9 Things I'll Miss About Breastfeeding
The time has come for me to give up breastfeeding. Breastfeeding didn't start out being easy for me, and I wasn't sure if I could or even wanted to stick with it. My milk didn't come in for several weeks, and I constantly battled mastitis. Interestingly enough, it wasn't until I started weaning six months into it and dropped down to only two feedings a day that I actually felt like I had a handle on it all. And then I grew to like it, so much that I've surprised myself by making it to the one year mark. But now, this breastfeeding journey must come to an end. And I'm actually going to miss it.
Photo Credit: Anton Nossik
Bonding With Baby
That skin-to-skin contact while we gazed into each others’ eyes, is one of the things about breastfeeding I will miss the most. In the process of getting into a rhythm with breastfeeding, we were able to learn about, understand and really bond with one another.
The Way It Immediately Calms Your Baby
My baby could be agitated, restless or inconsolably crying, but put her to the boob and it was like I had immediately taken her to a place of zen meditation. Breastfeeding has the calming effect on babies that a Swedish Massage to a New Age soundtrack has on us. Present the boob to a breastfeeding baby and all else is forgotten. Catnipple. That’s what I like to call it.
Photo Credit: life mental health on flikr
The first six months of breastfeeding gave me so much drama that my boobs could have starred in a made-for-TV-movie. It was nice to know that through it all, I was burning extra calories every day. It’s as if your body said, “You endure cracked, bloody nipples, clogged ducts, spontaneously drenching your shirt in public, and you give up your perky, peppy boobs, and I’ll help you lose that baby weight.”
Photo Credit: Meyer de Haan
Feeling So Maternal
Breastfeeding was not easy for me for many months. I wasn’t sure I was cut out for it. But when I got into the groove, breastfeeding really helped foster my maternal feelings. Knowing that I could produce milk and feed my baby with it gave me a boost in maternal confidence.
Photo Credit: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Saving Time and Money
Breastfeeding can be so convenient. You always have built-in bottles ready to go and the temperature is always perfect. No messy powder getting everywhere, no cleaning bottles or sterilizing nipples. No drowsy trips to the kitchen to make a bottle in the middle of the night. And, it’s FREE! And “free” never sucks.
That Oxytocin Surge
Oh, that oxytocin. That feel good hormone which is responsible for your milk “let down” is the same chemical that’s released in the brain when you fall in love. Makes sense then when I finally got the hang of it, that I would be in a baby love trance for most of every feeding session, writing touching Hallmark cards in my mind.
Having My Body Be So In Tune With My Baby
Having my body so in sync with hers was an amazing thing. Having my milk production naturally adjust to her needs, or to feel the milk let down when I heard my baby cry, and even the feeling of being engorged when I was away or was late with a feeding had me in awe of the human body.
Photo Credit: Maegan Tintari on flikr
Having Big Jugs
For someone who usually sports peaches, it was nice to sport melons for a while. I can’t say I didn’t often stare at myself in the mirror, surprised at their size saying things like, “HeLLLOO Ta-tas” or “Holy BAZONGAS, Batman!” Even though they were pumped up with milk, I loved having big knockers.
That Quiet Time
I’ll miss that unique quiet time. When you can steal away into the bedroom, and everyone leaves you alone (or is supposed to, anyway), and you can sit in silence and clear your head. It was a time for both baby and I to recharge.
Through pregnancy and especially breastfeeding, my breasts have been through a lot. What if they had a Twitter account through all of this? Here's what they might have been tweeting...view gallery
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