July 28, 2011
However, the main thing I've learned about breastfeeding is that it's actually a very taboo subject. Before I had Manny, I had no clue actually how sensitive a subject it could be. I attribute that largely to the fact that many women who can & do breastfeed, act superior to those who can't or choose not to. Now hear me out - not all women do...I personally hope that I don't come across that way, because I certainly don't believe it makes me any better. But I've read many blogs, tweets, or had conversations in person that blew me away regarding the attacks on people who don't breastfeed. I don't understand it at all.
Breastfeeding didn't come easy to us. I don't know if it was because I had a c-section or what, but my milk didn't come in for at least 48 hours. And that was after drinking a ridiculous amount of Mother's Milk Tea - which I highly recommend if you need help with milk production. Even then, Manny had a hard time latching, so we had to use a ni.pple shield to begin with. Patrick had to help me at every feeding. Manny wouldn't wake up, didn't want to eat, etc. It was definitely a team effort and something I certainly would've given up had I not had the support of Patrick, my mom, and sisters. After about a week, we started to get in a groove and within 2 weeks, we had things down pretty good.
I think the thing that surprised me most about breastfeeding is nobody had really told me how hard it was. It is painful at first...not only the baby actually eating, but your uterus contracts the first week or so. Wow. Had no clue about that one.
The reason I decided to go ahead and share all of this is because I wanted to encourage those of you who might be first-time moms soon that if breastfeeding doesn't come easy, that doesn't mean you can't do it. Will it take work? Absolutely. But still yet? It might not work for you, and you need to know that's okay, and not to beat yourself up about it.
I have friends who tried everything, and breastfeeding just wasn't in the cards for them. The fact that people would ever make them feel inferior makes me so sad, and actually downright mad. I see the guilt some of these moms live with, and to me? It's for no reason at all. It is fine to be a breastfeeding advocate, but I challenge you to be thoughtful in how you approach others in regards to breastfeeding. At the end of the day, I believe most moms are doing what is in the best interest of the their child's health and well-being, and that's all that matters.
With all that said, the time has come to wean Manny. Yes, I'm aware he's 14 months and some people are totally disgusted by the fact that he still nurses. But then others? Don't understand why I'm quitting so soon. :) It's such a matter of personal opinion.
Case in point: I called a health food store to see if they sold a tea called No More Milk, and the lady was practically horrified that I would want to stop nursing and gave me a mini-lecture, even though I told her my son is 14 months old. Now why did she feel the need to say those things to me? I don't know, but I do know that I allowed it to cause me to question myself. Really? After 14 months of nursing I would still question if what I did was good enough all because of her judgmental comments? Pure ridiculousness.
But yeah, the weaning process is no fun when your kid doesn't take a paci or have any kind of lovey. It was time though, and we know our little guy will be just fine, even if he is just a tad irritable this week now that his world's been turned upside down. :)
I know this post is long, but this is something I am passionate about. And by that, I don't mean I'm passionate that everyone must breastfeed, but that I'm passionate about the fact that mom's should have the freedom to make choices without being guilted from other moms. We need to build each other up, not tear each other down. And that, my friends, is my 2 cents...and a little more. You're welcome. :)