steal his cousin’s while she is eating.
Our struggle wasn't breastfeeding, it was bottle feeding. I had extreme guilt if I left my son for more than a couple of hours because I knew he would become uncomfortable and refuse his bottle. There were the random times in the beginning that he would take a couple ounces of pumped milk but those times were few and far between.
Gradually his feedings began to spread out and like his daddy, my little man developed a fondness for food. Ultimately, when he began to take a substantial amount of solids, I was able to leave the house for a much needed date night with my husband or to get together with my girlfriends without feeling a crippling guilt. I think back to the moment I realized I had completely ruined my son from bottles and kick myself for not allowing us to figure it out on our own. I made the common first time mommy mistake of using other parents experiences as my own, when in fact, the one I should have been listening to was the eight squishy pounds of cuteness in my arms.
Post by Samantha Donaldson
Mommy to one cute boy