My friend Sandra just blogged today about why she loves breastfeeding, and I thought it would be a REALLY good idea for me to post about it, as a reminder to myself for the next time I have a baby.
So, if you don't feel like reading about breastfeeding, go ahead and stop reading right here. :)
I LOVE breastfeeding.
LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
I remember before I had Katie, and even those first few VERY painful weeks, that so many women were telling me about how much they love(d) breastfeeding. About how they wish they were nursing right at that very moment. How they would have DREAMS about nursing a baby! I seriously thought these women were crazy.
They would look at me so longingly while I would be feeding Katie and I just couldn't understand it!
Sure, I knew that I was giving her the best nutrition possible. I liked the cuddle time. I loved saving tons of money by not buying formula. But longing to breastfeed? I didn't understand it. Especially not when I was in just-about-excruciating pain for what seemed like forever.
But somewhere around the 7 or 8 month mark I began to really enjoy nursing. Around the 8-9 month area, I began to love it, and from 9 months on, I now never ever want to stop breastfeeding!
I love how my baby cuddles up to me. How she knows exactly what "milk" means. I love seeing her sweet face and just how much she loves it. Breastmilk is definitely her favorite food. I love how she can be totally crazy and toddler-like, and then she'll settle down and be completely sweet and nurse.
Katie is 11 months old and honestly, breastfeeding is still her main source of food. I'd say that I breastfeed her about 5 times a day, and once or twice during the night. I give her some snacks throughout the day, and usually a little bit of cereal or oatmeal for breakfast and some fruit for lunch, and then she get's a real dinner at night. But for the most part, most of her food is still breastmilk. And since she is growing just right and is super smart for her age, I think there is no problem with letting breastmilk still be her main source of nutrition.
I'm sure many people think i'm crazy. Most moms at this point only nurse 2 or 3 times a day. Many moms switch to a lot more real food, or even formula at night to get their babies to sleep through the night. (Katie has still never slept through the night. Meaning that since before I even gave birth, I haven't slept for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time. and I am TOTALLY OK with that, since everyone asks.) But me, I'm doing what I feel is right for Katie. I'm feeding her her favorite thing, which also happens to be the healthiest and best thing for her. How awesome is that?! So many parents struggle getting their toddlers to eat their veggies or whatever, but the healthiest thing I can give my baby (for free!) is also her favorite thing! Yay!
I know this seems like a lot to say just about breastfeeding, but future Kim is going to need to read this and remind herself that she DOES like to breastfeed! That the pain goes away! That it is SERIOUSLY WORTH IT!
So future Kim- I know you are probably sad because Katie got too old to breastfeed, or stopped being interested. I know that you are excited to nurse your next baby because you have such fond memories of it. But beware! It is SO painful for a little while, and you might feel like giving up, but DON'T! You can have those wonderful memories again! You will absolutely love it again! Just be patient. Just keep truckin'. Breastfeeding is amazing.