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Breast is Best

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With a brand new year comes a brand new start; a fresh perspective on the world around us. I’m proud to be a breastfeeding mommy of a three year old toddler. My hope is that we as a society will become more open and accepting of breastfeeding mothers whether we choose to nurse in public {NIP} with or without a cover, or in the privacy of our own quarters. I hope that breastfeeding mommies will have access to the support and encouragement we need to nurse our children for as long as we’d like, without being pressured to wean our little ones once they have teeth or hit the 12 month mark. I hope that mommies receive lactation consulting after giving birth to ensure that they learn to painlessly nurse their precious bundles of joy. I hope that mommies will share breastfeeding stories face to face as well as online with women we come in contact with to inspire them to breastfeed. I hope that breastfeeding mommies will band together and make a firm stance to pull out our boobs to nurse our minis any time, place, and way we choose to normalize the act of nourishing our babies as nature intended. I hope that our brevity will influence more mothers to choose to meet their children’s needs by means of the breast, which is best!!!!

If I told you breastfeeding was blissful from the start I’d be lying. Zion and I had a rocky road and I didn’t think I was going to make it. My boy had a death grip that drew blood. I remember thinking “ It’s only been five days I’m not going make it.” At the same time I knew I did not want my son to drink formula. All I could do is cry and pray. I prayed like a mad woman for two days, that I would be able to successfully nourish my baby breastfeeding. I cried out to the Most High, “please heal my aching breast Lord. I don’t want to feed my baby that formula. Please Lord!!” I pumped for two days straight and bottle feed him my expressed breast milk. After the second day of pumping I couldn’t pump any more. I was exhausted and defeated. I, like many other new moms, felt like I wasn’t producing enough milk because I only pumped 2-3 ounces total each time I pumped ,and it took about 30 minutes to express that ( with a manual pump). Every time I finished pumping he woke up hungry. I couldn’t keep up with his demand, so I put him back on my breast and viola!!! From that point on it was smooth sailing.

   It was challenging because toughing it out is mental. Faith comes from hearing and all I heard around me was “ I fed my baby formula and s/he is just fine,’” “ Just give that baby a bottle it ain’t gone hurt him,” “Uh Un, you crazy. See that’s why I stopped, because my nipples were sore,” “It doesn’t make you any les of a woman if you stop now. At least you tried it.” But I was determined to give my baby the best possible start in life by supplying him with all of his nutritional needs the way the Most High created me to. And that I did. No matter how hard I tried, the negative talk about breastfeeding and quitting was always in the back of my mind. I had to talk myself into continuing to nurse my son especially in public.

   I’m not sure how much of this was in my head and how much was reality in the beginning, but I felt all eyes on me whenever I had to nurse in public the first 5-6 months of breastfeeding. I was paranoid. I wore Z the first 4-5 months of his life and made sure to always use a nursing cover when feeding him in public. Once he started moving his arms he’d snatch a blanket off of him. By the time my little man hit 10 months I didn’t even care about a cover.

      The greatest feeling was hitting the 12 month mark. By then I heard so many horror stories that I was grateful to have made it that far, and weaning wasn’t even a thought. That was also around the time I got a lot of “when you gone quit,” “ he is too big to be dangling from your titties,” “So how long are you gone keep this up,” and the list goes on and on. That’s when I made it a point to let it all hang out and encourage mommas to do the same. Any and every mom I see nursing their little ones, I encourage and let them know they are doing a great job.

We are now at the 24 month mark {that is at the time I wrote this} and still NIP. Zion has been slowly self weaning since about 21 months. I started working just about full time around 22.5 months which causes us to be apart throughout the day so we don’t nurse until the evenings when I come home. I love nursing and plan on doing so in the future with the rest of my children. I encourage all you mommies to do the same. It is such a special bonding experience that no words can do it any justice.

We are just about a week away from 27 months {at the time this was written} and Z is still at it. It’s a total different ballgame now that he is older. He spends every day of the week at school any where from 5-8 hours. He leaves school before I get off of work. I get home cook dinner and make him wait until after dinner to nurse most nights. Then there are those nights I just let him nurse as soon as he asks the first time. He is now at the st/age where he is able to live without it and should be able to wait or accept not right now. Some times he wants to nurse to have me close to him and just for the sake of my undivided attention. Which sounds horrible, like he’s attention deprived. Not the case. He gets my undivided attention when I get off of work. We cook together, talk about his day, change his diaper, eat dinner, do an activity (maybe) or watch an episode of his favorite show, and start the bed time routine. It ain’t gone kill him to wait a bit. Sometimes I need time to do things, and he just wants to nurse. It’s annoying at times and I want a break. Then, I feel guilty because I feel that way. Some mornings, after he’s come in my room in the middle of the night and hopped in bed with daddy and I { I pick him up and put him in my bad after he comes in my room between 4-6 am} I nurse him all night in our family bed. By the time we wake up he’s been nursing for hours. He wakes up and still asks for kai kai. I tell him to get dressed first and then kai kai. He gets dressed, we brush teeth, wash his face, and do his hair. By then he should have forgotten about it. I give him a snack for the ride to school.

The weekends I nurse on demand. For the most part I don’t make him wait. Unless I’m exhausted and I’ll tell him it’s broken or he drank it all. “It needs time to fill up again man, you drank it all up!” Or my favorite now “in 10 minutes you can have kai kai,” and I’ll put on my timer on. So every now again he’ll say, “10 minutes mommy please, 10 minutes,” or ” I want kai kai mommy, NOW!” It cracks me up. I’ll ask him for something and he’ll tell me “10 minutes mommy.” Too much. I love nursing my big boy, I do. Sometimes I just need a damn break. He is 2 years old, I don’t need to be a laying cow anymore. That phase is over, RIGHT!!???!!!

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