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Readers Respond: What I Learned Through Breastfeeding…

Last week’s TIME magazine cover stirred a debate throughout the world of blogging. Moms shared their thoughts on attachment parenting and why we should stick together rather than pull each other apart. The magazine put a negative light on breastfeeding and could make many mothers feel self conscious on their decision to breastfeed their child.

Whether or not to breastfeed is a personal decision that every mother must make. What is right for some mothers doesn’t work for others. For those moms that choose to breastfeed their children, like myself, it can be a learning process throughout.

For me, the breastfeeding process was not always easy. In the end, I am so glad that I chose to breastfeed because not only was I doing something good for my baby, little did I know I was doing something good for myself.

I asked Babble readers what they learned through breastfeeding. Check out what they had to say:

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  • No Shame 1 of 12
    No Shame
    "I've learned there is no shame in it. With my first I was so self conscious about where I would feed her. Now I realize that it's only natural and beautiful. It's my way of providing everything I need for this life I created."-Lauren (me)
  • Relax 2 of 12
    Relax
    "Because of breastfeeding, I have learned to relax and cherish the moment. My daughter is a baby for only so long."-Heather
  • Be There 3 of 12
    Be There
    "I learned that if you don't enjoy it neither will your baby. If you're not "there" your baby will wander..." - Becca
  • Drink Water 4 of 12
    Drink Water
    "I've learned to always drink plenty of water while nursing. Have a bottle of water next to you at all times. "- Brianne
  • It Can Be Difficult 5 of 12
    It Can Be Difficult
    "I learned why breastfeeding is a VERY complex issue after doing so exclusively for 6 months, while juggling a demanding full-time job (I returned to work when my daughter was 11 weeks old) and single motherhood. It was hands down one of the most difficult parts of motherhood. I was completely tied to my child's schedule for as long as I maintained that form of nourishment. And although it is a great way to bond for mom and baby, and the health benefits are undeniable - it doesn't mean that it will be easy to find time to do so during your very busy work day. The stress was incredible, because no matter how hard I tried, meetings conflicted with the pumping schedule, issues popped up that need immediate attention, and my work life went on, and I was completely unprepared for that aspect of it. All that being said, I am so glad that I stuck with it, but next time around I think I will be better able to brace myself for the realities that come along with exclusive breastfeeding." -Cara
  • It Can Start Off Rocky 6 of 12
    It Can Start Off Rocky
    "I learned that you can have a wonderful experience breastfeeding even after a very rocky start, but that you shouldn't make yourself (and everyone else!) miserable trying." -Jennifer
  • Slow Down and Be Present 7 of 12
    Slow Down and Be Present
    "Breastfeeding taught me to slow down and be present. Enjoy those sweet moments with my son even in the wee hours." -Stephanie
  • Hard Work 8 of 12
    Hard Work
    "I learned that breast feeding is hard work- it requires patience, dedication, sacrifice and flexibility (just to name a few) but with this comes the most rewarding bonding experience ever imagined. I wouldn't give it up for the world."-Ehrin
  • Selfless 9 of 12
    Selfless
    "Breastfeeding has taught me how to be 100% selfless, the power and importance of the food I eat, and the power of my body. I was 6 lbs away from Weight Watchers goal when I found out I was pregnant and gained 60 during pregnancy. I had to give up the dream of a speedy baby weight loss to keep my milk supply high and fatty. A pound a week was the most I could lose without hurting my supply. Such a great lesson!"- Monica
  • Worth It 10 of 12
    Worth It
    "I've learned that it's worth the pain. In the beginning I wanted to give up because it hurt so bad. I was convinced by friends to stick with it. So happy that I did! The bonding time with my little guy was so worth it. I was surprised how sad I was once he weaned himself."- Cam
    Photo Credit: istock
  • It’s More Important 11 of 12
    It's More Important
    "That a nursing baby in a board meeting is wayyyy more productive than a stressed out mama! For me breastfeeding is just as important as the work I love, so Nico comes with me to the office- even some work trips when he was 5 months old- so I can nurse on demand!"- Valerie
    Photo Credit: istock
  • It’s a Choice: Don’t Judge 12 of 12
    It's a Choice: Don't Judge
    "I've learned that as beautiful as breastfeeding is (I breastfed both my children for exactly a year), every woman has a choice on how to feed their child. No mother should judge another mother for the choices she makes. Whether it for health issues or personal reasons, every woman should do what's right for her and realize that breastfeeding is not for everyone and not doing it does make the mother or child any less than another."- Holly
    Photo Credit: istock

Read more from Lauren at A Mommy in the City. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter! Check out more of Lauren’s  Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.

Photo credit: istock

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