I am so happy that we have made it to my personal goal of nursing for a year! Our breastfeeding journey started out a little rocky and I wasn’t confident that we would make it this long. However, once my supply regulated (after a few months) and Noah’s latch improved it was mostly smooth sailing. I want to share some of my favorite things about this past year, but before I do I am going to put in a little disclaimer. I’ve noticed that when people speak positively about breastfeeding, Moms who made a different choice or were unable to breastfeed often feel attacked. If you think you might fall into that category you may want to skip this post and read the next. My goal is not to offend anyone but rather to celebrate this journey with Noah!
Breastfeeding Helped Me Bond
Regardless of how you feed your baby, I would encourage you to use that time to bond. I made a point not to touch my phone while feeding Noah. Instead, I would take in all of his beautiful features and watch him nurse. Those moments are some of the most intimate and special that we have shared. He does so many sweet things that make my heart melt like holding my hand or rubbing my arms while he eats. Now that he is getting bigger and more active, I love that nursing gives me a chance to hold and cuddle him. Most other times he isn’t content sitting still and will try and squirm out of my lap. However, when he wants to nurse I know that is my opportunity to just settle in with him. Those moments of calm in our busy day are something I look forward to.
Breastfeeding Helped Me Embrace Motherhood
This is very personal, but one thing I love about breastfeeding is that it made me feel like a Mom. Having a baby doesn’t automatically give you maternal instincts and knowledge. While this role sometimes felt foreign to me, nursing always felt natural. Providing for him in this unique way increased my confidence that I could provide for him in other ways too.
Breastfeeding Reduced My Anxiety
Having those slow moments to just cuddle and nurse Noah was really beneficial for my mental health as a new Mom. All of the sleepless nights and chores seemed to fade away when I sat face to face with one of my greatest blessings. I think those tender moments helped me put other stressors in perspective which was really invaluable.
I know that everyone has a different experience breastfeeding and may not have felt these same benefits. I also know that there are probably other ways to accomplish these same things outside of breastfeeding. However, I am so thankful for this past year and surprised by how much it has meant to me. Nursing is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done and I hope that I can share it with all of my babies.