When I was pregnant, I read The Girlfriend's Guide To Pregnancy. The author says something really odd about nursing. She said it "feels good." As in a sexual kind of feel good.
I don't mean to challenge what another woman feels but, What!?
I just finished nursing Baby Mo to his first birthday. In my experience, nursing doesn't feel bad but it certainly never felt good...not like that! I have so many questions for a woman who would say something like that.
August is World Breastfeeding Awareness Month: a time to discuss, promote, and support nursing mommies. I figured I would take this time to share my experience nursing my first baby to my goal of 1 year.
Weaning was difficult for both Baby Mo and myself. Around 11 months, he started to show disinterest in nursing at times, and then seemed like he wanted to nurse at other times. My husband had a hard time understanding why it was so difficult. To him, weaning meant cold turkey. Just cut him off. Why is that so hard?
My milk didn't dry up immediately and Baby Mo seemed confused by the change in routine so we weaned down to 2 feedings per day at 11 months. We went to 1 per day at 11 1/2 months and by his first birthday, he was on grass-fed cow's milk. Our last nursing session was on his 1st birthday. I made it!
I can't exactly say that I miss it. It feels SO liberating that my body is my own again after almost 2 years. Plus, he sits with me while he drinks his bottle of milk so we still have those quiet moments together. I cherish the nursing time we had but I was ready for us both to graduate.
As with any graduation, it is normal to look at your report card. I did have to supplement with formula. I tried to keep track of how often and I would say he averaged about 1 bottle per week when I was away or behind in pumping, starting at 3 months old. My husband estimates that he was 98 percent breastfed but I would estimate it is closer to 93 percent - not to put too fine a point on it.
Sure I wish I wouldn't have had to use formula but I do know that I did the best I can. And 93 percent is still an A! That isn't to say that mommies that don't nurse get an F. On the contrary! We are all doing the best we can! But seeing as it is World Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I thought that I would go ahead and congratulate myself a little. I deserve it! I persevered!
I won't break my own arm patting myself on the back. A lot of women don't nurse and are amazing mothers and a lot of women nurse beyond 1 year. And I shutter to think of nursing multiples for that long! This post is to salute those of you who are fighting the good mammary fight - pumping, hooter hiding, and lactating! Pour a little out in honor of the milkboob, ladies!