Saturday, August 2, 2008

Whatever's Breast for You

It is no secret that I breast feed/fed my daughters. While I am an active nurser, I am not necessarily a believer that all women should whip 'em out. In reality, I commend women who say that it isn't for them. Better to want to do it than feel forced to do it.

From the physical, e.g., sore nipples, a cringe-inducing first latch, and engorgement issues that cause your breasts to be rock hard, to the mental, e.g., the embarrassing leakage that causes you to grow instant wet spots on the front of your shirts, nursing is a commitment.

Other cons you may not realize:
  1. Your bra size continues to change.
  2. After carrying your baby and having what may seem like an alien body for nine months, your body still won't be your own until you stop nursing.
  3. Nursing doesn't mean you can't get pregnant or that you won't get your period back.
  4. Sure, you can eat things that you couldn't eat while you were knocked up (e.g., cold cuts) but you will have to limit some foods such as broccoli and beans and potentially all milk products if your baby turns out to be lactose intolerant.

It is also very stressful to nurse when you return to work. Pumping is not only time consuming but some days you just feel downright miserable praying for your boobs to just give up a little more liquid gold. You mentally goad your hooties into producing, "Righty, man, you are the big loser today. Lefty is KICKING YOUR ASS." No, shaming your girls does not help in increasing your production, but at least you feel like you are doing something about it.

On the other hand, nursing actually does help you get your original body back sooner since you burn more calories. It is also convenient, inexpensive (the original investment in a worthy pump for those that return to work plus breast milk freezer bags and nursing bags doesn't even come close to a monthly tab for formula), and an awesome experience. I love having Dee nestled next to me. I love looking down at her while she eats and knowing that I am her mommy and I am nourishing her and providing for her from my own body.

I have to also share that the Hoos loves the fact that I am nursing. It means he doesn't have to get up in the middle of the night. I am a nice wife in that I don't make him get up to change her diaper before I nurse. She usually poops while eating anyway, so this would just be a cruel example of misery loving company.

To be honest, it isn't that miserable. It is time alone with the little angel that I carried and nurtured and couldn't wait to meet. She is healthy and thriving and I like to think that, in large part, that is due to me. From my perspective breast feeding is a gift that Dee and I give each other.


Anonymous said...

Amen sister! Despite it being such a "natural" thing, BFing as literally been one of the most challenging parts of this mommy gig. Oversupply, nursing strikes and baby distractability, oh my! Thank goodness for lactation consultants and pals like you.
Love, LN

Robyn said...

I totally agree. I hated it at first, but kept telling myself "one more week" and all of a sudden, 3 months had passed. I couldn't continue when I went back to work, so after 4 months, I REALLY missed it.

There's nothing like knowing you can give your baby EVERYTHING she needs!

Tiffany said...

I really enjoyed nursing my little one and I just wish the boobs had continued to produce more milk and that Lily had not decided that she preferred the bottle over the boob. My nursing days are over and I really wish they weren't. Keep up the good work!