Why I Chose To Breastfeed The Second Time Around
I was expecting my first child at the age of 22, I was young, about to graduate college (SIUe c/o 2013 woot-woot) and I was having a child by a person I barely knew. Let’s just say the timing and situation was not ideal at all. My pregnancy was not how I envisioned it to be, and mentally that took a toll on me. I had my son shortly after my 23rd birthday and parenthood was NOTHING classes or advice could prepare me for.
I was so young and naive when it came to being a parent. I had firm things that I stood on as well as ignorant things that I lacked knowledge in. Breastfeeding was one of many.
With my first son, I wanted to pump exclusively. I wanted him to have my milk without having to be attached to my breast. At the time I thought breastfed babies were too attached and "weird." (I know right) The comments from my (elderly) family members encouraged me to change my mind on exclusively pumping. When I expressed to them the idea, they pretty much shot it down. I was told, “Breastfeeding is about the bond between the baby and mother if you’re just going to pump that makes no sense.” So my young and ignorant self-said "okay well I’ll formula feed." (Not knowing exclusively pumping was wayyyyyy more common than I thought)
Thinking back I don't understand why I never asked my OBGYN or my nurse about pumping exclusively. I could've taken classes to educate myself more on breastfeeding versus just going off of what my family said. Honestly, I was mentally in a bad place at the time which prevented me from preparing and thinking correctly about the things I wanted to do for my child.
I also feel like doctors and nurses should HIGHLY encourage breastfeeding first. I'm not saying shove it down the expecting mother's throat, but open their eyes to the benefits of breastfeeding. Tell them about the different ways they can feed like pumping exclusively, nursing, doing both formula and breastmilk, etc. From my experience, they ask your method of feeding and make a note of it then move on to the next 100 questions they'll ask during your prenatal visit.
Around the time my son was three months, I regretted not breastfeeding him. I had the thought of trying to get my milk back. But I figured it would be a way to difficult of a journey. So I passed.
(Disclaimer: There is NOTHING wrong with formula feeding if that is your thing. However, I honestly believe breast is best after my two experiences)
If I knew then what I know now, I would have breastfed my first. That attachment bond is amazing. Breastfed babies aren’t weird. They are attached and comforted by the body that made them and the body that feeds them. My ignorance towards breastfeeding ways and the benefits held me back from that first time experience.
Right now I am almost nine months in on this breastfeeding journey, and it has been nothing but amazing. I chose to breastfeed the second time around because I missed out on that opportunity the first time. Also, I was NOT for paying $200+ for formula when I can make the milk for FREE.
Breastfeeding is beautiful, rewarding and convenient. Every time I feed my son I get that “wow factor” I think to myself “I grew you, and now I am nourishing you into a toddler, wow.” Even almost nine months in I am amazed at the woman’s body and our capabilities.
Today, I have saved over $1,800+ by not having to buy formula. My breastmilk is always hot and ready for my son as long as I am near. I have a beautiful bond with my baby boy and an experience I will love to explain and pass along to any new mother I meet.
All in all, normalizing breastfeeding is super important. Educating women about breastfeeding is super important. Educating YOURSELF on breastfeeding is important. If you have a question consult your doctor or a lactation specialist. DO NOT just go off of the advice of your friends and family. Breast milk is just as nourishing and fulfilling to your baby's belly, don't let people tell you your milk isn't enough.