03 July 2014

adventures in breastfeeding II

A very few people have expressed interest in more of my thoughts on the topic of breastfeeding. Despite having a lot to say on the topic, I don't often go into it. It's a sensitive subject for many, and often an intensely personal one, and I respect that people have different experiences with it. I believe a lot of the judgmental opinions that get tossed around about it don't help people who want to nurse their babies be successful.

Breastfeeding successfully was important to me as I anticipated having a newborn. I had heard many stories about it being hard and not working out. I felt like it was akin to labor and delivery, where you could hope and dream it would go a certain way, but really you had little control over the outcome. I felt really lucky when we seemed to establish nursing successfully.

So began my transition. Before having a child, breastfeeding was a foreign concept. I remember seeing a friend sitting in an audience pull out a nursing cover and feed her newborn without getting up to leave, and witnessing her feed a tiny baby under a cover somehow caused me to feel uncomfortable and question her judgment a little. Then I had a kid. One who really really likes nursing. There were days when my newborn was latched to the breast for 12+ hours at a time. Sometimes that was the only thing I could do to stop him from crying constantly. And now as a two-year-old, he has never really fallen asleep another way.

My ideology gradually adjusted to the reality of humoring a nursing-obsessed child. Now, the fact that the subject of breastfeeding is even a controversial one, subject to opinions and commentary from all sides, is sometimes quite startling to me. I kind of forgot about the rest of the world and how weird I became. I felt like it was just my kid and the way he jives. Nursing is such a big part of his life and thus my life as a mother that it's beyond normalized in my head. I'm genuinely surprised society hasn't transitioned as fully as I have.

But speaking of breastfeeding commentary, this satirical piece that someone shared on Facebook yesterday made me LOL: "How to Breastfeed Appropriately"

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