Monday, October 26, 2009

Breastfeeding is Life Changing

Welcome Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! This month’s Carnival theme is “What I Wish I’d Know Then….”

When I was first thinking about this month’s theme, it crossed my mind that I could talk about clusterfeeding, and how I wished someone had told me it was perfectly normal for my son to be attached to my boob for hours on end every evening. Then I thought it would be better to dispel the myth that newborn babies eat “every two hours.” I mean, I guess technically it’s every two hours, but the clock starts when your baby begins his meal, not ends it. So it usually feels more like feeding every 30 minutes, round-the-clock, especially if your baby is a gourmand like mine was and prefers to hang out at the buffet for hours, savoring every drop.

But honestly, what I wish I’d know then, and what I don’t think I could ever have imagined, was how much breastfeeding would change my life. I never thought the simple act of feeding my baby could be so life altering. For the first three months, I lived, breathed, ate and slept breastfeeding. It was all I could think about and talk about (and, it seemed, all I ever did). I spent hours online at the Kelly Mom forums, asking questions and reading about other moms’ experiences. I scoured the internet for pictures of women breastfeeding, for articles about breastfeeding, for videos showing how to hand express or latch my baby on. It wasn’t just that I was having some trouble and needed the help (I was and did), but I wanted to know as much about breastfeeding and how milk is made and how babies nurse as I could. It was at this time that I discovered many of the blogs I love and read to this day, and was inspired by other black women who were as passionate about breastfeeding as I was. It was what inspired me to start this blog, which has been an outlet for me and brought some amazing opportunities my way. Because of Blacktating, I have met and become friends with some of the smartest women on the planet who have educated me not just on breastfeeding, but on birth, child development, feminism, attachment parenting and more.

Breastfeeding has changed how I view my future and my career path. I am going to attend training to become a Certified Lactation Counselor so I can teach breastfeeding classes on the weekends. I have been inspired to a higher calling, to help women and babies.

Breastfeeding is such a huge part of my life that sometimes I wonder who I will be when I am no longer nursing. I don’t even think I can count all of the ways that I have changed since becoming a mother, but I know that I wouldn’t be the same woman I am today if I had not breastfed. I want all women to know that breastfeeding profoundly changes you in ways you couldn't have imagined, although I wish I had known then!

Photo credit: Motherwear

Please check out the amazing posts on "What I wish I had known then..."by these other bloggers. This is one of the best Carnivals to date, with some of the most heartfelt posts on breastfeeding I've had the pleasure to read in a while.

Massachusetts Friends of Midwives
My World Edenwild
The Adventures of Shrike & Whozat
Hobo Mama
The Starr Family Blog
Momma's Angel
Breastfeeding Moms Unite
Birth Activist
Three Girl Pile Up
Happy Bambino Blog
Fancy Pancakes
The Milk Mama
Fighting Off Frumpy
Breastfeeding Mums
Cave Mother
Breastfeeding 1-2-3
Mum Unplugged

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