Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Month!

Of course I am writing this in the last days of August trying to squeeze it in before the end of the month. But I have been thinking about it all month long, I knew I wanted to blog about it but couldn't seem to find the motivation to sit down and do it.

Now I am currently not breastfeeding, but both of my kiddos nursed for about 13 months. So I've got 26 months of experience under my belt and it wasn't always easy. Lucy, my second baby, was easy because she was born and then 30 minutes later after laying skin to skin she wiggled herself down and BOOM latched on and she pretty much stayed attached for 13 months; it was her favorite. I had heard that newborns would do that but let me tell you they really do! Give that baby a chance and they will figure it out!

Henry my first baby, my NICU baby, was harder just because he was a NICU baby. I spent the first eight weeks of his life attached to a big yellow hospital grade Medela pump for those every two hours. Not even kidding. Had mastitis twice, had yeast for about the first six months, seriously, and struggled to keep my supply up for those 13 months. But by golly we did it! And when I say we I mean, myself, Henry, my husband, my mother, father, siblings, friends and family. It is all about your support system!

When I was pumping every two hours my husband was cleaning pump parts every two hours. That's a lot! But we were determined to offer Henry only the best and he deserves only the best just like any baby. I think with the right support most Moms can be successful when it comes to nursing, I know there are issues that arise that make it not possible but for most people it's a lack of information and support from the very moment the baby is born. That is why I personally always recommend delivering at a Baby Friendly hospital. Google it and you'll find out why. They offer breastfeeding support from the very beginning!! They are not going to throw free samples of formula at you, yay!

Breastfeeding is something I have become passionate about and mostly because I have seen the benefits first hand and have now twice for my kids. I try very much not to be a breastfeeding-snob but why would you NOT choose it if you could?! I was lucky to have the support I did and now I try to support every Mom I can whether she is just starting to nurse a newborn or nursing a toddler, speaking of which I have to share this little story.

I teach a fitness class for Moms where they can bring their kids along. We were at the end of class and just finishing up when one mom got her 18 month old out and started nursing her, totally normal but then this Mom with her free arm started doing military presses with a free weight! I looked at the other Moms and said "now that's how you do it! She's burning like a billion calories right in front of our eyes!" We all giggled and continued on. But so far in my life, Breastfeeding has been my best weight loss program EVER!

If you breastfed for two weeks or two years, good for you!! The best thing we can do for each other is be supportive. Let those Moms know every once is worth it. That 2 a.m. feeding is worth it, having to eat at your desk alone so you can pump, it's totally worth it!

Laine Moses is a stay-at-home-Mom to Henry and Lucy with a baby girl on the way.

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