When I first found out I was pregnant, I had no opinions on breastfeeding. I had never thought about how I would feed my child. I started reading pregnancy books and blogs and decided I would try to breastfeed after learning how beneficial it was for both baby and mother. I never expected to love it as much as I do! L and I have been EXTREMELY lucky in our journey so far. We have not had any production or latch issues, no tongue or lip ties, no mastitis or cracked nipples. I know we have been extremely fortunate in that respect!
After joining BABF (Badass Breastfeeders) and seeing all these amazing mothers so dedicated to feeding their babies the very best, I decided to try to make it to a year! I am happy to say that we are now at 15 months and still going strong! We have also had the opportunity to pay it forward by donating milk to several families in both CO and MN.
I honestly feel like breastfeeding has given me so much self-confidence. I have never really been comfortable in my own skin, but now I can honestly say that my body is amazing! It housed and grew my son, provided him with every bit of nutrition that he needed for the first 6 months, and now continues to help him grow and flourish. Women’s bodies are absolutely amazing!
Pumping has definitely been the hardest part for me. Those first couple months I remember pumping every two hours, without fail, and it was the most exhausting thing ever on top of taking care of a newborn. I was and am still lucky to pump an ounce or two at each sitting. Now that he's older and my body has adjusted to him, I really only need to pump when I am away from him, which is not very often.
My most memorable pumping experience was last October. We flew up to MN to attend my best friend’s wedding. It was an 'adults only' wedding, so L stayed with my parents for the weekend. It was the first time I had ever been away from him for more than a few hours. I was her maid of honor so I had all these responsibilities and things I needed to accomplish, and I would run to the changing room in between talking to people and setting things up to pump. The night before the wedding, the bridal party went out for a beer and then to a yoga class. On the way there my friends thought it was so funny that I pumped in a full car going down the highway!
For us it was an easy choice to donate. I was still staying home full time with L at that point and we had a great stash that we rarely needed to tap into. I remember feeling proud and grateful that we could help out another family! Down the road it could be us who needed some help, and I absolutely believe in good karma and paying it forward!
My favorite part of breastfeeding is the bond it has created between L and I. Aside from knowing that he is getting the very best in terms of nutrition, I love being his main source of comfort. Yes, there are moments (and even days) when I feel completely touched out and want to give up, but then he looks at me with those big blue eyes filled with gratitude and love and my heart melts every single time. The lip smacking and appreciative little noises have become my lullaby. Those chunky little fingers tracing the outline of my face and chest soothe me to sleep. I do my best to cherish these moments because I know one day, years from now, I will miss them more than anything.
My advice is to follow your intuition, it's there for a reason! You know your baby better than anyone else. You will get advice from everyone: your parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, pediatrician, and even compete strangers. Most of them mean well, but you know your baby better than anyone else. Do your research, make an informed decision, and do what you feel is right. When in doubt, whip it out! Never underestimate the power of the boob!
Feel free to comment below if you have ever donated milk or have received donated milk, or tell us any part of your journey. If you would like to share your story through photos and this blog (I can write or you can) please contact Miracle Kisses here so we can get started.