Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Boobs Are For Breastfeeding

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I have been posting a ton about breastfeeding these last few days. It is one of the parenting topics that I am most passionate and outspoken about. I feel as though even in this day and age, breastfeeding is such a taboo subject. But why? It's quite common in other countries for mothers to nurse their children to past their toddler years. In fact, our own American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed your child until he or she is at least a year old!

I am proud to say that I nursed my son for one year. Yes, I know that so many other women nurse for much longer, however I had many things working against me. When my daughter was born in 2006 I wanted to breastfeed her. It just seemed right. Natural. However, we had so many problems those first few days. On the third day of her life, she had lost a lot of weight and wouldn't nurse and had to have and IV placed in her arm to feed her. As a new mom, I was scared. I was scared of what could happen and having just been through a hard labor with eventual c/section, I wasn't in any mood to argue with the doctors. She refused the bottle at first too. This actual made me feel a bit better because I was no longer convinced that she just didn't like me. (Sounds silly when I type it out!) Finally she took to the bottle, had the IV removed and we were good to go home. It was a lot less stressful at the house and I was free to try to nurse again. By that point however, she wanted nothing to do with it. Also, my milk never came in. (I now know that if I had been trying to pump regularly, it would have helped tremendously.) I was fortunate enough that I could pump a few ounces of colostrum and give her that. It's been five years, and I have so many regrets. (Some that pertain to breastfeeding/formula feeding, some not. But I will have a blog post on that later.)

I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and it makes getting pregnant very difficult. At least in my case. When I FINALLY became pregnant with my second child, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I started researching PCOS and its effect on breastfeeding. To be honest, it didn't look hopeful. I was still bound and determine to nurse. I never gave myself a goal on a timeline. I just wanted to nurse my child. I was met with a lot of negativity when I voiced my desire to nurse my child. I had zero to little support. I was feeling discouraged, but I still wanted to at least give it a try. I had been told several times that I would never even be able to conceive another child and I had, so when I was told I would not be able to breastfeed several times, it lit a fire in me and I became even more determined. I had done loads of research and knew I was going to give it my all. Finally after nine long months, my baby was born. A boy. We named him Ford Donald Robert. He was born on April 22, 2009 and was 10 pounds 8.5 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. He was PERFECT. So handsome. After my doctors were done closing me up (I had a c/section.), I went to my room. It was time for that first latch. I was so nervous. What if my baby rejected my breast again? All of those feelings of defeat would come back. To my surprise, he latched on right away and started sucking. He did it again. And again, and again. We had no problems!

I really believe that America over-sexualizes breasts. I mean, everywhere you look, TV, movies, music videos, magazines, billboards, etc, all you see is boobs, boobs, boobs! And you know what, that is fine. It really takes a lot to offend me. However, one thing I absolutely CANNOT stand is when people think breastfeeding is 'gross' and 'offensive'. How is feeding your baby gross? It's one of the most natural things you can do. Boobs are made for breastfeeding! I was not afraid to nurse my child in public. I refused to hide in a bathroom or put a blanket over his head because it might offend someone. When I see a mother nursing in public, I kind of smile to her. I try to encourage nursing mothers. It's time to bring normal back!

"While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent,
it is the best choice for every baby."
~Amy Spangler

Because this post is getting pretty long, I'm going to end it with a few pictures from my collection of nursing pictures. I love each and every one of these pictures. I'm sorry if these images offend you. It was not my intention. However I will continue to post these types of pictures in an attempt to normalize breastfeeding. It is nothing to be ashamed of. I really hope you enjoy these pictures.

"My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard."
~David Allen

After his first 'feeding'.

Just a couple of days old.

Almost a month old.

Watching my baby eat. Always so calm and peaceful.

Even when he wasn't eating, he still wanted to be close to them.

Love how he's looking at me here!

Big sister Zoey wanted to be in the picture too! I'm so glad she will grow up knowing
that breastfeeding is normal, healthy and the natural thing to do.

Oh no! There's a lion on my boob!

Sissy wanted to help feed her brother. I pumped so she could help.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Ford nursing.
He was about 10 months here. I love the way he's looking at me.

This is a short video clip of Ford nursing when he was only three weeks old. Perfection.

This pretty much sums it up. :)

"When she first felt her son's groping mouth attach itself to her breast, a wave of sweet vibration thrilled deep inside and radiated to all parts of her body; it was similar to love, but it went beyond a lover's caress, it brought a great calm happiness, a great happy calm."
~Milan Kundera

(For 101 reasons to consider breastmilk, click here!)


Erin Widener said...

Gorgeous pictures! And I love the video! Ford is so cute.

Lisa and Curtis said...

This was beautiful! And I LOVE the video, it actually made me tear up! Soooo miss those days! xoxo