It’s World Breastfeeding Week, a week set aside to encourage breastfeeding in expectant mothers and show support for those who are currently nursing their children. I have been breastfeeding my children pretty much for the last seven years. There were a couple small breaks when I weaned my toddlers to get ready for the birth of a new baby, but for the most part I’ve been nursing. I love nursing. I will admit that it’s easy for me. It can be exhausting, and yes, there are some not-so-awesome parts, but most of it is really, really wonderful. So, in honor of it being World Breastfeeding Week, I threw together My Top 5 Breastfeeding Moments.
5. The Beach Shun.
This summer our family went on our annual trip to the beach. It was just a regular beach, not a conservative, cover all your extremities beach (Do those even exist?). I mean, there were Mennonites in long dresses and bonnets, but most people were scantily clad in their swim suits. The baby got hungry so I sat down, threw a light linen shawl over myself, and began nursing her. Along comes a woman with her two pre-teen children. She notices me nursing, and her eyes almost pop out of her head. She shoots me the “how dare you scar my children for life” look, grabs her children close to her, and shields their eyes away from me. She probably turned them towards the woman wearing the string bikini top who was showing much more boobie than I was. I’m pretty sure that made my day. I love irony.
4. Chocolate or Vanilla?
I was nursing my son, our second, and my three year old daughter was sitting in the room with me. My son was quite restless and just couldn’t decide which side he wanted to nurse from. So we were playing a version of musical boobs. My daughter noticed the movement and asked why he was switching sides. I said, “I think he’s trying to decide which one tastes better.” Her reply, “Oh, is one side chocolate?”
There was that one time I made a Quattro Leches cake instead of a Tres Leches cake. Tres Leches means “three milks” in Spanish, and the cake requires three types of milk to make it. I needed to nurse the baby while I was making the cake–I know what you are thinking, and no, I didn’t go there. But technically, it did take four kinds of milk in order to achieve the finished product, hence the new name for the cake. Did you have the same reaction as the others I told this story to?
2. The First Let Down.
Perhaps, like any new mom, I had fears about breastfeeding. I feared that my milk would never come in. I was tired, emotional, hormonal, etc. after giving birth and feared that I wouldn’t be able to nurse. And then my milk came in . . . and then it came out. One side got tapped and there went the other side. Woah! How does one turn off the plumbing on these things?
1. The First Latch On.
And now for my top breastfeeding moment. I have four children, and the first time they latched on and suckled was an amazing moment. My first born did not get the opportunity until she was one month old. After a few weeks of nutrition through an IV and then on to a bottle to get her stomach used to food, I was able to “pump out” (basically pump my breast dry) and attempt to let her latch on. Being a month old, and much more alert than a newborn, she looked right up at me and we just stared at each other as she suckled. It.Was.Awesome. The first latch ons with my other children, directly after birth, were amazing as well. Knowing that your body can switch gears, just like that, and produce milk for your baby is amazing. I love breastfeeding!