Friday, August 27, 2010

Breastfeeding Part 2

Way back when Baby was just a newborn (wow, feels weird to say that), I shared a little about my experiences with learning to breastfeed. Well, here I am over 6 months later, still breastfeeding very often and ready to give an update for those of you who care to listen!

I have continued to breastfeed "on demand" since Baby was born. By this I mean that I don't feed her every 2 hours on a schedule (for example), but rather, I feed her whenever she is hungry or wants to nurse. Sometimes this is 2 or 3 times an hour and sometimes (more recently) it is every 3 hours. I have found breastfeeding to definitely be a life style choice. I have dedicated myself to it pretty full on and am still so grateful that it has worked out so well. It can be tiring and hard on the back. Sometimes it's a pain to find a comfortable place to nurse when you're out in public. If you have larger breasts like I suddenly do (still an odd thing for me....) then some positions just don't work well. At night, I also nurse Baby on demand. This has been somewhat challenging at times. Sometimes she still wants to nurse all.night.long. Seriously. Sometimes she nurses every 1/2 hour for the entire night. By the morning I'm usually not very well rested and if I haven't drank enough water during the night I wake up feeling faint and light headed. Clothing choices are also affected. I wear a nursing bra and a nursing tank top every day. If a top is not nursing friendly I don't bother with it. Luckily, I'm not, and never have been, much of a fashionista so this isn't that much of a challenge for me. Hmm, what else. Oh, Baby has teeth now!  Six of them to be exact. They are hard and sharp. She hasn't bitten me that often but the evening, cluster feeding, pop on and off sessions can be very painful over time. She also pinches, grabs and kicks me on a regular basis now that she is such a busy body. It's also a time commitment. I rarely leave Baby and the few times I have it has only been for a few hours.

Sounds fun, right?

It is! I LOVE nursing. I love the time I get to spend with Baby. I love studying her little face and body and playing with her hair and ears and toes while she happily nurses and, often, drifts off to sleep in my arms. I love when she smiles at me or giggles while she's nursing. I love that it makes her feel happy and content and secure. It's a bonus that I don't have to worry about bringing water or bottles when I go out. I love that it forces me to just sit and be quiet and relax. I love that it helped me lose the "baby weight" really quickly. I love that I don't get my period right now! And of course, breast milk really is the best, best thing I can ever feed my baby.

I feel so fortunate yet again. Breast feeding is hard but it's also wonderful. Some women can't breastfeed. Others choose not to. I would urge everyone who is expecting a baby to plan on it. Have support set up before your baby arrives. The first few days are hard but with proper support it gets better really quickly. And good luck!

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