Being able to feed your baby anytime, any place and anywhere is an amazing feeling but seeing the other positives that it brings to your life is the icing on the cake.
I could write a book on all of the positives that breastfeeding brought to my life. We would literally be here all day if I tried to list them.
There are a couple of times and situations that really stand out for me though. These things are actually quite life altering and for that reason, I have to say that breastfeeding
really is the gift that keeps on giving. Being able to feed your baby anytime, any place and anywhere is an amazing feeling but seeing the other positives that it brings to your life is the icing on the cake.
1. It Helped Me Love My Body
I won’t bore you with the details but I’ve battled with my weight
for my whole entire life. I was always the biggest one in my class or on the dance floor in a nightclub. I was the girl who made a “fat joke” the minute I entered a room just to “get there first” and ensure people didn’t have a second to think that I didn’t know that I was overweight. I resented my body. Hated it even. Pregnancy helped me see my body in a different light but I still really struggled with how it looked throughout. A traumatic birthing experience made me resent my body even more. Breastfeeding changed the way I viewed my body entirely. Knowing that my body could nourish and pacify my baby in an instant was an amazing feeling. Seeing my body produce breast milk and help my baby grow and develop healthily gave me a new found love and respect for the vessel that is mine. We’ve since stopped breastfeeding but I’ve continued to love my body for all that it has done for my son.
2. On A Flight
We took our baby on holiday when he was sixteen weeks old. Sure he needed it after a tough four months of sleeping and feeding. For the flight, I simply packed spare clothes, nappies, a blanket and a sling. Not having to worry about bottles, formula and temperature was amazing. He fed when we took off and landed and it was such a beautiful relaxing experience.
3. When My Baby Had His First Bug
It was my son’s first Christmas and he was so poorly. He had a sky-high temperature, wouldn’t eat anything (he was 7 months and had started to wean on to solids) and just wanted to be in my arms. When we took him to the doctor the GP was thrilled to hear that he had been breastfeeding a lot. He had plenty of wet nappies, was hydrated and the GP spoke about how reassuring it was that he was getting “everything that he needed”. I felt so proud.
4. When teething was at an all-time high
Calpol was always at the ready but the real medicine was mammy’s milk. We snuggled up on the sofa, he fed a lot and he was instantly soothed and comforted. It felt like I had a superpower or a magic wand.
5. All of those opportunities to sit down
There are a couple of times in particular but there was nothing better than a constant legitimate reason to sit on your bum and stare at your baby/drink coffee/watch TV. When you are bottle feeding you can enlist other people to do some of the feeds but I loved being the one who had to sit down and make it happen.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.