“Always Trust Yourself More Than You Doubt Yourself.”
I will always stand by the fact that Mothers need and deserve a consistent flow of assurance. As a Mother who is also going through the emotional roller coaster of breastfeeding, I understand the need and want for occasional up-lifting. I want you to understand that whether you have breastfed for a week or well over a year, you are doing absolutely incredible. It takes so much will-power, drive & determination to breastfeed, but your child will thank you one day for taking on this giant, highly-important journey with them. Breastfeeding comes with a whole slew of emotions and obstacles- From feeling drained after a long night of off & on latching , to the happy tears that fall from your eyes as you watch your sweet child nurse themselves to sleep, looking so peaceful and content. Every second of it pays off on in the end!
Atlas & I have been on our breastfeeding journey for 15 months, now. It has been a long, amazing, tiring & rewarding adventure but we have come to the point to where we are ready to start weaning. I feel like it is an ideal time for the both of us. Its been a bit bumpy so far, but it is getting easier. Atlas’ father & I want to start teaching him to feel comfortable falling asleep in his own room & learning how to self-soothe throughout the night. Until then, we will have no problem continuing to co-sleep until he is fully ready. I also stand by baby-led weaning, so we are trying to find a happy medium (I can create a separate post about this if you guys would like). Ultimately, this leads into the part of Encouragement that states that whatever choice you make as a mother, is your right. You can go on breastfeeding for as long as you and your little one are comfortable. At the end of the day, it is up to YOU and YOUR CHILD. I support you in whatever decisions you make!
In addition to this, I know from experience that family and friends can often times try to put a damper on your breastfeeding choices- Whether they believe that after a certain point, there is no longer a “need” to breastfeed, or if they just simply do not understand the concept, please don’t ever feel ashamed of your choice. My opinion on “they can only get so much nourishment from breast milk” is the same opinion I have on vitamins and supplements. Do vitamins just stop nourishing & absorbing into your system after you take them for a year? No. It is the same premise with breastmilk! Although your child may not be 100% reliant on it anymore, it doesn’t hurt to have the occasional supplementation & also boosts Mommy’s health & defenses, at the same time.
Here are some breastfeeding benefits & facts:
- Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system, which helps them to fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
- Breastfeeding can reduce baby’s risk of disease later in life.
- Breastfeeding reduces a Mother’s risk of certain cancers, like ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
- Human milk contains substances that promote sleep and calmness in babies- Also making SIDS much less likely.
- Your breasts will always produce just enough milk (Supply & Demand).
Statement #5 leads me into my next point of Encouragement & something that I often worried about: Thinking your baby isn’t possibly getting enough & how on Earth can they survive on just breastmilk!? Well, the simple truth is that your body and your baby have great communication between one another. The more your baby nurses, the more milk you will supply & vice versa. It is jam-packed with “good-fats” that will ensure your baby is completely stuffed after each feeding- So do not worry yourself! Your baby is healthy, happy & has a full tummy!
Furthermore, another huge thing that I feel the need to discuss, briefly, is breastfeeding in public. Although Atlas & I have spent many of times in a bathroom stall or car, nursing, we have also spent just as many times breastfeeding in a booth at a restaurant and many other public places. You should not feel like you’re condemned to the bathroom anytime you need to feed your child outside of the house. If you are worried about dirty looks & criticism, I just want to say this: Let people stare & let people talk. It may be uncomfortable in the beginning but ultimately, if they are judging you, their ignorance should not even faze you. If they are incapable of understanding that you are feeding your child (not to mention, saving everyone else in the room from hearing your child’s hungry/sleepy cries) then you should be incapable of giving a damn about what they think!
In the end, the most important thing to remember is that this journey is worth it. With not only the nutritional factor in play, but also the bonding time that is priceless & irreplaceable- There is nothing like knowing that you can supply so much love & comfort for your child. It brings me such serenity being able to offer Atlas copious amounts of nutrients & cuddles & I know you feel the same about your baby!
- Be kind to yourself
- Know how incredible you are
- Know how amazing your breastmilk is
- Trust your body
- Understand that it is all worth it
- Pay no mind to discouragement
Overall, I hope you pulled some courage & support from this article. I want you to understand that you are an absolute Bad-Ass Mama & no-one will change that about you!
Let me know your thoughts & opinions on this topic or if you’d like to see more content like this~ Your feedback is always, always welcome!