Wednesday, August 5, 2009
In a strange way, breastfeeding has always been a part of my life. I grew up in the country, and we always had kittens or puppies or some sort of animal babies that I'd see nursing. When I was in third grade, I had a friend over, and she said it was disgusting. I asked her why she thought that and told her it was the natural way for babies to eat. Already a lactivist at the age of nine, I knew that was how my mom had fed me. See, my mom was the rare mom who breastfed in the early 70s (with twins, even!), and she nursed me in the early 80s until I was almost two years old.
When I was pregnant with Luke, my midwife asked at first prenatal appointment if I was planning on breastfeeding, I said, Of course! For me, there was no other choice. Please don't feel as if I'm begrudging anyone who formula feeds. While it isn't right for me, I realize that everyone makes choices that are right for THEM, for whatever reason.
When Luke was born, I was surprised at how hard breastfeeding was. I thought babies just came out and ate, after all, how else did the human race survive? With him, it was a struggle, but I kept at it, and I'm proud to say that even with returning to work when he was six months, he never had so much as a drop of formula. In fact, he continued to nurse until he self-weaned at 20 months when I was eight weeks pregnant with Tommy. The last time he nursed, he patted my chest afterward and said, "Bye bye, num nums." It was the perfect end.
After nursing for almost two years, I felt a little lost not nursing, so I looked forward to the moment when I could nurse a new baby. I had myself ready for a struggle, and yet, Tommy came out ready to eat. From the moment my doula helped him latch two hours after his birth, he ate like a champ. He eats all the time, and I love how easy it is. I love that when we leave the house, I feel like I'm forgetting something, and then I remember that oh yeah, his food is always with me. I love how he passes out so content after eating, the way his eyes search my face. I plan on nursing him for as long as I nursed Luke, or longer if he so chooses, and I plan to love every moment of it.
It's World Breastfeeding Week
Last year's post