image by emily999"...we proved to be gentle among you as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children." I Thess. 2:7.
I asked my husband the other day if he ever wishes he was a mother...haha...he did not quite get it, of course he doesn't, he is a man. It has just come to my attention lately that I feel so blessed to be a mother and all the duties that come with it, especially being able to feed my baby. What a great feeling it is to be the primary nourisher. Will has gotten pretty chubby, so I know he is nourished. The Greek word for nurse is nourisher. Will is now over 4 months old and has really caught on to feeding and can eat quit quickly now. I think back to when he was a newborn and how difficult it was for both of us to catch on to nursing(maybe because I had a c-section or maybe not), but enduring through it was well worth it! I compiled a list of things I have learned along the way about breastfeeding, the blessings, and the benefits of it. Some of you may agree and have similar experiences and maybe some of you will learn something you did not know. I am not an expert but it was such a mystery to me before having a child. It is one of those things I did not quite understand until I started to do it. I just feel I need to share this with everyone because first of all it is God's design, but also because being social about it and sharing your experiences helps boost confidence...and this is about something so important. There are many things I experienced through nursing that I thought I was the only one it happened to, when in reality it was totally normal; people just don't like to talk about it. So here is my list, feel free to comment on any stories/blessings you have experienced as well, I would love to hear about it.
*Nursing satisfies babies hunger/thirst, but also is a way to comfort.
*feeding on que helps him to not only grow strong, but to learn to trust.
*No emphasis on schedules: not looking at the clock.-Sometimes Will likes to eat every hour and half or less, but then other times he may want to sleep for 3 hours and then eat.
*I have read it is impossible to run out of milk if I have been feeding frequently enough (so far that is the case)
*I learned that it is ok that he does not sleep through the night, that is the way his body was designed for now. Why does everyone think of that as a negative thing?
*Breastfeeding is preventative against breast cancer for mamas.
*I learned that babies use 100% protein from the mother's milk and less than 50% can be absorbed from cow's milk or formula, so that baby has to take twice as much, which is extra work on the kidneys.
*nursing is a good way for me to loose weight faster-I gained a lot during my pregnancy, but I learned that that extra weight was needed for energy while breastfeeding.
*I learned Will's que for feeding is sucking his fist or crying...but I learned that it is better to catch him before he starts crying so he doesn't get to worked up.(That is a benefit for having him sleep close to me at night)
*when he cries I can put him up to my breast and that usually takes care of whatever he needs(hungary or comfort) unless he is gassy.:)
*it is less work: I don't need to prepare a bottle, it is ready anywhere and anytime.
*the breastmilk is packed full of great immunities that is needed for my babies development.
*I realized that I liked wearing nursing tank tops ($12.00 at target), because it is not only more comfortable, but makes it easier to cover up when I am not nursing at home.
*going to La Leche League-talking with other mothers helps to understand and boost confidence.
*It makes me want to have more children; the closeness and the love.
*I learned that the earlier and the more often you nurse gets you off to a good start and boosts your milk supply.(just making it a priority)
*I never used a bottle, pacifier, or nipple shields and Will seemed to be just fine.(Using these might create nipple confusion and interrupt with latching on)
*I learned that position is important. He can not swallow well when his body is not straight or his mouth is not open wide enough.
*making a nursing station at home for those early months with pillows, a stool under my feet, water(it makes me super thirsty), a snack(need an extra 500 caleries a day while feeding), my phone and a book or the remote.
*nursing laying down helps me get an extra few minutes to sleep- although is still kind of hard while milk supply is really strong. I have woke up in a puddle of milk a few times. :)
*Even though Will was in the NICU for a week they were able to bring in a cot for me to sleep there at night so I could encourage him to eat as often as possible. (early and often)
*I learned that talking to him and encouraging him to eat helped to keep him awake and eating, or openning my mouth wide for him to see what to do.
*I found that taking a hot shower, or expressing a little milk (hand or pump) helped my boobs to feel better :)
*expressing also helps build up milk supply while baby is still learning to latch on.
*I read that there is foremilk and hindmilk. The milk that comes out first is thinner and has a bluish tint which satisfies the baby's thirst, and then toward the end is the hindmilk which looks more milky, thick and white, which satisfies the baby's hunger. (Wow, this was definitely God designed, it is so detailed)
*it can be challenging, messy and time consuming, but is God's design in infant nutrition so that's why I do it.
For more information click here for a good article.
"Yet you are He who brought me forth from the womb; you made me trust when upon my mother's breasts."-Psalm 22:9.