It’s a week away from Thanksgiving, so of course it got me thinking about my journey with breastfeeding my two babes and how thankful I am for every bump in the road and joyous milestone.
First, I am thankful for my mom breastfeeding all of her children, even when working full-time. Even after going back to work, she did what she could to continue breastfeeding. Then when day feedings were not a reality anymore, she never gave up on night feedings for my siblings until after a year old. I think this helped me develop an understanding and reality that you don’t have to give up breastfeeding all together if it doesn’t look “perfect” or if you can’t exclusively breastfeed; you just do the very best that you can do for your baby.
Next, I’m so thankful for all the challenges my son and I faced with my first breastfeeding journey. Because of these challenges, I knew we could make it through anything, and breastfeeding was always going to be my son’s full source of nutrition, no matter what. Having faith in myself to never give up and that it wasn’t an option really help me focus on how to improve, move forward, and that it’s naturally what my body can do (positive); not focus on how imperfect it was going, or what fears I had (negative).
I’m also thankful for going through the first couple weeks of my son’s earth-side life with supplementation. Yes, you read that right – I’m thankful. But not why you might think. I’m not because I believe he needed it. In fact, I think he did not need it. I was very upset by the fact the hospital made me and forced my son (literally) to have formula. He did not want it and would not drink it, so they tube fed him. I was able to pump colostrum after he was born and he got it within the first couple of hours of birth. And when he breastfed, from the moment I first held him, he latched like a pro and just wanted to be on me. Because he was 6 weeks early, I know the nurses and doctors were following protocol and their main goal was for him to gain X amount of weight before leaving (he was 5 lbs) to be healthy and developed, but my milk alone would have been enough. My milk came in a day and a half after birth and my milk was specially made for him, and him being early.
But, I am thankful we did experience supplementation for 2.5 weeks with my breastmilk because after using 3 different formulas, I can confidently say I saw and know the different physical affects formula had on my baby, a newborn baby, verses just breastmilk. I’m just thankful we didn’t give up on each other and that my son was patient and strong when I had to build my supply back up at just 3 weeks postpartum. Thankfully, with the support of my loving husband and an amazing, nursing baby – he could have eaten 24/7, which he pretty much did – we were able to do it!
And last, I am so eternally thankful for what self-love, acceptance, patience, and strength breastfeeding has brought me.
Happy Thanksgiving, Mamas!
What about breastfeeding makes you thankful?
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