•By Nadine Bubeck, Guest Blogger for Momsense
Dear Fellow Breastfeeding Mother,
You’re probably reading this at 2am. Or maybe it’s 9 in the morning. Truth is, you’ve lost track of time…you’re always up. You’re exhausted. You just want to sleep. And you feel like no one- especially your husband- understands. But as cliché as it sounds, savor this time.
I know it’s hard. I’ve been there. Twice. And I wish every day I could go back to those sleepless nights snuggling my newborn. Holding his little body on my rocker playing Pandora or singing softly. (He’s the only person who ever liked my voice.) It’s the most intimate mother-child one-on-one time you’ll ever have. Such precious borrowed time, because before you know it, your midnight feeding sessions will be a mere memory.
Beautifully tiring. That’s what I call it.
Breastfeeding is a commitment. A selfless commitment. Whether you do it one months, three months, six months, or over a year, I want to personally applaud you for giving your child a piece of your body. And I say that literally. My boobs are forever lopsided- my right will always be bigger than the left.
Sometimes feedings last minutes. Other times, hours. And then, by occasion, your child will “use you” as a pacifier. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about it. You simply let them fall asleep at the boob so you can rejoice in some quiet, uninterrupted time somewhat alone.
Breastfeeding takes a lot out of you. I remember dozing off during many feedings. Plus, you’re on someone else’s clock. Want to take a shower? Too bad, baby needs to eat. Hungry? Put those snacks on hold until after a full nursing session. Yeah, it’s demanding, but so worth it. As moms, we naturally put our children before ourselves. That’s the amazing thing about motherhood. It teaches us the true meaning of love. Nursing is also stressful.
Like you, I’m sure, I worry day in and day out- is my newborn putting on enough pounds? The concern drove me crazy, that I fed him nearly all day (and all night) long. That’s why I am an advocate for Momsense, an innovative tool that measures how much baby is consuming. Check it out- it might give you sought after peace of mind.
To my fellow nursing moms, even though you’re drained- mentally and physically- remember you are giving your child a gift. You’re also gifting yourself. Did you know breastfeeding burns nearly 500 calories a day? Definitely the coolest diet ever, right?!
I got pregnant with my second son when my first was nine months old, so I quickly weaned before he turned one. Honestly, I cannot remember the very last time I breastfed him, and that really makes me sad. However, I have such memories of that beautiful phase of his life. When nothing else mattered. When it was just me and him. When life was put on hold because he had to eat. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel his preemie body against mine, nursing to the best of his strength and ability. And it’s bitter-sweet, because he’s going on three years old and I’ll never hold his newborn body again.
So hang in there. Tell yourself you are doing a good job, no mater what anyone else says. Take nursing selfies for your eyes only. One day, you’ll want them. And breathe. It’s stressful, but serene. It’s a peaceful experience. Everything else can wait. Savor it.
A mom of two breastfed babies