It is World Breastfeeding Week and I feel a real need to say something about it. I have two children, Megan and Tyler. They are the loves of my life. I will be writing more about each of them in the coming weeks.
When I found out I was pregnant with Megan in the winter of 2009 the discussions began between the Hubs and I about if we would breastfeed or formula feed. The Hubs was hard-core about formula feeding. I think the words, gross and disgusting were among the many adjectives used to describe what he thought about breastfeeding.
okay…i should probably preface a few things on here…i do not have a perfect marriage. i do not claim to agree with the Hubs 100% of the time on a lot of things. we argue, sometimes a lot…but at the end of the day we love and respect each other very much.
So, when I
calmly passionately talked to him about my desire to at least try and nurse, he changed his tune ( a little bit). I went into it pretty blindly with the understanding that I would try it and see if it worked and if it didn’t then I was fine with formula.
I have to say, I was pretty lucky because I had a very easy time nursing both children. My nipples did not crack, it was not painful, and my children latched beautifully (says the hospital lactation consultant). I nursed Megan for 9 months at which time morning sickness was getting the best of me and I just could not take it any longer. At 18 months I am still in the process of weaning Tyler. If people read this and think that I am just tooting my own horn, so be it…I can take it. Although breastfeeding was easy for me, it still left me very physically and emotionally drained (still does). It was a commitment I made not only to the health of my children, but, let’s be honest, it took a lot of the financial burden off of us. I would encourage every woman to just try the best you can and if it does not work out for you, so be it. I truly believe that all of us mother’s do the best we can for the love of our children.
Aside from the first criticism my husband shared with me, I have not been ill-treated or made to feel bad about this decision by anyone. But, I know that many women are marginalized in our society when they choose to nurse. Our maternity leave in this country is horrible. And many women just become so overwhelmed in their first weeks of motherhood that they give up because they feel unsupported.
I guess I could turn nursing into a life lesson pretty easily. The things that deserve the greatest rewards sometimes go unnoticed, but that does not make to achievement any less important.