On the morning of June 17, 2018 I breastfed my daughter for the last time. It was a sad moment for me. It was sad to say goodbye to breastfeeding and everything that came with it. I loved breastfeeding. I loved the cuddles, the bond, the comfort it gave, the health benefits, the convenience, and so much more.
My breastfeeding experience was incredible
Breastfeeding was something that my daughter and I enjoyed together. She LOVED it and would have kept going for who knows how long. I am grateful that it was something that I enjoyed, because I know that not everyone does.
Some people see breastfeeding as a sacrifice. A sacrifice of your body and a level of freedom that lasts longer than the nine months of pregnancy. That can be really difficult for some.
I didn’t see it that way. I see breastfeeding as a SUPERPOWER. As a nurse, I learned a lot about Anatomy and Physiology. I knew the basics of how the body works and a bit about breastfeeding. As I learned more and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) I was amazed at how truly incredible a woman’s body is. We can create life and then we can create milk to maintain that life. And that milk is specific to our baby’s needs. It is amazing. Our bodies are amazing.
Preparation helps…with anything/everything
Breastfeeding is not always easy. I was so glad that I had taken classes to become an IBCLC, and that I had also taken a Breastfeeding Basics class before I delivered. They both gave me useful tips and tricks that helped me with breastfeeding when that time finally came. It was so helpful. Knowledge is power! I felt a lot more confident in my ability to breastfeed and take care of my new baby because of the knowledge that I had.
Longer than expected
Before I became a mother and joined the “breastfeeding moms club,” I never would have imagined breastfeeding for 18+ months. I was sure that I would stop at 12 months, mostly because everyone that I knew had stopped breastfeeding by 12 months. When I started breastfeeding, my mentality completely changed…especially because the 12-month mark was in the middle of winter.
I wanted to give my daughter breastmilk to help fight against all the sicknesses that often come in the winter. After winter passed, I thought I would stop in the spring. Spring came and went. My daughter had slowly weaned herself and was breastfeeding less often, neither of us seemed to be ready to stop.
It was so hard and I put off stopping for as long as possible. It finally came to the point where I had to stop in order for my body to regulate hormones in order to do treatments to get pregnant again. I won’t lie, I would still be breastfeeding if circumstances were different. I had to stop in order to do fertility treatments.
In most cases, women can continue to breastfeed…even through another pregnancy. That is, of course, as long as the pregnancy is going well and is low risk.
Individual results may vary
Every breastfeeding experience is different, and I am so grateful that I had such a great experience with my daughter. It came with its ups and downs, just like everything in life, and overall was amazing.
Please reach out to us for help
If you are having difficulty with breastfeeding, or if you have questions or concerns about anything related to breastfeeding, feel free to reach out for the help you need.
I hope that our personal breastfeeding experience will help you as you prepare to breastfeed, are currently breastfeeding, or are supporting others that are breastfeeding.