Earlier this week someone asked if I was still breastfeeding and my answer was yes. She replied, “it’s so time consuming.” I thought this was odd; I can’t think of a better way to spend time with my babies. One, I know I’m giving them the very best that there is; God created us to nourish our children this way. Two, there are wonderful physical benefits for me including returning my body back to its pre-pregnancy state (actually it’s made me smaller than where I started, which is awesome), nursing releases a hormone that helps to relax a mother, and nursing reduces the risk of future illnesses including breast cancer. Additionally, nursing no longer takes a long time and when we dual nurse we’re done in less than twenty minutes. In the early days that wasn’t the case, but it was something that I was committed to doing even though it was exhausting and not always comfortable. I was raised around women who nursed their babies, so it was very normal for me to make the same choice. When Grant and Maria were in the NICU, providing breast milk was one of the only things I felt I had control over, which I think made me even more committed to breastfeeding. We’re only two weeks away from my initial goal, which was exclusively breast milk for the first six months. Studies show that babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months have reduced risk for allergies, asthma, obesity and other illnesses. Now that we’re close to that goal, we’ll continue for as long as this works for all of us. I’ve gotten creative and skilled on when and where I pump while I’m at work and traveling. Wal-Mart parking lots seem to be my favorite. I just hope I don’t show up on the People of Wal-mart website! I’m thankful to those who encouraged me during the difficult times, including my mom and sister-in-law. Without their support, I could have easily given up. I know there are many reasons why families choose not to nurse, but I want to encourage all those who are thinking about it…it can be done, even with more than one. So, for those who sarcastically told me “good luck with that,” luck wasn’t needed. Dedication, encouragement, and trusting my body to do what it was created to do is what we needed.
Mother’s Milk. It does a baby good!