A while ago I wrote a post about how I don’t like breastfeeding very much, and ever since I have been feeling a little guilty because that’s not exactly the case.
At the time, I meant every word. And of course, there are still times where I feel it would be easier to be able to bottlefeed. But since Squishy has started sleeping better at night (and now my SPD has let up enough to allow us to co-sleep safely making his 3-4 nightly wakings perfectly manageable), the breastfeeding has become so much more enjoyable.
So, I felt compelled to write a smushy post to balance the side of breastfeeding that can sometimes be less than fun.
1. It’s so easy. I mean, I’m aware that it’s not easy for everybody – some women and babies really struggle with breastfeeding, and there’s certainly nothing easy about the constant pumping that working mums have to do. For most, though, after the initial learning and adjustment period of the first few months, the ease of breastfeeding becomes one of the most attractive things about it. Hungry baby? Fixing it is as simple as lifting your shirt.
2. Squishy loves nursing so much. Even at the tender age of 7 months, he is well aware of what “boobies” means and starts waving his arms and babbling at the mere mention. Then, once he is on my lap and I’m trying to get the goods out, the sight of him kicking his little legs and grasping at the boob is just adorable. His excitedness (is that even a word?) is heart-melting.
3. I love when he slowly raises his foot to my mouth with a cheeky grin on his still-nursing mouth, knowing that when it reaches my face I will not be able to resist nibbling on it just so I can hear his wonderful giggle.
4. I know I’m giving him the best. Parenting is hard work; we know what kind of parents we want to be – kind, gentle, loving, and patient – but we often fall short of our ideals because life with small children can be stressful. Even the most peaceful parents yell on occasion, or find themselves resorting to the shaming and coercing that they experienced as children themselves. However much I doubt my ability to parent my kids in the way I want to, when I breastfeed I *know* that I absolutely am giving Squishy the very best nutritional start possible.
5. Night-times are so much smoother. Night feeds involve the less than monumental effort of pulling him over to me, letting him feed, waiting for him to pop himself off, rolling him over onto his tummy and going back to sleep. Result.
6. The smell of his sweet, milky breath is intoxicating.
7. Breastfeeding helps me to maintain a basic level of respect for my body. I may not like it sometimes, and I may often wish I was smaller/firmer/flatter/tighter/more pert, but knowing my body has an important purpose helps me silence those self-destructive voices that we are all victim to at times.
8. Needing to nurse Squishy gives us all a great excuse for some quiet time. Sometimes the days can get very hectic and we all need to relax. Nursing time means snuggling on the sofa for a blissful ten minutes with my soft, warm baby whilst my older son either snuggles next to me with a toy, watches a little TV or plays at my feet. Nothing recharges me better. Well, a nap would probably recharge me better, but we mamas take what we can get
9. There’s not much in this world that’s cuter than when he sneezes mid-feed.
10. There’s something wonderful about breastfeeding that can’t be explained, quantified or compared. The feeling that wells up in your heart when the little person you brought into the world is looking you straight in the eye whilst feeding from your breast is something quite astonishing. Breastfeeding is pure love; not just the transference of nutrients and antibodies but the fostering of love and trust that will last a lifetime.
What do you love about breastfeeding?