BRING OUT YER BOOBS!! Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week

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International breast feeding logo

International breast feeding logo

Do you have a favorite memory of breastfeeding?  

I do.  

About seven rotations around the sun ago, I was a new mom to a new baby.  My new little son was beautiful and perfect, but not at all what I expected.  He was a grouchy little fellow, and we had an absolutely wretched time initiating breastfeeding.  

Breastfeeding was a norm in my family, so, when I was pregnant with Jack I thought, “How hard could it be?”  I did buy a book and read it through.  This book (which I would not recommend to my worst enemy) had a mantra that went something like, “If it hurts, you’re doing it wrong.”  I remember actually chuckling (obnoxiously) at someone who shared with me their memories of the toe-curling pain of early nursing days.  Is it possible I actually told them “if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong”?  Ugh.  

The question wasn’t “how hard could it be,” but, “how naive could I have been?”  

Anyhoo, after a consult with a sincere and empathetic lactation consultant (seriously, I will NEVER forget how awesome she was), Jack and I were on the path to success.  He was diagnosed with a tongue tie, which we had snipped, and nursing instantly became pain free and enjoyable.  

Flash forward 14 weeks. . .  

. . .  I took Jack to some nearby outlets to do some shopping.  After a bit, I noticed his hunger cues, so we nipped back to the car for some nipple time.  As I was latching him on to my breast, he looked up at me and laughed.  While my grumpy and colicky little boy had started smiling some weeks prior, this was the first time I’d ever heard him laugh.  

It is one of my favorite memories of breastfeeding.  

Jack weaned shortly before he turned two.  His little sister, Emily, is still nursing at 33 months old.  This week is World Breastfeeding Week.  I realize that next year at this time, I probably won’t be a nursing mom anymore, and since Em is my last baby, this holiday will be seen from a different perspective.  These thoughts make me kind of sad, but also really grateful for all of the family, friends, and professionals who have supported my breastfeeding journey.  

So, in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, please share your favorite nursing memory in the comments below.  If you have weaned, what do you miss the most about nursing?  If you had challenges with nursing, what were they, and what advice would you give to new nursing moms who are struggling?  

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12 responses »

  1. My favorite nursing memory is from when Evelyn was 5 months old. For the first time in her short life, I left her with babysitters (my parents) while I went to a concert in the park in the afternoon. 5 hours later I returned, and she latched on so greedily/happily. The milk rush sent us both into a blissful state.

  2. My favorite memory with my oldest son is the milk-drunk, passed-out contentedness that he displayed after every nursing session. He was ferocious in the way he nursed, which sometimes made me a bit anxious, but when he was done, he was done and would almost immediately fall asleep. He’s still that way — not a lingerer. He eats quickly, but now runs off to play. My younger son and I had a difficult time nursing, partly because he was so different from his brother and I thought I was doing something wrong. He took his sweet time. My favorite nursing memory of him was his first latch. I had him at a freestanding birth center and they were very chill — delayed cord-clamping, immediate skin-to-skin. Nothing was forced. I was just hanging out holding him and marveling at his perfectness and he latched on without any coercion. It happened exactly when he was ready.

    • It is funny as people are posting their favorite memories, I am remembering even more from the very special (but blurry) first days. . . Both of my kids had wonderful milk-drunk expressions as well. What a wonderful birth story with your second, and how cool he latched like that. I’ve seen videos of babies doing the “breast crawl” instinctively after birth, and it is so amazing. Thanks for sharing this and jogging my memory as well! xo.

      • Yes! That was it exactly — the “breast crawl.” It was completely primal and amazing. Thanks for this post. I have had such guilt and regret about my nursing experience with him. This post really forced me to search for a good experience and reliving that first latch has brought a remarkable sense of peace.

      • Hey! Congrats on writing my 2,500th comment… Just wanted to recognize that little milestone… 😀 I’m so happy you found a memory to feel good about. Thanks.

  3. I have a lot of great nursing memories. I was lucky not to have pain or latch problems either time and so two of my most favorite memories in life are of the very first time nursing my new babies. With my first I was amazed that it was actually happening. I remember how awesome it felt that I was actually feeding him. With my second I was worried it wouldn’t be the same and was so happy to find that it was. I remember feeding him early in the morning the day after he was born and feeling totally at peace. I also have great cuddling, snuggling memories of nursing them as toddlers when they were drifting off to sleep. It wasn’t easy all the way through. I felt isolated with my first and was afraid to go anywhere because I would have to nurse him. I also suffered HORRIBLE plugged ducts with him which were solved by Lechithin and going off dairy entirely. With my second I got to experience mastitis. Tons of fun. Ugh. My advice to all new nursing moms is to get through the first 3 months. It seems never ending and exhausting and yes it can be painful, but after that it becomes one of the best things about mothering a baby.

    • Oh, yes, the memories of nursing the babies for the first time is exquisite. Thank you so much for reminding me of that! And your advice to get through the first three months is KEY! Someone told me once, “never quit on a bad day.” Such truth. 🙂

  4. I had five boys, who I breast fed for what most of society would consider ‘too long'(around 3 yrs) . As my last son edged to the time when he too would be finally weaned, I decided to create a special moment of ‘the last time”. I took myself to a quiet room, free of distractions, to cuddle my son closely while I nursed him. He smiled up at me the whole time he was nursing, connecting with his eyes, creating a depth of intimacy to that moment. The intimacy and love connection with breastfeeding is one I have never forgotten, even though that last little boy is now over 20.

  5. With my oldest; my favorite memory was when I nursed him I would tuck the soft hair behind his ear and it would soothe him. Even though we only made it to two weeks, I’m just grateful to have been able to nurse him at all.

    With my youngest; I have a lot more memories mostly because we have nursed longer. When we was little, he would curl up on his side towards me, and tuck his feet against my stomach. As he got older, he would search for my belly ring whether it was the middle of the night or a nursing session during the day. His fingers would play with it, and often he would fall asleep holding the ball between his thumb and finger. Even now he plays with it, and even will yank it when he gets frustrated saying “ow” cause he knows it hurts me. I also think about the moments where nursing had helped when it seemed nothing else would and I’m thankful for having that comforting tool to provide as well as nursing this long in general.

    Though my days of nursing are far from over, I look forward to the growth and change it brings.

    • Thank you so much for sharing such a sweet comment. I love the image of you tucking baby hair behind your baby’s ear. My little boy had sensitive ears and loved having them rubbed as well. It is funny how primal little ones are when they nurse, what with the kneading and pushing and such. Happy nursing week!

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