Saturday, March 12, 2011
The joy of breastfeeding
A while back I did an honest post about how hard breastfeeding is.
What I didn't talk about is lovely it is.
There are some very tangible reasons why breastfeeding is wonderful. One being the bundles of money you can save by not having to formula feed. Of course, this wasn't the case with me but it would've been nice. Man, the money we spend on formula.
Another much more exciting reason that I loved breastfeeding was the increased metabolism. Like super, mega-metabolism! Really. I gained 21 lbs during my pregnancy, lost 18 lbs in the first 10 days and because of the increased metabolism I was able to keep it off. I even kept it off even when I ate whatever I could get my hands on, mostly all those things my pregnancy and diabetic diet wouldn't allow.
I mean, this reason alone made me rethink the amount of time I had originally hoped to breastfeed. Suddenly extending that period or even pumping for 1, 2 or perhaps 20 years might be nice.
I know it was the metabolism that kept the weight off because when my milk production started to dissipate I gained 5 lbs. Now I'm back to having to control my intake which isn't nearly as fun.
I loved breastfeeding because I felt like every single ounce that Peanut drank was like some kind of protective serum. Doing that for him, giving him that, fulfills such a basic need to provide for and protect your child.
Instant comfort, especially in those first few months, was something that I was constantly grateful for. Nothing else soothed Peanut so quickly and so completely. No matter what happened or how upset he got I knew that some quiet time breastfeeding would calm him and most likely leave him sleeping peacefully.
I loved watching that little bird mouth searching and then hearing the subsequent yum, yum sounds as he slurped away. I may have occasionally laughed when he moved, lost his latch and ended up getting squirt in the face.
Mostly I loved those special quiet moments. The power of providing something that noone else could. The closeness of the both of us as we sat together. I loved looking down at his sweet face and feeling that bond between us.
Excuse the past tense/present tense confusion in the post. I'm currently in the last of my efforts to increase my milk flow. I'm almost exclusively pumping now.
Regardless of whether or not I'll continue to provide breast milk I am so glad to have been able to give him even a bottle of breastmilk a day. I'm glad to have shared all these little moments... and it totally made the rocky beginning worth all the pain and trauma.
I suppose that's what motherhood is all about... getting to look back at the pain and trauma and confirming that it was all worth it in the end. :)