Finally! A quiet moment to tell you about my crazy breastfeeding story.
Let me start from the beginning. Note: This is my personal experience and thoughts. I am simply letting you into my head. It is not meant to insult anyone who wishes not to breastfeed.
From the moment I got pregnant the first time (2004) I wanted to breastfeed. I’m not sure where the desire came from. I didn’t have any breastfeeding role models. I didn’t come from a particularly “earthy” family (although I remember my mom saying she nursed us but I don’t know for how long) I don’t think I ever even saw a women actually breastfeed until I was older.
Maybe it was instinct? I mean, shouldn’t it be instinctual for us to nourish our offspring?
That’s what occurred to me anyway.
Then I started to think about it logically.
Why would I want to buy inferior food for my child when my body makes something better for free?
It just seemed like the right thing to do.
So I read up, talked to my doctor and nearly attacked the lactation consultant at the hospital. When my son latched the first time it was just a feeling of accomplishment, pride and LOVE.
Was it hard to continue? yes.
Did it hurt? yes.
Was I tired? yes.
But I forged ahead and after a week or so it got easier and easier. Then I started to reap the benefits.
Nursing at home wasn’t a problem but when we went out it was a different story. I spent a lot of time in the car or bathroom stalls. I would never even dare attempt to nurse in public and honestly, the husband didn’t want me to.
So I hid.
It wasn’t that big of a deal. My baby was still being breastfed and I felt good about that.
I nursed my first for 6 months and had enough breastmilk stored to give him more while he transitioned to solids.
I was proud. I reached my breastfeeding goals.
Fast forward almost 6 years and now I’m pregnant with baby number 2.
I actually looked forward to nursing but had some worries that it wouldn’t be possible since having a breast lift a few years earlier.
When Little Bean came early. I had even more concerns.
But we worked on it and worked hard. It took me over and hour and half to get him to latch in the NICU. Feeding him over the next 3 days was challenging to say the least but I was determined and I used all the resources I could while in the hospital.
We did it.
He kept getting better and better at it. I still had some concerns but he was growing steadily and that put my mind at ease.
A few weeks later, my friend gave me her old nursing wrap and I was SO PROUD when I nursed in public for the first time using it.
I publicly nursed a few more times and loved this new freedom of breastfeeding anywhere!
Even the husband was getting used to it. Huge step for him but this past week was an even a bigger leap for me.
This weekend was one of the busiest of my life. I hosted the second annual FitBloggin’ conference for 250 people. Both my kids were a part of the event but Little Bean stayed close by the whole time.
I wanted and needed to nurse him.
The first night I fed him in the back room behind the registration desk. My Mom and friends where there to help.
Nursing openly around them gave me a bit of confidence.
Since I could hear what was going on outside the office if something needed my attention I’d stand up and poke my head out the door to answer the question while making sure baby was hidden behind the wall.
Before I knew it I was just latching him in private and then openly breastfeeding around those that registered and walked by the front desk.
In a way I had no choice. I simply could not hide myself away for 20 minutes while working the conference. I had too much to do and it was just so much easier to multitask.
By the last day of the conference I was so comfortable with it I didn’t care who saw. I really didn’t. I just latched discreetly and then nursed away.
I’m not sure if I’d openly breastfeed at a crowded restaurant quite yet but this experience sure did give me a boost of confidence to feed my child in more public places.
I know for some of you this sounds utterly ridiculous. What’s the big deal? So I breastfed in public.
But for me it was a huge step and I know others share my trepidation about breastfeeding in public. In a way, making others feel uncomfortable makes me feel uncomfortable but what I realized is if I’m comfortable with it then most people are as well. I only got one oh-my-god-she’s-nursing look the whole weekend. Everyone else was very supportive.
What are your thoughts on breastfeeding in public. Is it easy for you? Have you overcome the fear? Or do you avoid it all together?