Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Boobs

I'm going to jump onto my soapbox for a second or two, but I promise to step down after that...
  1. I love breastfeeding. I love, love, love it. Sure, there were a couple weeks at the beginning when my nips hurt and it felt like there was a kid hanging from me all the time, but now that we are passed that stage, I love it. James has started to open his hands and place them on each side of my breast when he nurses. I swear he thinks it's just an oddly shaped bottle. He makes the cutest little noises while nursing. He's starting to be distractable and if I so much as hiccup while he's nursing he pulls off to look up and give me a big grin. Right now he's sick for the first time and I feel like such a source of comfort to him when we curl up and nurse together.
  2. I have had an easy time breastfeeding. I recognize that it's not so easy for everyone. I've got 200 ounces of milk in the freezer and have been able to exclusively breastfeed James all this time (we started rice cereal on Friday). Maybe, I'm "blessed" with a bountiful supply, but I also think that part of the reason I have great supply is that I allow James to nurse on-demand. There were times during those first six weeks where I thought, "Seriously, you're hungry again?" It seemed like I was nursing him all the time, but I just kept giving him the boob when he wanted it and I think that's part of the reason breastfeeding has gone so well for me.
  3. My boobs have gotten huge. I was a 34C and am now a 38DD. I only hope that they deflate after I'm done nursing and that they aren't too saggy.
  4. I'm just 5 days away from the 6-month mark, but I plan to continue nursing as long as it continues working for James and I. I hope to make it to his first birthday and even beyond. I've heard plenty of people say things like, "You'll stop once he _______, right?" Insert "has teeth," "can ask for it," or "is walking." I don't have a hard and fast rule about when I'll stop, but I think that it will happen gradually, naturally, and on a timetable that works for James and I. My only hope is that I can stop pumping at work by the time he turns 1.
  5. I know they're a little extreme at times, but I have used a local La Leche League leader multiple times over then past 6 months. She's been so kind and full of helpful advice. I oftentimes check in with my pediatrician about something, check in with the LLL leader, and then form my own opinion that's somewhere between the two extremes. As an example, my pediatrician said that I could begin introducing solids at 4 months, but that I should wait until close to 6 months, if possible. The LLL leader said not to begin solids until around 9 months. I split the difference and decided to start close to 6 months, especially since James already had two teeth and could sit unsupported.
I guess all this is just to say that I'm a total BFing advocate. I don't think any women should feel bad or guilty about the choices they make (why are we always doing that to each other, by the way?). I simply think that the breastfeeding experience has been wonderful for me and I hope other women can have similar experiences. Having the support of a lactation consultant and a lengthy maternity leave helped me so much. I attribute our great breastfeeding relationship to the success of those early days.

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