This post was inspired by a blog a friend recommended:) BTW, there's a pic of C breastfeeding on here. Not meant to make anyone feel awkward but to show how natural nursing is and how that's what breasts are made for:) Look away if you want to:)
C used to eat every 1-2 hours as a newbie, spending at least 30 minutes to fill up. Long meals:) Now he can go up to 4-5 hours without nursing (when he's busy!!) but generally eats every 2-3 hours, for about 10 minutes at a time. He's growing up!!
Breastfeeding was really simple for me and C. I know this isn't true of some moms and babes though:( The only discomfort I've had was all in C's first weeks of life: uterine cramps while he ate for the first week and restless legs for the first 3-4 weeks. Oddly, as soon as C latched as a newbie (and for the duration of his 30+ minutes of eating) my legs went CRAZY! I had to walk while nursing him since sitting was unbearable!! But I had really bad RLS the last half of my pregnancy anyway.
These days C still nurses for most his nutrients but our nursing relationship has changed. He's so interested in everything happening outside his meal, he eats faster so we have less nursing time, and he stays awake after most meals. His sweet newborn days of being "drunk on milk" are pretty much gone:)
So, here's 10 Things I Love About Breastfeeding:
- Love that I can feed my kiddo food made ~exactly~ for his stage of life. Amazing to think my milk changes as C grows and his nutritional needs change! I make food perfectly matched for his brain, health, future, and more! He'll have a better immune system, fewer infections, lower risk of SIDS, higher intelligence, lower childhood and adult diseases, and even be at a lower risk of obesity!! He'll be a healthier person forever because he's a breastfed baby!
- Free!!! Can we say AWESOME?!?! Of course I need to eat more but I've basically kept my pregnancy diet (lots of protein, veggies, fruits, and at least 8-10 glasses of water/milk daily).
- Easy peasy to make. Baby is hungry? Just pop out the boob!! Easy to soothe. Baby banged his head and is screaming? Pop out the boob!
- I get plenty of time to clean C's: ears, eye goop, neck folds, fuzzes on his face/hair, and any other tiny nuisances flawing my kid's beautiful face. As my sister Leah told me when C was tiny, breastfed babies are very groomed babies! Ps- check out Leah's blog for a sweet post about C and his cousin Lilly!
- I get to cuddle my boy. So nice. So unbelievably nice:) Holding a sleeping babe everyday is vital to a mama's mental health!
- I get to play with C's chubby hands, legs, and feet. Now that he's older, he plays too; with my lips, chin, necklace, and anything his absently swaying hand can reach. Priceless:)
- I get to try to make C laugh while he's eating. Most times I succeed and he pulls off to smile a mouth full of drool and milk:)
- I can catch up on news, FB, e-mail, and anything Internety for at least 1 hour each day. Very often more;) Many days this is the only way I check my e-mail!! Love my smart phone!!
- While it can be frustrating to be the ONLY thing that my baby wants sometimes, especially at evening bedtime, it is amazing. Pretty much nothing makes C happier than nursing.
- I lost allllll my pregnancy weight. And more. Oops. So now I can happily eat fatty foods like butter, whole milk, heavy whipping cream, and seconds and thirds of any meal I want. In fact I HAVE to eat that way now! So much yummy food:)
- ETA- 7 months and no return of my menstrual cycle:) Well, 16 months counting my pregnancy. Is pushing a baby out worth 16 months of no period? Very debatable!!!!
So there you have it! Hopefully C will continue nursing until he's at least 1 year old (as the American Academy of Pediatrics advises) and I'd love him to nurse beyond that (World Health Organization recommends 2 years).
And if you want to learn more now or one day, just read So That's What They're For!, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and The Breastfeeding Book. Or (and I HIGHLY recommend this!) go to your local La Leche League meetings. You'll meet friends, get support, and have your questions answered.