Liam is 10 months old today. TEN MONTHS!
We spent the morning at the park, enjoying what I hope is the start to spring!
As his 1st birthday approaches, I realize that my 1 year goal of breastfeeding is quickly approaching. I have always known I would be breastfeeding my children, never really gave it a second thought. As I learned more and more about the benefits, my belief that it was the best for my child was only solidified.
I won’t go into all the reasons why breast is best, there are many places that can provide you with that info. Just Google it.
I did know that working full time and breastfeeding would be a challenge, but there were many forums and blogs I read during pregnancy that gave me the confidence that I could do it, if I wanted to.
There are three keys to my success at breastfeeding for 10 months:
1. Strong conviction that I want to do this. I am not breastfeeding because someone else told me to, otherwise I probably would have quit before I even got started. I am doing this because I want to.
2. Strong support team. My mother breastfeed me and my brother. My Mother-in-Law breastfeed her children. Our child care provider breastfeed her daughter.
3. A good electric double pump.
I have breastfeed in public too. I wasn’t going to be a recluse never leaving the house with a nursling. I was hesitant and scared at first…which I think is completely normal. It took some practice to figure out how to keep certain things covered and not make others uncomfortable around me. There are definitely ways to be modest about breastfeeding in public and not have your boobs hanging out for the whole world to see. The more you do it, the more confidence you gain and the easier it becomes.
Here is a picture from the 2012 Big Latch On at Riverfront Park in Spokane.
My goal was 1 year. There is no doubt I will make it there. At this point I almost feel silly thinking that might have been hard to accomplish. Then I think back and remember the agonizing first 3 ½ weeks.
Oh My Word it was soo bad… screaming in pain bad, bloody nipples bad, stomach flipping bad, hating my body bad.
I cried. I cried at least half a dozen times. I was so close to giving up and just giving him formula. I had doubt. Doubt in my abilities as a mother and doubt in my body. Wasn’t this supposed to be natural and easy?
Why am I telling you this? Well because it got better and then it became easy. It went from self-induced torture every 2 hours to magical. Little hands caressing your skin. Fingers touching your face and playing with your hair. Drifting off to sleep in your arms. Warm breath on your chest. It is what dreams are made of. I wish I could hold on to those moments forever.
I am so so so thankful that I trusted my gut and stuck it out. I am so thankful that I have a husband and mother who knew that breastfeeding was important to me and didn’t offer any formula..EVER (we didn’t even have any in the house). I am thankful for a community of other likeminded parents who gave me encouragement and confidence that I could do it.
So if you are reading this and wondering if you could exclusively breastfeed for 6 months, a year, and beyond? Yes, you can! There might be obstacles, but it is possible! Watching your child thrive and grow on your breast milk is AMAZING. I know that I have given him the best start to life that I could.