I feel like writing something tonight. I happened to see a short clip about breastfeeding and I want to share my story.
When I was pregnant I decided I wanted to breastfeed. I read information about it and I expected it to hurt. Although, I kind of assumed it will be a natural thing and I don't have to worry about it so much (as I thought with childbirth too! Haha...)
From the moment my daughter came to this world, she wanted to breastfeed. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that right away, since I was recovering from a c-section. After 1.5 hours of her life outside the womb she was finally reunited with me and found my breast. I will never forget the feeling when she latched on to my nipple for the first time. It seemed like the most natural thing for her and my heart sang "she knows how to eat, so wonderful!".
She loved to eat from the start. The second night and onward she was constantly at my breasts. I had a lot of help to get her in the right position. The feeling was so special. The breastfeeding did not hurt and I just kept going without much thought. As soon as I got home, I got wounds on my nipples. Now, this is so painful. I even called my mom the second day home that she should buy formula because I thought I couldn't do it anymore. I remember the pain, the tears, the frustration, the awful feeling of not being able to give my daughter what is best - breastmilk.
With great help from family and friends I stuck with the breastfeeding and after a few days it only hurt in the beginning of the feeding. I still disliked breastfeeding from time to time, thinking I cannot live my life so attached to somebody else. I asked my friends around why they chose to breastfeed. I felt like my daughter did not love me, she only loved my breasts. I felt like it was very difficult for me to find positive things about breastfeeding, but for some reason I just did not want to give formula unless I really really really felt like giving up.
Today, I wouldn't want to do it any other way. I have no more pain from breastfeeding (unless she is not doing it properly and then I stop it since she isn't even eating then). The best feeling in the world is when your baby comes to you and gets instant relief from your breastmilk. Babies want to eat whether they are hungry, sad, needs comfort or closeness. It's an absolutely amazing feeling that my body is able to produce FOOD for somebody else. That sometimes the only thing they need is you and your milk. I am so valuable to my daughter and it's a joy when she calms down in my lap and falls asleep because she feels so safe at my breasts.
WHO recommends that you breastfeed your baby at least 2 years. This is something a lot of people don't know. Many think that you only breastfeed babies when they are really small and people around me tend to ask when she starts to eat food. Only breastmilk for 4-6 months, after that you start with solid foods as well. The main energy intake under the age of 1 is milk, either formula or breastmilk. Earlier I also thought "I only need to survive this for 6 months, then I can stop", but as time has gotten along I've learned to understand that this is not the case.
It feels weird for me to give my daughter cow's milk instead of MY OWN SPECIALLY PRODUCED MILK. But, whatever way a woman decides to do with her baby, is her own decision. Giving formula is not worse than breastfeeding or something anybody should feel guilty about. The mom's well-being is of most importance. I know, since I was so close to stop breastfeeding a few times. I just want to say, that if breastfeeding is something you want to do, fight hard to do it and get a lot of support from people around you.
I've been lucky since Jasmine has always loved food and wants to be often at the boobs. Many women experience problems with babies. For example, the babies don't want to eat, screams at the breasts, eats too little, only likes one breast, only eats at home, only eats in one position and so on...breastfeeding is a whole science and I feel like more support for this needs to be out there. More money reserved for fighting problems with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is so normal for me now. My boobs are not even boobs anymore, they are milk machines. They give my daughter energy and nutrients. Seeing boobs and nipples does not bother me one bit. I see breastfeeding as such a beautiful act between baby and mother - just how it should be. When and how the breastfeeding will stop depends on only two people - the baby and the mother. Not what society thinks is appropriate. I also breastfeed in public when needed. My daughter gets food when she is hungry, no matter where I am. Because my daughter's needs are more important than you being comfortable seeing somebody breastfeed.
Aaah, there is so much to say about this topic! What are your experiences? Did breastfeeding work for you?