Saturday, March 12, 2011

The joy of breastfeeding

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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.

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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. :)

11 comments:

  1. It's always worth it in the end. Well said!

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  2. He's so cute!!! luvuallbye

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  3. I give you credit for even trying! I have never been able to get much from pumping. Which makes it pretty hard to leave my little ones for the first few months. But you are right, it's so worth it. Only an experience you can have with him.
    Even though they won't remember, I'm sure they are grateful for these moments as well.

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  4. Great post. I only breastfeed for 4 weeks but it was just to much for me. Pumping one breast while he was nursing on the other. I am proud of you for sticking to it. Peanut is getting so big. He's adorable.

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  5. You only gained 21 pounds? OMG--I'm calling myself bad names right now!! That picture of pregnant you is beautiful by the way! LOVE the sweater and accessories. I'm having a really hard time feeling pretty at all these days and I've still got 22 weeks to go. I just HATE clothes and how I feel. Oh how I wish I could look like you did!

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  6. I really appreciate this post - I think you described the benefits of breastfeeding perfectly! My son is a month old, and we've had some problems breastfeeding, but this post reminds e of all the reasons why I want to stick it out a little longer.
    I just came across your blog, and I've really been enjoying reading it! :-)

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  7. And that my dear, is why I persevered with it too... the sweet quiet moments! Have you ever read Mckmama's blog? I was laughing the other day because she did a post on making breast milk ice cream for her children.... um... yeah, not something I'd do, but it made me laugh regardless. :)

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  8. This blog is looking too informative and interested. I love to read your blog.

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  9. It's true, Dawn! It was an amazing experience and Jake had taken too it like a pro. Unfortunately with my heart complications, it was short lived (although I was able to still pump and provide him with milk for at least a month or two before it wasn't enough.)I am grateful to have had that experience. Thanks for your post!

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  10. I can't believe you only gained 21 pounds! I think I gained that half way in. My total weight gained was 55lbs...but thankfully breastfeeding has taken that off. My plan was to breastfeed for the first 6 months, which she will be next week. But with the benefits of a great metabolism I'm thinking of continuing on a little longer, but introducing formula when she is with the nanny...cause I hate pumping! Well Ryder is such a cutie, I love his rosy "sleep" cheeks.

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  11. I only gained 23 pounds and DD was 9 lbs 11 oz so I left the hospital weighing less than when I got pregnant, BUT someone told me that the breastfeeding would help me lose more. NOT the case for me! I gained more weight nursing than I care to discuss - let me just say that I am still trying to lose it and the baby is now 21! But I loved nursing...after I got the hang of it. I remember call my LeLeche leader and sobbing into the phone that if it didn't stop hurting, I was DONE! She was there in 20 minutes and showed me how to hold DD1 and everything changed. 11 months with her and 22 months with DD2 and I would do it again in a heartbeat - pumping and all!

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