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A Year and a Half of Breastfeeding

It's easy to get lost in all the ways breastfeeding can be challenging. I feel there aren't enough stories of how mothers are finding the journey to not be as complicated as many articles suggest.

  • Published on: 08 Feb 2021
  • 3 min read
A Year and a Half of Breastfeeding

It's easy to get lost in all the ways breastfeeding can be challenging. I feel there aren't enough stories of how mothers are finding the journey to not be as complicated as many articles suggest.

When I started reading about all the ways things could go wrong, a fear began to grow inside of me. While pregnant, I worried often I would somehow not produce any or enough milk despite the fact that I was healthy and I had no family history of problems with breastfeeding.

So, I want to focus on a success story, my story of successfully breastfeeding for a year and a half. My journey is not over and it has had its challenges, but for the most part, it's been worthwhile. As such, I want to highlight four of the many ways breastfeeding has been great for me and my son!

Health & Nutrition

kids nutrition

Research and experience (from moms who have done both) suggest breast milk is the most nutritional optimal option for babies. I also believe this and it's strongly affirmed by my personal experience with my son.

He was born 6 pounds and steadily grew into the chunkiest little dude complete with thick thighs and arms, and cheeks for all the days of the week! He was all powered by breast milk. He's now over 25 pounds and he's never had weight issues. He was never sick. He eats plenty of fruits and vegetables as well, but breast milk is still his primary feeding method.

Bonding

mother and baby

Of course, at times I'd love to whisk away for several hours and soak up some exclusive me time. However, I was under no previous illusion I would get hours and hours of alone time by choosing the route of motherhood and, moreover, breastfeeding. My expectations were already realistic when I made the choice.

Breastfeeding without pumping into a bottle does mean the longest I can be away from my son is 2 hours on a good day. We both miss how comforting breastfeeding feels after some time. It's our way of bonding. One day our bonding will turn into doing yoga, gardening, karaoke, or something else we want to do most days together. For now, it's snuggling up to feed. It's not just about nutrition. Breastfeeding provides comfort, security, closeness, trust, warmth on cold days, and everything between bonding.

Weight Management

breastfeeding and weight loss

I'm fortunate I was able to lose all my pregnancy weight AND then some. I feel most of this is related to breastfeeding because I stopped my 4-5 days exercise regimen when he was about 7 months old. I was pushing myself so hard I thought the pelvic discomfort and stiffness I felt for 5 months was normal and related to giving birth, not from extensive exercise.

Instead, I focused more on eating balanced plant-based meals, taking short walks almost every day, and feeding on demand. In fact, most of my weight loss happened after I stopped pushing myself so hard to lose the extra pounds with exercise. This healthier body is also more capable of keeping up my son's seemingly endless supply of energy.

Feminine Empowerment

women empowerment

Carrying my son and giving birth empowered me as a woman, but my body after? I had a hard time accepting my new mom bod. Breastfeeding helped me find a new sense of feminine power, to see my body as a source of complete nourishment and a centerpiece for bonding with my child.

Moms' bodies undergo another unrealistic level of scrutiny during and after pregnancy. We're given conflicting information about childbirth and breastfeeding practices as well. Being able to choose to breastfeed and be supported by my partner (as well as many family and strangers alike) made me feel deeply in tune with my inner divine feminine mother.

To Be Continued

I'm not sure when I'll stop breastfeeding, but I want it to be a mutual transition. Again, I'm not saying there aren't days when I'm over it, but it's a challenge to name one thing I never wanted a break from in life in general. Those moments of nuances are valid, but the overall experience of breastfeeding being a beautiful one is something I would never wish away.

 


Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt

Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.

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