Breastfeeding Awareness and Education–our experience(s)

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I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!
You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.

I am currently nursing my third baby, Miss Patrice.  I have been nursing or pregnant since December 2005.  I have nursed for the first 20 weeks of Sue and Patrice’s pregnancies.  It is my joy and honor to have this bond with my babies.  And to be honest I am darn proud of how long I have nursed each one.  I am thrilled with the myriad of benefits for them now and in the long run. 

But you know what dawned on me recently?  I need it as much as they do, if not more.

Truly.

Yes, there are health benefits to me.  Lower risk of breast cancer and diabetes in the future…lose pregnancy weight faster (haven’t noticed that one), etc.  But for me, the benefit is much more emotional. 

I need to nurse my children in much the same way I need to breathe.  Right or wrong, it is part of my identity.  I am a nursing mama.  I am enpowered by the fact that I am providing them health benefits in the future, by the fact that I can comfort them in a way during infancy that no one else can.  I am empowered to know that this body of mine, that has failed me often in the past, now nourishes my babies.

I belong to a sisterhood of women, yes, the one of motherhood, which is powerful and embracing, but also the one of nursing mothers.  We share the joys of persevering through the challenges of nursing.  We share the struggles of people not understanding why we choose to feed our babies this way.  We share a bond that I hope some day to pass on to my three girls.  My older two already nurse their “babies” (and no, I did not need to buy them a $119 doll from Europe for them to do that); I hope breastfeeding will always seem normal and natural to them.  That they will be blessed as I am and will be able to nurse their children when they have them.

As of late, I have received another gift while nursing Patrice.

It has worked out that often while I am nursing Patrice, the other two are outside with daddy, so I am sitting in a quiet house just snuggling my little girl.  How often does that happen in a house with three kids?  How often will that happen as she gets busier and needs that time with mama less?  Probably never.  And for that my heart mourns, but for now, I have this time with my daughter that no one else in the universe can ever have.

For this I am so thankful.  I pray I never forget the joy of comforting one of my children by nursing them, never forget the drunk baby look when they have nursed to ultimate satisfaction, never forget the honor it is to hold them in my arms and nurse them.

These are just some of the joys I reflect on during this week long celebration of breastfeeding.<
(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)

Survive til you Thrive!

9 Responses to Breastfeeding Awareness and Education–our experience(s)

  1. Hi Charity! Great post! I often fail to realize how beneficial nursing is for me, too. I've been considering weaning a lot lately because I'm letting all the voices of people around me who imply it's the cause of his poor sleep seep into my brain, and because sometimes I just feel like I've had enough with the acrobatics and grabby hands. But when I read the posts that have linked up to the NPN blog hop this week, I get sad that I'm even considering ending our nursing relationship prematurely. I really don't know what to do.

  2. signingcharity

    Stick with it Jaime. I have to say there were plenty of times during the last months of nursing my Sue that I wanted to stop, but we stayed with it and I don't regret a second, even with all the acrobatics and pinching and grabbing. Those memories fade. And trust me, weaning DOES NOT guaranteed improved sleep, though I can certainly see why you would be looking for anything that might!!!!

  3. Thanks, Charity. It's so hard to not give in to peer pressure! I do want to wait until Jax seems ready to wean, and not just when I am ready. We'll see what happens. I am learning to take one day at a time! 🙂

  4. Oh Charity, this is so beautiful. Your girls are so lucky to have you and you them. I enjoy my nursing relationship too, but you definitely have made me think more about enjoying the moments.

  5. This is wonderful. I too, need to nurse my son for my emotional needs. There is no better way to bond with him and it is empowering to know that I am PROTECTING him by nursing.

  6. signingcharity

    I got serious flack from some people about nursing my middle one so long. But thankfully my hubby was all for it. We made a good team, I'm stubborn, he soothed my ruffled feathers. Personally, I hope to nurse Patrice even longer than Sue 🙂

  7. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama

    Such a sweet, sweet post 🙂 And oh so true – I *love* our nursing relationship, and I'm looking forward to doing it all over again with #2!!
    (Hopping over from NPN's WBW linky!)

  8. You should be proud of how long you've nursed your babes! It is a wonderful accomplishment. Thanks for stopping by my blog and offering your kind words. I plan to keep nursing my little one for as long as we can (my minimum goal is 2 years) and I'm not looking forward to the under-the-breath comments we're sure to get. It's worth it, though.

  9. Tomorrow my nursling turns one. So the comments, looks, etc. start tomorrow…ready, get set, go…

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