When I was pregnant with Calvin I never gave much thought as to how I would feed my baby besides taking one breastfeeding class at the hospital. I figured I would either nurse or give him a bottle and that was that. Fast forward to having 3 baby boys, two rounds of postpartum depression and having nursed all of them I am here to tell you my love /hate relationship with breastfeeding.
-Let's state the obvious, it is FREE!
-There are no bottles to wash. I can feed my baby without having to clean or prepare anything which makes those long days and nights super easy and convenient
-It helps you burn calories and lose baby weight faster
-I love the way I feel connected to my baby when I am nursing, it is a relaxing and there is a indescribable feeling you get once you both get the hang of it.
-You can go anywhere and have your baby's food supply on hand ;)
-Breastfeeding is an easy way to soothe a cranky baby and also is a sweet bonding time
-Once baby is 3 months old nursing sessions are super quick
-There are many nutritional benefits for mom and baby
-All of my babies refused the bottle (minus Leo for a few weeks)
-I legitimately always wondered who would nurse my baby for me if I was to ever die
-I cannot be away from my baby too long if it is close to feeding time
-I need to think ahead of where and when you will nurse in public and find a cover that is not too hot for both you and baby
-I feel an overwhelming amount of pressure because my body literally is what keeps my baby alive
-No one else can feed my baby for me
-It is a lot of money to breastfeed believe it or not (nursing bras, nursing pads, pump parts, time)
-In the beginning nursing can take forever and also can leave you feeling engorged and in pain
-Every baby has to learn how to breastfeed and it does not come as naturally as you may think
-Weaning your baby from nursing can be hard, painful, and mentally exhausting
-You need to pump if you go on a date or if baby sleeps too long at night, because engorgement is the worst
Nursing did not come easy or naturally for me but it is something I am so thankful I have been able to experience with each of my 3 boys. I do often think about how nice it would be to not have to always think about breastfeeding or how my baby's feeding also effects my body. I can easily get jealous when I see a mom giving her baby a bottle in the store or at church and I have to find a place to sit and cover myself. But at the same time I love how my body is able to nourish my baby and although the responsibility can be much, I love how needed I am.
If I could do college all over again I would have loved to study to be a lactation consultant and help moms with their breastfeeding journey. My experience with breastfeeding has only been successful due to my families support, my lactation consultant, and all of the resources we have online. And since everyone's journey with breastfeeding is different, some happy, some sad, some difficult, I wanted to share some other mom's insights on breastfeeding. Here is some encouragement, advice, and stories from other moms whom I respect and love.