Over the next few Mondays, I thought I would post some thoughts about some of the topics in which there are a lot of voices. These posts may ruffle some feathers but I am writing only about my own experiences and thoughts. I recognize that every mother has their own experiences and convictions, please share them so that my sister can learn from all of us!
One of the things that almost everyone has an opinion about is how and when to feed your baby. You will quickly see that some people are very passionate about this topic and will make claims that may make you feel guilty for not doing it the "right" way. One thing I have come to learn after three babies (and feeding in several different ways) is that it all comes down to what you are comfortable with and fits into your lifestyle and family. Because of the amount of information and things to consider in this area, I will extend this topic into next Monday's post.
The first thing you need to think through is whether or not you want to breastfeed. I wrote a blog post about breastfeeding before Silas was born (two years ago!) so I thought I would link it here so I don't repeat myself.
But I will reflect on the experience after a successful third try at breastfeeding. I was very intentional about the support I sought and although it was painful at first, it got better and I loved it! I found great satisfaction from doing what my body was made to do and enduring the hardship was very rewarding.
But I do know that for many women it just didn't work and I think that it is important to prepare yourself for that too. There are a lot of factors to consider- your emotional state of mind, whether baby is getting the hang of it, how much you want to work at it if it is difficult. But, in the end you are not any less of a mother if you don't do it. Another thing to remember is that just because your body is made to do something, doesn't mean it will always work that way. Our bodies are made to fight infection but sometimes medication is needed to aid in the process, thank God for modern medicine! The same is true for breastfeeding and pregnancy in general. Some women are medically not able to deliver babies naturally, just because they have a C-section doesn't mean that they are any less of a mother. If your baby is born too premature to be able to learn the sucking mechanism, thank God that he provided a way for your baby to be alive and able to eat at all! If it doesn't work like it should, there are other options that you can utilize, guilt free.
Thoughts from readers? What did you enjoy about breast or bottle feeding? What was your experience like and what lessons did you learn?