Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January's Carnival of Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding Goals

Welcome to this month's Carnival of Breastfeeding! This month's theme is breastfeeding goals. Be sure to check out what other bloggers have to say on this topic at the bottom of this post.

When I began my journey into motherhood, I was nervous and a little bit scared of the huge responsibility I was about to undertake, but I was absolutely sure of two things: No. 1, that I would have an unmedicated birth and No. 2, that I would breastfeed.

I have always known that I was a breastfed baby and it has always been a source of pride for me, because I know I got the good stuff and because I was in awe of my mother for making the commitment to nurse me into toddlerhood. I was weaned at 18 months because my mother had simply had enough and our nursing relationship was no longer enjoyable to her. In the 70s, most moms didn't breastfeed. In fact, when I was born, only about a third of children were breastfed. So I know that it took an even greater effort on my mother's part to nurse me than it takes moms today.

Although I was seriously committed to nursing, there were some bumps along the way. A poor latch in the first few weeks left me with sore nipples and a baby who was gaining too slowly. When I returned to work, I had a difficult time letting down for the pump and my inability to empty my breasts effectively left me with plugged ducts and two bouts of mastitis. My supply dwindled, I had to supplement with formula more than I care to even think about and I was in tears almost every day. I was a sleep-deprived wreck, waking up in the middle of the night to pump, pumping before bed, choking down nasty supplements and eating bowl after bowl of oatmeal trying to hold onto my milk. Through it all it never felt like a sacrifice because I knew I was doing what was best for my son.

As long as there is milk in my breasts and my baby wants it, I'll be here for him. I can't set a goal for us in days or weeks or months or years. I still enjoy nursing my baby. When I get home from work, it is the first thing we do. When he wakes up in the morning, we snuggle together in bed and nurse. When will we stop? I can't really say. I know when he is done with this part of his life, he will let me know that he has moved on and no longer needs to be breastfed. When that day comes, I'm sure I'll be sad, but hopefully I'll be lucky enough to get to begin this wonderful journey again with more children. And my goal for them will be the same: to be there for them, to nourish them with my breasts, for as long as they need me to.

Other Carnival of Breastfeeding Entries

Breastfeeding 1-2-3: The goal of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months
The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Tanya's breastfeeding goals for 2009
Zen Mommy: 2009 breastfeeding resolutions
Beautiful Letdown: Extended & tandem nursing
Hobo Mama's breastfeeding resolutions
Secrets of Orual: overcoming a tough start to breastfeeding
Milk Act: plugged ducts, mastitis and blebs, oh my!
Mama Knows Breast: Andi's breastfeeding goals
Breastfeeding Mums: Goals for after the breastfeeding relationship is over

blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts with Thumbnails