If you’re my friend on Facebook or know me in real life, you know I’m passionate about Breastfeeding. Yeah, I’m a bit of a “lactivist”. I’ll wear that label proudly. But here, in this post, I want to clear up what that does and doesn’t mean to me and what my Breastfeeding experience has been like so far and what I’d like it to be in the future.
First, because I know some of you may have the wrong idea about where I stand:
– I DO believe that mama’s milk is the very best nutrition for a baby for as long as its possible to provide it. There is no one “correct” age to wean.
-I DO NOT believe that formula is the devil or that mamas who go that route have failed their children-particularly those mamas who tried to nurse their babies.
-I DO believe that with more support and education more mamas would be able to successfully nurse their children.
– I DO believe that mamas should be able to comfortably and unharassedly be able to nurse our babies anywhere we choose, as is our legal right in 45 states. I will not allow anyone to shame me or stop me.
-I DO NOT believe that this means we have the right to be insensitive and flaunt our bare breasts everywhere. The important thing is feeding our babies, not making a point.
If I seem a little extreme and passionate, it’s because nursing and learning constantly more about its benefits for both mother and child just amaze me every day, and I want to share. I apologize if it bothers or annoys, but I hope this helps you understand where I’m coming from.
Formula mamas: it’s not you I feel combative against, it’s the way our culture has taught us that formula is “the way it’s done” and subconsciously ended many possible Breastfeeding relationships before they began. I believe in you and your ability to nourish your baby and it bugs me that there is such a knee-jerk reaction to give up instead of easier access to support, encouragement and resources to help you nurse as long as is right for you and your baby. I don’t judge your decisions, I just wish more women could experience the reward and benefit of nursing.
My experience has been amazing. The first time Lexi nursed she took to it amazingly. 10 minutes on one side, five on the other. Then she napped and napped-for 4 hours she just refused to wake up! (My labor was really really long and she was active the whole time, so she was tuckered out!) when she did wake, she was frantically hungry, and not willing to do the work to latch. I tried for an hour before calling a nurse to help. She gave me a nipple shield, and Lexi latched like magic. I was warned it could cause problems with her nursing efficiency, but she gained weight like a champ, I had an epic supply, and we were golden. She has been healthy all but 3 days of her life, and is still mostly getting her nutrition from nursing, though she eats some solids. Our bond is amazing, and it’s incredibly gratifying to see how God used my body to continue to grow her from 7-22 lbs since she’s been born. She hated taking a bottle (maybe because it was rare) and is just now starting to show interest in her cup.
I hope to keep nursing Lexi as long as she likes. My goal is at least till her second birthday. There are a few factors that may interfere with that:
-if she self-weans sooner. I see no sign of this happening soon. Lexi loves her milk!
-if I get pregnant and the milk goes away.
-if we decide we need clomid again to get pregnant. (Current plan is to wait on this until she’s two or weaned)
Lately I’ve been daydreaming about tandem nursing. I feel like it’d be a great way for Lexi and the new baby to bond and a way to teach her that she’s not being replaced by baby, she just gets to share mama with the baby now.
So…now you know!