The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful of Breastfeeding

It’s World Breastfeeding Week and once again I have a little nursling who wakes me every few hours at night, and who reminds me to sit down every few hours during the day and just be. She’s my last and it makes me nostalgic just to think about life after she weans. Free-er but farther away. One less thing my babies need me for.

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Breastfeeding is such hard work. It is planning and preparing and sacrificing and sitting and taking time away from all the things that need to get done. But it is also a privilege. It is a well-deserved break from chasing the toddler. A quiet moment in the midst of a chaotic event. It is a reminder to just sit and be with our babies. No phones or computers or competition for our attention. Just a quiet, comfortable, replenishing snuggle.

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Of course – this isn’t always how breastfeeding looks.

Some days it’s in the carrier while I chase Mia around at gymnastics. Other days it’s on the toilet while I brush my teeth and supervise a bath. And still others it is sitting on the bathroom floor of a bank, breast pump whirring away while a corporate meeting continues two rooms down the hall.

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Some times breastfeeding is hard. It is power pumping and cluster feeding and fenugreek and oatmeal and domperidone prescriptions. Sometimes it’s easy and it’s 9-pound super sucker babies with a freezer full of frozen Lansinoh bags.

Same momma, same genetics, just different babies. Or different weeks. Or different seasons of our lives.

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For some momma’s, breastfeeding is just too much. Or too hard. Or just not in the cards for whatever reason. For any reason. And momma – I hear you. I support you. I love you and so does your babe.

But for me, this bond with my babies is sacred. The same bond I shared with my own mother. And if one day my babies share that bond with their babies, then I will cry my eyes out with happiness because how. fucking. beautiful would that be.

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I never knew I wanted to be a mother until I became one. I never knew I would write sentimental blog posts about feeding babies until I wrote one. I never knew I would be THAT lady on the cross-country redeye flight who told the redneck next to her to sit down and suck it up – or listen to a screaming hungry baby for six hours straight.

“Nobody ever says anything to you about it because you have this look when you’re feeding them in public like I fucking dare you to say something…” says Dan.

“…and so nobody ever does.”

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That’s the mama bear that comes out that you never knew was in you. That’s what motherhood will do.

I owe so much to my babies. For making me better. Making me whole. Making me mom.

But I will always, ALWAYS, be especially grateful for this. For this sacred time when we are apart and yet still bound together. For making me feel strong, capable and powerful. And for making me love and appreciate my body in a way that I never, ever have before.

Nursing my babies has been the greatest blessing. Here’s to many months more – and a lifetime of sweet, milky memories.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

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