Argh! This is another post I am writing one year later and I regret not writing it when it was happening. My memory is just not that good but I still had to post about it because it was SUCH a special and incredible experience.
I nursed everywhere. I nursed at my home, at friends’ homes, in the car (parked!), restaurants, museums, parks, airplanes, everywhere! Sitting, standing, laying down, walking! My favorite was nursing her in her room, sitting in the rocking chair, with quiet baby music… but I didn’t have to be there to do it. I would follow my day and nurse when the time came.
At first I was very self conscious about it. I would use a cover and go to a corner to nurse. I slowly started feeling more comfortable. There was a week when my sister MR and her boyfriend E visited from Spain. He was actually one of the persons who gave me the most reassurance. He was surprised I used a cover and hid. He would ask: “So women don’t just nurse anytime, anywhere, anyway!!!? Why!? Are men such perverts here they get excited by seeing a women’s breast nursing!?” He said his background in Europe where topless women in the beach are not a novelty might have something to do with the way he thought. It was enough for me. That week I nursed Coco anytime, anywhere, anyway. I did stay discreet; I didn’t pop the boob out but instead lifted my shirt and nursed Coco under it. Another great way is using a button shirt and a scarf.
I also nursed while carrying her in the baby carrier. With the Ergo Baby, I got to see museum exhibits in Chicago and nurse her at the same time!
Knowing that my baby needed no more food resources except me for the first 6 months has always impressed me. The human body, nature, God’s creation… it’s perfect. Not only did Coco receive all the nutrients she needed, but it also made me a better person. I look at women differently now. I see women’s bodies differently. I see a purpose for my breasts. The bonding experience was something else, too. It was a chance for me and my baby to forget about everything else and connect (ok, maybe not while at the museum haha). It gave me a chance to caress her face up close and personal, to watch and soothe her.
She weaned at 12 months. That was my goal from the beginning and I am proud to say I reached it. One of the reasons I decided to wean was because of my pregnancy. The morning sickness was getting the best of me and I couldn’t take medications while nursing. Also Coco was starting to move too much while nursing. She wasn’t just laying and resting anymore and it would be hard to nurse at home, let alone in public.
I encourage everyone to breastfeed. I really think everyone can. It may get hard at times. There may be pain, sacrifice, late nights, no sleep, low milk supply, oversupply, engorgement, bad latching, etc. But we live in a time when all of these things are known, and you are not alone. If you are reading this you have internet access and you have access to incredible groups of moms, lactation consultants, and experienced doctors who WILL help you out if you stick to it.