Monday, March 22, 2010

What Makes Breastfeeding So Great

Welcome Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! This month's topic is "The Joys of Breastfeeding." Be sure to check out the links at the end of this post to read the various blogger contributions.

What makes breastfeeding so great and why do I love it so? There are the obvious reasons that many moms state when talking about the joys of breastfeeding. For many, it's the bonding between mother and baby. For others it's the idea of growing a baby inside of you for 9 months, then nurturing him at the breast for the next year. Still some may say it's the calorie burn that helds get rid of those pregnancy pounds easier.

I personally had a lot of trouble with breastfeeding in the beginning.  A poor latch led to sore nipples and slow weight gain. My son has always been a gourmand and lingered at the breast for hours on end. There were days when I felt like I got nothing done besides nursing. I can't count the number of times I was late or didn't show up to an event, because it never failed that right as we were about to head out the door, my son would start rooting and I'd need to sit down and nurse him. All the books say that after a few weeks, your baby will nurse quickly, but my son never did. I don't think he ever took less than 45 minutes to eat (even now, at 27 months, he'd be happy to nurse for hours on end if I'd let him.)

But despite the challenges and the frustrations, breastfeeding has always made me happy. What makes breastfeeding so great to me? I love that by breastfeeding my son, I gave him something that no one else ever could. It brings me joy that I can say my son never had an ear infection or needed antiobiotics. The feeling of coming home after a long day of work and sinking into the couch with my baby and nursing him was pure euphoria. Knowing that the cure for anything that ailed my son was available and accessible 24 hours a day. Breastfeeding also gave me an excuse to slow down and enjoy my new baby without feeling the need to bounce back to my pre-pregnancy life in record time. I was able to savor my baby and empowered to ignore the pressure to get a baby-sitter so I could go out on the town or hit the gym. One of the great joys of breastfeeding is taking the time to really enjoy being with your baby.

And diapers that don't stink to high heaven is a nice little bonus, too.

Enjoy these posts from other carnival participants:

Hobo Mama: No need to count calories when breastfeeding
Life of a Babywearing and Breastfeeding Mommy: Breastfeeding is how I connect with my little one after work
Breastfeeding Moms Unite!: Poems about the joys of breastfeeding
Maman A Droit: A Joyful List
Lucy & Ethel Have A Baby: Nursing my little person
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Top 5 things I love about breastfeeding
Code Name: Mama: Milk songs
Little Snowflakes: The joys of nursing to sleep
The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Things I loved about nursing my son
Good Enough Mum: You don't have to be crunchy to like breastfeeding
Living Peacefully with Children: Nursing haikus

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