Congrats to all the mamas out there who are or were able to provide their little ones with naturally and perfectly created nutrients to help them grow and thrive. Often times breastfeeding is not the easiest thing to do, but if you are able to overcome the obstacles it is one of the most rewarding things you can do for your child... physically and emotionally. The benefits of breastfeeding are substantial. From protection against ear infections and respiratory illnesses to higher IQ's and a reduced risk of heart disease later in life (and many, many more).
This is World Breastfeeding Week. It is vitally important for mothers and fathers to be well educated on the benefits of breastfeeding. Without support from family, friends and health care providers a mother is not very likely to be successful in breastfeeding. I am so fortunate to have such a supportive husband. I am also lucky enough to have a fabulous pediatrician that actually has a lactation consultant on staff. I can't even count how many times I called her during those first few months of nursing my baby girl. My personal goal in nursing Lea was 6 months. She is now almost 11 months old and still nursing.
Breastfeeding is not easy... especially in the beginning. It is so much more demanding and time consuming than I thought it would be. Until Lea was about three months old, she nursed every 2 hours. That's right. Every TWO HOURS for three months. And in those early months, nursing was pretty uncomfortable. Once we got through that, though, it became much easier and less frequent. Lea quickly got on her own schedule which made it easier to plan my days. Three months became five, five months became eight and now it's almost been a year!
I wouldn't say I am lucky. This took a lot of determination and work on my part. It is a commitment. It is something that I feel very strongly about. When I start to think about how nice it would be to not have to wear nursing bras (that are so unflattering!) and not have to give my time & myself (literally) four times a day, I get so mad and feel so selfish. It's not about me anymore. It hasn't been about me since the day I found out I was pregnant... and that's ok. Because now it's all about the beautiful angel that's just now waking upstairs in her crib. Someones calling mommy! I gotta run. :)