Today ends this year's World Breastfeeding Week, a week promoting the benefits of breastfeeding and the efforts being made to make more hospitals "baby-friendly", or more supportive and helpful with regards to breastfeeding!
I was very lucky in that I had both a great support staff, a mother who was very encouraging during her five-day visit when A was a week old, and most importantly, a champion nurser from the beginning. Though I always knew I would breastfeed, knowing the benefits and wanting to give A the very best start I could, I wasn't looking forward to it by any means until A was born. Once she was here, I immediately fell in love with nursing, and am happy to report that over the past seven and a half months, A has had nothing but breast milk!
Why do I love nursing? Part of it has stemmed from the hormonal release that makes me instantly calm. When I was going through the worst of my postpartum depression, nursing A would provide me with relief that I could rarely find any other time of the day, so much so I wouldn't have minded had she wanted to eat every hour. Thankfully, though, she was always a good eater, taking in full meals as opposed to "snacks" (thank you, babywise!) and not making me a slave to her appetite.
I also love nursing because I really and truly feel bonded to A because of it. Not that I'm suggesting formula-feeding mommies can't be as bonded to their babies - of course they can! This was just our experience.
Also, the weight loss is a perk worth mentioning. I know it doesn't work this way for everyone so I don't mean to brag, but I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans by the time my mom and I took A for her newborn pictures (at 10 days old), and had lost all my pregnancy weight by my six-week check. In fact, I'm currently sitting several pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight - the thinnest I've been in a few years! Anyone have a baby they want breastfed when A weans? I could reach my lowest weight since high school if so ;)
Anyhow, for all of my fellow breastfeeding mommies, be it for a day or for years, happy World Breastfeeding Week!