In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I thought I’d share my experience with breastfeeding. I breastfed my son for 13 months and I am currently breastfeeding my daughter. I plan to go 12-13 months with her as well. There are all kinds of opinions and “movements” revolving around breastfeeding. I’m not here to debate those things or whether or not you should or should not breastfeed your child. I believe that it is a personal choice and you should do what’s best for you and your baby. So whether you are a breastfeeding family or a formula family, I support you just the same.
I chose to breastfeed my children for 3 simple reasons.
1. I felt like it was best for my baby.
2. It’s cheaper than buying formula.
3. It burns calories and I heard it’s supposed to help with weight loss. (Just being honest.)
My breastfeeding experiences have been different with each child.
There have been times that I have felt like a milking cow. There have been times that I wished my husband had boobs so he could get up during the night and feed the baby. There have also been occasions when I wish I could travel out-of-town without having to lug around a breast pump and milk storage bags. There are days when I wish I could be away from my child for an entire day without returning home in pain because I have not fed her all day. Let’s be real honest . . . there are times I would like to have a drink (or two) without having to think about when I’ll need to nurse again. But there are also times when I enjoyed just staring down at my son while he gazed up at me as he nursed. Or those sweet moments where my daughter wraps her little hand around my finger while she fills her belly.
But the biggest difference this time around is that my daughter will only breastfeed. She refuses to take a bottle. Some of you make think it’s no big deal. I mean I did make the choice to breastfeed her so why would I care if she won’t take a bottle. Let me ask you something . . . Do you like to go places for longer than 2 hours at a time? Do you like to go out on dates with your significant other and leisurely take your time and even enjoy appetizers AND dessert? (gasp) Or better yet . . . Do you enjoy going to the movies? When’s the last time you saw a movie that was less than two hours? Go ahead I’ll wait. Well guess what . . . I like to do ALL of those things too but when you have a baby that eats every two and a half to three hours it kinda limits where you can go and how long you can be gone!
So although I love breastfeeding my daughter, I dislike the fact that it limits what I can do and when I can do it. Furthermore, I just want my body back! Right now, it’s at her beck and call. Is it enough to make me reconsider breastfeeding? No. I still enjoy it and I will breastfeed again if we have a third child. But there are times that I just get frustrated with it.
So to the women that absolutely LOVE breastfeeding and do it well beyond a year, kudos to you. That is not my story. And to the moms that chose not to breastfeed, I understand why and I totally respect your decision. And for the moms that fought hard to nurse, but it just didn’t work out, don’t be discouraged. You are still a great mom! Regardless of our choice to breastfeed or not, we are all great moms just trying to give our children the best!