Yes, this is probably an awkward post for some people. It isn’t something I discuss frequently because, well, it is very personal. But it is National Breastfeeding Awareness week, so I thought I would touch on it.
I admit I was hesitant to write anything about this. I think breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a baby. I am very thankful that Ben and I have been able to share a nursing relationship. He was a good eater right from the start. I know that isn’t always the case. The one thing I worry about with all this emphasis on breastfeeding is that it will hurt the women who choose not to, or are unable to. There are many women who decide not to breastfeed. Honestly I feel that is their decision and that I am not one to tell them to do otherwise. I don’t know them, I don’t know their situation. A newborn eats a lot. All the time, a lot. Any way you feed that child, bottle or breast, is time consuming and tiring. Support should be given to all mothers and fathers, regardless of how they choose to feed their baby.
That being said, I am thankful I am able to nurse Ben. I do think, after the initial learning curve, it is so much easier. I never have to pack bottles to go anywhere, I carry them all the time. 😉 I didn’t have to prepare anything in the middle of the night, just stumble into Ben’s room. True, this meant that Pat wasn’t able to help with middle of the night feedings, but we got through them. I prefer to nurse privately, so that means planning around Ben’s nursing when going out. But really, it isn’t that hard to do. The trade off for that is knowing that I am feeding Ben something that is perfectly healthy for him. I was super excited when Ben started solids, but during these times where he refuses to eat vegetables it is so nice to know he is still getting complete nutrition. Of course I am thankful for the money saved by nursing. Formula is expensive! It has really helped to not have to pay for that this past year.
I am very thankful that I have been able to nurse Ben for the past year. I feel lucky and blessed to have had family and friends that were and are so supportive of nursing and my goals for Ben. It would have been so much harder without that support. I am thankful I have been able to achieve a parenting goal, and I am thankful that I have been able to give Ben what I consider to be the best start on life when it comes to nutrition. I am thankful I could breastfeed my son.