I was raised in a bottle and formula household. My mother was very verbal about how gross she thought nursing was. Going by what I was taught & lack of breastfeeding support, my oldest two children were not breastfed…
I was clueless to the benefits of breastfeeding until we had our third child. And to be honest, I started breastfeeding for selfish reasons – breast cancer prevention. My mother had stage 3-4 breast cancer while I was pregnant. During my research, I stumbled on information encouraging nursing to lower your risks.
For every 12 months of breastfeeding (either with only 1 child, or as the total period of time for several children), the risk of breast cancer decreased by 4.3%, compared to women who did not breastfeed. Risk decreased by 3.4% for each child breastfed, compared to women who did not breastfeed. This lower risk did not differ by women’s age, race, numbers of births, age at birth of first child, family history, or country of residence.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to breastfeed my little girl when she was born. After two months of trying, excruciating pain, and a baby who was dropping weight like crazy – I gave up. I was so disappointed. I didn’t think I would ever be successful at nursing a child. I wasn’t even producing enough to pump!
When our youngest son was born, I had gained the courage to try it again. I was very determined to get it right this time- and I DID! At three years-old, he’d still be nursing if he had his way! I was shocked at how easy it was for him. Only days-old, I was nursing him in my Moby while attending homeschooling functions! It was wonderful! Not having to carry around bottles of water and cans of formula was fantastic! I had no idea something I thought was terribly difficult could be so easy!
My husband on the other hand, didn’t take to me breastfeeding so well. He struggled to bond with our little boy who only wanted me. He became very upset that this child he adored wanted nothing to do with him. He also didn’t care for me breastfeeding in public, even in the Moby – it was something that took a long time for him to become accustomed to. To be honest, he wasn’t very supportive of breastfeeding at all. If I wasn’t as determined as I was, I probably wouldn’t have continued.
There are a few benefits of breastfeeding that I rarely hear talked about. For me, breastfeeding forced me to slow down. I was once a mom who would prop a bottle as soon as the initial bonding was over. I was busy, I had lots of important responsibilities to take care of. Now, my idea of propping is babywearing while nursing. Don’t worry, I won’t get into the benefits of babywearing in this post…. I’ll save that one for later (smile).
What do I mean?
When my littles are first born, nursing drained my energy! It seemed like the moment they latched on, I was instantly tired and thirsty. I honestly feel like this is Mommy’s built-in reminder that she needs to sleep too! Nursing put me on a schedule for sleep I was never on before. It was a constant reminder 1) Have I had anything to drink lately? 2) Are you tireder than you think? If I were still a formula feeding mama, I never would have caught on to these cues from my body.
There is truly no greater bond than the one you create when you are nursing your baby! If someone had told my formula feeding younger self this, I would have thought they were being unfair and hurtful. But I am here to tell you – it is true!
Let me explain…
I love and adore my bigger bunch, but there are times I didn’t feel very connected to them. I feel like we are having to learn this because we failed to connect somewhere along the way. I don’t feel that with my youngest group at all. I am very connected to them. Some may say it is because I am now a stay at home mom. Some may also account this to being older & more mature. While I’m sure those two do play a role, I strongly feel that I made a huge mistake in not breastfeeding my oldest bunch.
The secret to mother-baby bonding might be breast milk, according to new research that determines that breast-feeding mothers are more likely than formula-feeding moms to bond with their infants in the months after they’re born. They also demonstrate stronger brain responses when they hear their baby cry, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Read More Stories from the Boobies!
Are you considering breastfeeding? Do you want to know more about it? OR Do you need support from other nursing mothers? The ladies below have graciously allowed me to share their stories with you. These are stories of trusting your motherly instinct, determination, faith, and triumph through the trials!
- Encouragement for the First Time Mom: When Breastfeeding Isn’t Easy by Jamie for the Breastfeeding Place
- Breastfeeding Through Jaundice by To the Moon & Back.
- Breastfeeding Triplets: A Battle of Love by Jennifer at the Breastfeeding Place
- Breastfeeding in the NICU: When Things Don’t Go as Expected by Marla for Intoxicated on Life, Pursuing a Healthy Home Life
- Breastfeeding While Pregnant – My Experience by Joanie at Simple Living Mama
- Coping with Breastfeeding Guilt by Joanie at Simple Living Mama
- Breastfeeding….My Story with Nemo by Laura at Raising Soldiers 4 Christ
- Turning a Corner by Tori at We Keep Choosing Us