But What I didn’t Know……

“I always knew I wanted to breastfeed.  Even before I became pregnant with my first daughter, I was planning to breastfeed my children.  There were two major reasons for this decision. The first was financial.  My husband and I were on a tight budget, to say the least, and I couldn’t justify such a great expense as formula.  The second was based on many hours of reading.  The list of breastfeeding benefits was so long that it could not be ignored: Breastfed children have better recovery from illness, and protection against so many childhood diseases, to name only a few.  I always knew I wanted to breastfeed, because it was a well researched decision.

But What I didn’t Know……But what I didn’t know was the way breastfeeding would make me feel like a mother.  I breastfed my first daughter through her second year of life, and I have such a special bond with her that I cannot put it into words.  She will be six this summer, and I am so proud that she has been perfectly healthy, and never even taken an antibiotic.  She is also extremely secure. Breastfeeding allowed me to give her the care and attention she needed, and it was always me.  I was the only one capable of feeding her, and she knew that.  She depended on me for life, and through that, love.  What impact that has on a new mother.  Tears would fill my eyes when I looked down at her, feeding in my arms, and she would look up and smile at me-not whoever was feeding her-but me.  She knew I was not just her caregiver, but her mother.  It has created a security and bond between us that warms my heart.

But what I didn’t know was the way it would all be new again when my second child was born, and then my third.  During each pregnancy I was planning, of course, to breastfeed.  I was so surprised to find that the wonder and amazement I felt with my oldest daughter, was just as strong the second and third times.  I am still breastfeeding my third, and again feel the awe of motherhood that comes with breastfeeding.

My children will only be babies for one short time in each of their lives, but the choice to breastfeed during that time will have an effect on both of us for the rest of our lives.”

Breastfeeding Mommy, Pike County WIC