Thursday, August 4, 2011

True Confessions for World Breastfeeding Week

I think everyone goes through phases of breastfeeding. Yes, it is great. We know the benefits of breastfeeding at any age. That our milk changes through those phases to be just what our children need from newborn to weaning.[1] That is doesn't loose it's nutritional value or purpose at some arbitrary age.[2] And that breastfeeding is about more food.[3] What else is there to know?

Well, the truth. The truth that even something with a million benefits isn't always awesome. But, don't think I would change a thing. I just wanted to share the best lines ever shared with me when breastfeeding gets tough. Not the facts or statistics about it. Just the heartfelt support that has been shared with me over the years, though mostly for when nursing older children became a challenge. These things worked for me, but I don't expect everyone to feel the same.

"Breastfeeding is a relationship. It works best when both parties are benefiting." This allowed me to look past the martyr syndrome that is easy to fall into when it feels like breastfeeding takes every ounce of you. I really do get something out of it. And, I can do it best when I feel honored about the relationship.

"It is OK to set limits on breastfeeding a toddler. Teaching respect for our bodies is valid." While nursing an infant on demand is what they need and require, as they get older it is OK to share with them your own needs and find ways to satisfy both of you.

"Crying together is not the same as leaving them to cry it out." Sometimes you just really can't breastfeed for one. more. second. and setting a limit that works for your toddler just isn't working. As long as temper and anger aren't a concern (if they are, by all means step away to regain yourself) allowing your child to work through their disappointment with you there to support them and honor that disappointment isn't a bad thing.

"Yeah, sometimes breastfeeding sucks. Do you want to keep going? OK then. How can support you in that?" The important part to this was knowing that no matter my answer, this person really just wanted to support me in my choices. The reminder that I did have a choice was the reminder why I breastfed to begin with.

What was said to you in your darkest moments of breastfeeding despair that kept you going? If the moment was missed, what do you wish was said to you?

1. What Breastmilk Tastes Like: a good explanation of the changes and composition of breastmilk during the breastfeeding relationship from CodeName: Mama . Click through to the rest of the series, it is very interesting and informative.
2. Really, My Breastmilk is Turning to Water!?: Concise rebuttal to the common statement from The Artful Mama.
3. Extended Breastfeeding Benefits: for the always great

I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!
You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.

(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: World Breastfeeding Week Edition With Linky!

The only picture I could find of L1 breastfeeding. I scored a 98% this song, and found out I was pregnant  with L2 a week later.

L2's first time at the breast.

Brothers sharing the good stuff.

My big boy L2, taking some milk during a Civil War reenactment.  I was also  13 weeks pregnant here.

Some resources for breastfeeding support:

Other sites/groups that have helped us on our breastfeeding adventure:

Books about breastfeeding:

Children's Books that talk about breastfeeding: