Tuesday, August 19, 2014

// a d v e n t u r e s i n b r e a s t f e e d i n g - a m a n d a ' s s t o r y //

 Yay for another adventures in breastfeeding story.  I love how Amanda not only shares her story, but offers her support and encouragement as well.  This is why I share these stories- so that we are able to stay connected.  Thank you to the lovely Amanda for sharing her breastfeeding journey!  <3

With Mackenzie, my first, breastfeeding felt more like a chore and a bit of a hassle. I didn't get much information or encouragement of it. I nursed my daughter only for five months. My breasts were engorged and painful. My nipples were sore. And I was embarrassed by the leaking & nursing in public. And also, because she was so tiny & I could not see exactly how much I was feeding her, I was so scared she was not getting enough milk. I ended my BF journey with her when she was only 5 months. And switched her to formula. It wasn't up until I had my son four and a half years later where I felt sad and a bit ashamed of it. I thought about how could I be so selfish to let myself stop nourishing my daughter with the best food there is for her.. I finally came with the conclusion that I was young. A first time mom. I fed my daughter the best way I could at the time. She was and still is happy and healthy little girl. And because I gave her formula, doesn't not make me a bad mom. Formula is just as good as breastfeeding. I did my best and that's all that really matters!

Almost 10 months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! The baby boy who changed my whole outlook to breastfeeding. With the help of all the normalization I see on Social Media. Because of all the recent normalizing breastfeeding I have seen and the encouragement of friends and family, I knew when I found out that I was pregnant that I was going to EBF! I had 9 months to do all the research & ask questions from new BF mothers I've made. And since my son first latched on, it's been pretty easy ever since. Except for just the one thing that no one ever really talks about, how time consuming it is!

Around my fourth month of EBF, the time has come where my son was attached to me. I could not put him down for a nap, I could not unlatch him from me at anytime he was asleep. I have now become.. A human pacifier! I pumped but he refused to take a bottle. During this time, I was exhausted. I felt as if I'm doing something wrong. Am I nursing too much? Will this be bad in the future? I suddenly broke down. I was confused and afraid of where this attachment to breast feeding would lead to.  It was then where I searched it all online, finding IG mamas who were in my same position. After reading and chatting with moms about my (what I had thought was) problem, come to find out, it's no problem. All babies are different. Just because they are attached to you, does not make you a bad mother for letting them nurse on demand. It just means that you are giving your baby the best possible thing that they need. You're helping them feel comfortable. You're soothing their pain, their worry, their happiness. You're being a mother!

And to be honest, after the first 5 months, it does get easier! If you are at the beginning of your breastfeeding journey or even near the end and you feel like you want to stop, I would hold you tight, and tell you that you that you are not alone, to not give up! This journey you're going through will get easier! There is that light at the end of the tunnel and this bond you have with your baby will only get stronger!

This community of breastfeeding mamas are incredible! If it weren't for all of you, I would not have the most amazing bond with my sweet baby boy! I've decided to breastfeed him as long as he wants and as long as he needs to. I don't have the heart to completely take it away from him at 1 year. Instead let him self wean himself. Even though I am nursing, does not mean I don't feel the same for formula fed mothers! We are all different people which mean we have different choices. And just because we may feed our babies a bit differently DOES NOT mean I don't support you any less! If you are a mother who takes care of your children the best way you can. I support you!

As for me, this breastfeeding journey has been far more than amazing. I'm loving the fact that he needs me. Still at ten months. He falls down, he'll come to me to nurse for comfort.  He's sleepy, he'll come to me to nurse him to asleep. He's grumpy, he'll come to me to nurse him till he's happy. I only hope when he's grown and this breastfeeding journey is long gone, he'll still come to me. To make him dinner when his belly is hungry, to help him with his problems, to give him the best motherly advice as I possibly can. I hope this for my daughter as well. Even though I didn't breastfeed her for very long, we will always have that special bond because of it. Breastfeeding is a start of an everlasting mother/child bond that  I will always share with both my babies. 

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