Breastfeeding, in my opinion, is one of the best things you can do for your baby. That is if you have the time because I am not going to lie breastfeeding takes a lot of time and dedication. But, it is so worth it and it is a just my personal preference. I decided I was going to nurse my last child because I currently work from home, I am quite frugal, and even though I gave my other children formula, I just couldn’t stand the thought of doing it this time. There are a few reasons why, but I don’t want to get into that because many mother’s decide that formula is just great for them and that is totally fine with me. But, before I started this breastfeeding journey, I am currently going on 5 months in, I had a ton of questions and things popped up along the way that I had no idea about. So, I decided to write a few things about breastfeeding that I had no idea about before I started. Let me know of anything that you have figured out on your nursing journey too in the comments below.
1. Some women do not get a menstrual cycle while breastfeeding.
This was a big shock when it happened to me because like I said, I formula feed my other children. So when I didn’t start my cycle, I was like what is going on. Good thing I have joined many breastfeeding support groups on Facebook and they all said they were going through that too and it is quite normal. This happens especially because I co-sleep and I wear my baby for most of the day too. I am just as attached to him as he is to me. But it is getting better, he has been napping on his own for a couple of weeks now. ☺
2. It DOES get better.
I don’t know how many times I heard, it will get better just give it time. In the beginning I was like, are you sure!? Because I felt like giving up so many times in the beginning of this journey. I actually gave up for one whole week. I still gave my baby breast milk, but I exclusively pumped. There is nothing wrong with exclusively pumping, your baby is still getting your breast milk. It’s just for me, I could not keep my supply up that way. I was pumping less and less everyday. So after a week of not nursing my baby, I thought to myself, I wonder if he will still latch on. I tried it again and he loved it. Latched right on as if he never took a bottle. So we have continued feeding on demand since. My son refuses to take a bottle now at all. Anyway, the way it gets better is when I first started, I was in so much pain. My nipples were sore because he was hitting growth spurts. So I cringed at the thought of him latching on, but I just did whatever I could to soothe my breasts. Taking a nice shower really helped me personally and allowed me a little time to just relax and kind of unwind. But there are a ton of other things you can do to soothe the ache like creams or even breast milk helps.
3. Breastfeeding is more convenient for me than bottle feeding.
For me personally, it is so much easier to breastfeed than to bottle feed. I don’t need to wash bottles, sterilize bottles, or prepare any bottles before I leave the house. I just grab my baby and go. I quit breastfeeding for one week because I was tired of the pain in the beginning and just tired. But, when I started pumping I realized, for me, it was just more effort to pump and bottle feed than to just pull down my shirt and nurse my baby. I also got way more rest at night because I breastfed laying down with baby, so we both would fall asleep. I know a lot of parents do not like to cosleep with their baby, but it works for me and my family. I just suggest you do whatever works for you and your family.
4. I love the bond I share with baby.
I didn’t think that I would love nursing as much as I do now. I like it so much I have chosen to take a big cut in pay to just do things from home that make me some money. Yes, I could go out and make more , but right now I choose to exclusively breastfeed 24/7. I do not go anywhere without my baby and when I thought there was a slight chance I may have to go back to work outside the home, I burst into tears. So right now my family is living off of one and a half incomes. I do everything I can to make that work. We do not go out to eat, or buy things we don’t absolutely need. And I am fine with that for right now. In a few months, David will turn one years old and at that time I will have reached my goal of nursing for 12 months. We will see what the future holds them, it for now I am happy as can be at home with baby. Til next time, take care.