It’s Been a Boobiful Ride

I blog hop a lot as so many of us do, but one blog has me coming back for more (daily) and today Cat at 3KidsandUs was talking about this being World Breastfeeding Week. Wow! It is an entire week devoted to the boob…all boobs…okay, just boobs. Yes, I guess I could be a little more tactful. It is a week of awareness as the issue of breastfeeding is promoted.

Before I had children, I never realized how important the issue of breastfeeding would become to me. As Cat stated, it is definitely a personal decision. When I wrote a post late last year sharing my personal story, it was gratifying for me as well as an opportunity to encourage other mothers who were having difficulties either making a decision to breastfeed or who had entirely given up due to lack of support or knowledge.

As I come to the end of my breastfeeding days with my son Canyon, I am sooooo very glad that my determination allowed me to stick it out. I can tell that he is too because he’s still hanging on, but the time has come for it to end and it has been a “boobiful ride.”

Originally Posted at 5 Minutes for Going Green – 9/08
Breastfeeding Blues

I am counting down the days of pleasure and intimacy I’ve enjoyed and shared with my baby while breastfeeding him. My baby is two months shy of turning two. I am not really sure how well he is going to take it, but some days I can’t wait for him to grow tired of clinging to me and treating me like a pull toy. When I was younger, I never realized how valuable ALL of my body parts would be, but as I have gotten older, I’m thankful for the way I was made and that all of me has been able to nurture the health and development of my children. Women are wonderfully and uniquely made.

Breast milk has many benefits for baby such as possibly preventing allergies, boosting intelligence, and its immune system. Moms are not to be forgotten with possible benefits from breastfeeding like lowering the risk of certain cancers (which runs in my family), reducing stress levels as well as weight, and “also helps the uterus to get back to its original size and lessens any bleeding a woman may have after giving birth.”

There are also environmental and economic benefits from breastfeeding, which include waste-free breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and snack too) for your baby. I was amazed at the cost of baby formula. Regular, dairy-based formulas are slightly reasonable, but when I used formula for my oldest, I had to purchase a soy-based or “allergy-free” formula, which often was more than $20 a can. I looked forward to his doctor visits when I would receive free samples. Our monthly budget improved once he moved from formula to table food.

I have breastfed all three of my children and as it looks (no pregnancy in sight), those days will never come again. I am getting more comfortable with accepting that fact, but it doesn’t mean I don’t long for another child and not just to breastfeed. This last experience with my youngest has been a little more special. Despite the fact I have three children, I’ve been able to spend more time with him, my confidence level is higher, and I’m more comfortable with breastfeeding.

A little over six years ago, I was in a different place. I was a new mother and unsure about how to do this breastfeeding thing. All of my nurses were extremely helpful with showing me how to position my son so both of us would enjoy the experience. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much coaching needed because naturally he knew where to go when he was hungry. Over the next few months I didn’t think twice about it. It was just something we did together.

Many doctor appointments revealed another story. He wasn’t getting enough to eat. Unfortunately, I grew frustrated and didn’t want to harm my baby, so I gave up on breastfeeding before he turned eight months. It was disappointing to me because everything about it felt natural and right. I often wonder if my switch to formula for him has anything to do with the allergic reactions he experiences today.

The La Leche League (la leche means the milk in Spanish) has been promoting breastfeeding for more than 40 years. I never joined an organization or support group, but maybe if I had, then my first attempts at breastfeeding would have been more successful. I encourage any mother who has a desire to breastfeed to be determined and seek assistance if needed. Formula has not always been available, so do what feels natural and right for you and your baby.

As I mentioned, I am now more comfortable with breastfeeding. I do it whenever and wherever I need to. At first, I was extremely modest, but when my children were younger and if it was a choice between hearing piercing screams of hunger or just feeding them, I chose the latter. I’ve raised my shirt in grocery store aisles, stood behind the toiletries section in Target, and other times have plopped right on the floor. I covered up the best I could and then moved on when they were finished.

My experiences with my daughter and youngest son have been quite different. I fed her until she was a little over two and weaned her as she moved from the breast to table food. She even ranked in the high growth percentiles, which pleased her doctor, but I was more impressed with the fact that I continued producing milk. My son was a big fat baby and I didn’t mind anyone saying so because all of that was due to the milk his mommy made for him.

While breastfeeding is not for every mother, it has been the right decision for me. If you decide to go the formula route, then you can still be green and feed your baby healthy. Baby Organic carries some brands of organic baby formula. The products adhere to strict standards that are required by companies producing and manufacturing organic products. There is nothing genetically modified, synthetic, or chemical about these formulas, which is often common in conventional baby formulas. I wish I had known about these products when I was serving my older son because they also have soy-based formulas for infants as well as toddlers. The prices are also a little more affordable than what I used to pay.

I know our days of this special intimacy will soon be over. It has been wonderful. Call me selfish, but I’m not going to initiate his weaning, but instead allow him to wean himself.

Additional Resources:
Breastfeeding.com
How to Breastfeed
Milk Share
Mom’s Breastaurant (Nonie even travels out of state to events.)


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5 Responses to “It’s Been a Boobiful Ride”


  • Comment from Jenny

    It’s great to hear from other mothers breastfeeding toddlers. It’s a special part of the breast-feeding relationship that lots of mothers miss out on by the pressure to wean early. My youngest is 18 months and still going strong. My oldest didn’t wean until she was a little over three. I know I don’t have to tell you to cherish this dwindling time with your son. They get big so fast it takes your breath away.
    ~Jenny~

  • Comment from trisha

    thank you so much for sharing your story w/ the community. You bring a ton of experience into this discussion and celebrating breastfeeding week.

    trisha

  • Comment from Upstatemomof3

    I have loved reading all of these breastfeeding stories this week. It amazes me how each story is so vastly different and still kind of the same.

  • * Visiting from MomDot.com
    Great Blog, I’m a breastfeeding Mama! I am mommy to four children ages 13, 11, 9, and 18 mos. I breastfed all of them and me and the eighteen month old are still going strong. :-)

  • Comment from Future Mama

    Wow! what a great story! I love reading about relationships moms build with their babies while breastfeeding! I can’t wait to experience that bond! It’s interesting cause I never thought about what MOMS gain and love about it too, and how they’ll miss it! Thanks so much for sharing this post! I linked to it on my blog! :)


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