Wednesday, July 7, 2010
My Breastfeeding Journey
Before that first drop of milk came in I had no idea what to expect. I was nervous of my capability to do something that many women I have known struggled with. It was so perfectly natural, yet so daunting. I figured I would try it and if it worked out for us I would keep with it until my sweet baby boy grew teeth, I mean I didn't want to get BIT, right?!
Then he came. My beautiful boy was born. When it came time to nurse him for the very first time, it DIDN'T come naturally. I had no idea how to hold him, how to angle his mouth. My dear nurse had to help me several times during our hospital stay to get him latched on , or in a comfortable position. It didn't hurt the way I imagined it would. When he was latched on correctly there was only a slight tenderness, which the nipples quickly adjusted to on their own. That first week of Wesley's life was the most difficult nursing-wise, but as we grew comfortable with it and with each other it became easier and easier.
When Wes grew his first tooth around 4 months, no way was I ready to give up nursing yet! It comforted him as well as me and it gave us our own special time to get to know each other. That tooth didn't come with biting as I had thought it would, nor did the next three that popped up shortly after. I wanted to at LEAST make it to 6 months before weaning him! And when 6 months rolled around I had no desire to stop there either. I would breastfeed him for at least a year. The World Health Organization and many other organizations recommend breastfeeding for at least TWO years! Blows your mind, doesn't it?
Recently Wesley had his first birthday. He is not ready to cease breastfeeding. It makes him feel secure with his place in this world. Breastfeeding past infancy (1 year) benefits in many ways. Don't believe me? Look it up. It is normal. I know many women who have done it as well. Don't judge me or any other mother for doing what is right for their child. If you take the sexual stigma away from the breast, is breastfeeding still gross? Nasty? Wrong? I doubt it. Our society has turned something that is beautiful and natural into something that is weird and appalling. Nurturing our children is what our breasts are there for. Educate yourself before you make snide remarks about extended breastfeeding. I nurse my son with pride. I am proud of what I have and continue to give him, just as any other mother should be.