Words of Encouragement from One Nursing Mother to Another

words of encouragement from one nursing mom to anotherMy daughter was a cluster feeder.

My son had a sensitive stomach and cried for hours at a time.

With my cluster feeder, I gave up nursing her when she was … actually, I can’t quite put a number on it because it was a gradual weening off 8 month process.

It didn’t go as planned. Nursing that is, but what in parenthood ever does? It was hard, really, really hard. She was a “snacker”, as the breastfeeding professionals called it.

As I looked at the nurses with desperate eyes,  searching for answers, “maybe I could train her to eat?” (ha! that makes me laugh). Their blank faces stared back at me and my cluster feeder and replied, “just obey to her commands”.

So I began to give up. Not physically give up, but I began to mentally and emotionally dread it. I went from, just one bottle of formula a day that lead to two, then three until my milk supply began to dry out completely. And when it did, I panicked. I tried to revive it; but nothing worked. Formula through me over the edge and I felt guilty.

That’s when I realized that nursing is just as much emotional than it is physically. I swore for my second child, I wouldn’t give up easily. I would let it flow. As insane as it sounds, I will sign away these months of my life to the breastfeeding gods.

Nursing in public, not enough milk, too much milk, gassy baby, acid reflux, cluster feeding, GROWTH SPURTS; Oh don’t get me started on growth spurts. I will deal with it.

I will proudly say that he is almost 5 months old now, and is going great! (alhamdililah – thank God)

What’s different? My mind set. When I first became a mother, I wasn’t ready to give up a huge portion of my day to nursing. Newborns nurse a lot. A LOT. Throw in growth spurts and you’ll begin to question the importance of wearing a shirt at all. I used to tell my guests to call me when they are on their way so I can make sure I look proper. They laughed, but I was so serious.

I’m not here to tell you that your life is over when you nurse a newborn, but i’m telling you that you will feel like it is.

It won’t be.

It’s easier to understand that an infant’s digestive system isn’t quite developed until they are at least 3 months old. Their tiny little tummies can’t handle it and it’s our job as good mothers, to love and be patient.

Ah, patience.

Nursing can be B-O-R-I-N-G. Sometimes you’ll sit there for 40 minutes at a time feeding. Multiply that by 8 and you’re looking at 10 hours of your day nursing. That’s more than some people work in a day!

Make the most of your time. Use this time to bond with your child; sing to them, talk to them. Use this time to meditate and reflect on your day or week. If you are able to use your other hand, read a book. Or you can do what I do most; spend hours pinning on Pinterest and not feeling guilty at all.

Above all, NEVER feel like your day is wasted nursing. You are nurturing your baby; keeping this small, beautiful creatures fed and more importantly, healthy as can be. You, with the miracle of God, are a super woman.

When you’re feeling discouraged, just look at that precious baby you’re keeping alive.

 

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