Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy World Breastfeeding Month

August is World Breastfeeding Month!  Also the month when my first born joined our family and I started breastfeeding.   I couldn't let it go by without a post.

I am almost 2 for 2 here... meaning 2 years nursing each of my 2 boys. 
It is a special relationship.  Like any relationship, there are sweet, easy times and times when it's a struggle.  I always viewed breastfeeding as "normal" and just assumed it was the way I would feed my babies. 

The first two weeks were hard... He cried. I cried. 
But we persevered.  Just like a new mom, I didn't understand the complex emotions and hormones I'd be dealing with in those early weeks.  Not to mention the physical changes.

When my first babe turned out to be fussy/colicky/high needs/whatever label that means they are basically unhappy all the time and let you know about it, I felt like nursing him was the one thing, and sometimes the only thing, I could do "right."

By six weeks we both knew what we were doing in this deparment, though he was still a super cranky dude.  I hoped to make it to 12 months, but really couldn't envision nursing beyond that.  The closer we got to one, I didn't see the reason to stop.  At about 10 months in, I started attending La Leche League to get some more support.  Turns out there are lots of benefits for extended nursing (beyond a year) too.

Fast forward a few years and I am currently nursing my 23-month-old.  I've learned a lot on this journey and don't regret a single minute.  I encourage any new or expecting moms to educate themselves, find good support and give it a shot. 

Here are some of my favorite links:

* 101 Reasons to Breastfeed

* What are the Booby Traps? "Women are being pressured to breastfeed but set up to fail!"

* KellyMom.com is my most favorite site for late night trouble shooting and reference.  The Normal Course of Breastfeeding info is a must read for any mom preparing to breastfeed or a new mom just getting started.

* La Leche League - Use the dropdown box at the top to find LOCAL support.  Nothing beats in-person support from a group of moms who have "been there done that" and who want to see you succeed.  It's amazing to think this international organization started with just a handful of moms who got together back in the 50's to support eachother and share information.  Mother-to-Mother support really does work. :)
photo from about.com

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