**Please note this post is in no way meant to shame any momma who isn’t breastfeeding their baby. You do what’s best for your sanity and your baby. FED IS BEST (no matter how you have to do it!**
If you had told me back in April when I learned I was pregnant that I would be breastfeeding my baby and loving it (most days), I’d have laughed in your face. I would also have been very wrong on so many levels.
At first I thought breastfeeding was super weird. I mean really having a little person attached to your boobs most of the day seemed a little weird. Then again I wasn’t breastfed, so naturally it seemed weird to me. For not being breastfed I turned out ok. Well, yes and no. See I’ve always been the kid AND adult who catches everything. And I do mean everything (cold, flu, swine flu, you get the idea). While my baby brother who was breastfed was always the pillar of health and still is. Lucky little shit. So when we went to the hospital for our tour and info night aka have-your-baby-here-and-nowhere-else night, my husband suggested we sign up for the breastfeeding class along with Lamaze and a first time parents class. I think he was really hoping to see boob, but it ended up being a good idea. And yes he got to see boob.
It actually made me want to breastfeed my little guy. Sure I still thought it would be super weird to have someone getting all of their nourishment from me. But figured why not. How bad/hard could it be? At first not bad at all. In fact when my son latched for the first time during the first hour of his being alive it was magical. When I had to do it every two hours from there on out not so magical. Added bonus for a few hours he forgot how to latch. He only got back with the program when the nurse brought in a pump so I could pump and then try to spoon feed him. Upside free pump parts!
Eventually we got the hang of it, even if his latches made my toes curl now and again! I won’t lie it hurt like hell sometimes (cluster feedings are a BITCH, yet great to inform your ladies to make more of the liquid gold). But at two months he’s gotten the hang of things, for the most part, and we have a rhythm now. Yes he does get *gasp* formula here and there, either way – fed is best. Trust me the first time I gave him formula I thought the Leche League was going to break down my door and revoke my mom card! Honestly we don’t give it to him often usually when daddy wants to give me a break or his grandparents are babysitting, or if mommy is trying to pump to save up some boob juice in the fridge for midnight feedings.
Have I wanted to throw in the towel? YOU BET! Did you see the bit about cluster feedings being a bitch? This breastfeeding thing isn’t a walk in the park even when your kid latches properly. Your boobs leak A LOT (bamboobies are the BEST leak protection), they get so full you think they might burst, and more unpleasant thins that I won’t mention can and do happen. But when your baby grins when he hears you un-snap your tank or nursing bra (Pavlov’s dog anyone?) or he gently rubs your arm while nursing…well that makes it all worth the other annoying bits.
Oh and let’s not forget the other awesome benefits of breastfeeding… When I was sick last week with a NASTY cold and pink eye he didn’t even get a sniffle! Behold the power of breast milk. Apparently my body was feeding him milk full of don’t catch what momma has goodness. Honestly that shit is like Windex (think My Big Fat Greek Wedding), but for babies. Baby acne? Breast milk. Baby scratched his face? Breast milk. You get the idea. It really is liquid gold.
Added bonus you can feed your kid anywhere! I’ve nursed him in a bar, at church, at a birthday party. If you know me, you also know this is BIG for me to do. I mean I’m not a LOOK AT ME kind of person. But I guess you forget all that when your baby is hungry and you’ve got what he wants. It also helps to have a supportive partner who luckily remembers what we learned in class when you don’t and is also there to help you work slipping the baby under your nursing cover. Then again grandma’s and friends have also been a great help in the slip the kid under the cover department too!
Will I keep it up for a year? I’m not sure, I would like to try (formula is expensive shit). However, the thought of teeth near my boobs terrifies me. But we’ll see right? After all a year ago I didn’t think I’d breastfeed at all and look at me now!