Our Breastfeeding Story

This is the end of World Breast Feeding week, and I’m finally sitting down to write about my breastfeeding experience.

I’m still nursing Caroline at almost 12 months and I nursed Andrew for 22 months, until I got pregnant with his sister. I never in a million years thought I would end up breastfeeding as long as I have.

But so far it’s been one of my greatest joys of motherhood, and I want to share with you why that is.

Breastfeeding is hard at the beginning. I’d read books though (loved So that’s what they’re for) and knew I really, really wanted to do it, and I’m so glad I pushed through. Because once you get through those first three months or so it really is so, so easy.

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Hi baby Andrew!

I love breastfeeding because it forces a mama to sit down and snuggle with her baby even if the house is a mess and dinner needs to be made. Those first few weeks with my babies were such a special bonding time that’ll I always, always remember.

I loved settling in on the couch with my baby to nurse away a fussy afternoon. I can’t tell you how many times I snoozed right along with Andrew when he was tiny. (And oops. I might have done that a time or two with Caroline while Andrew was loose in the house – ha!)

It’s really good for baby and mom. Everyone has heard it: breast is best. I would never want to make a mom feel bad for formula feeding. Bottle feeding can be wonderful and special too, but for us I’m thrilled we made the decision to breastfeed.

Andrew was so healthy. And Caroline’s been pretty healthy too considering she has an older brother in MDO. And I’m really hopeful I’ve set them up to have less of a struggle with weight gain and diabetes.

And for me personally? My body seems to totally agree with breastfeeding hormones. I don’t know why, but I seem to be a very happy breastefeeder. It’s like my body knows it was designed for this and is happy to be doing it!

Also, it’s an awesome way to comfort a sad baby and there are no dishes. Seriously, I’ve washed about four bottles in my whole life.

Now why do I think it’s worked out so well for our family?

Brian was super supportive. He went to the pre-baby breastfeeding class with me at the hospital and was there with Andrew and me listening to the lactation consultants at the hospital. (And taking notes. He’s so thorough!) Having Brian’s complete support was probably what kept me going those first few rough weeks.

My mom and my mother-in-law both breastfed. This put me in a great starting position. I knew I wanted to nurse Andrew and I knew I’d get support from my mom and Janet. This meant so, so much to me.

I’m really pretty stubborn. I didn’t even have any formula in the house. I didn’t bring any home from the hospital, and I gave away all the free cans from my OB. I hadn’t even washed our bottles yet so it would have been a lot of work to give Andrew a bottle of formula!

Breastfeeding fits my personality and my lifestyle. I’m kind of a homebody, and I don’t mind staying home for a bit in the beginning. I wasn’t itching to get out of the house three days after Caroline was born. And even when I did head out with my baby I was fine with nursing in public using my cover.

Also, I have a super flexible job and really don’t have to leave my babies much for the first six months or so. I think that was really, really key. I’m a terrible pumper!

So here I am – my baby’s turning one next week and neither of us seem to be thinking about weaning. I don’t know how much longer we’ll go, I guess until she’s ready to quit. She might be ready sooner than Andrew. She almost never nurses to sleep anymore. But she sure is happy to sit down in our chair when I get back from a morning at the office.

I hope my story has encouraged you. If you’re having a baby and you’re on the fence about nursing, just give it a try. I’ve heard very few people say they regretted at least giving it a shot. And if it’s not for you, that’s fine too. Your baby will be loved and nurtured and cared for either way.

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