Friday, 5 August 2011

Mothering Through Breastfeeding

I’ve used it to calm my son; to soothe, settle, nurture.

I’ve used it as a distraction; at restaurants, airports, special events.

I’ve used it to satisfy his needs; for warmth, attention, nourishment.

I’ve used it to comfort him; when teething, ill, overwhelmed.

I’ve used it to share; eye contact, smiles, tears.

I’ve used it to put him to sleep; at the park, the beach, Grandma’s house.

I’ve used it to teach him about love; and giving, affection, bonding.

I’ve used it as a gift; of health, security, love.

Of all of the mothering tools I have in my arsenal, the most effective and all-encompassing one is most definitely breastfeeding.

When I started breastfeeding, I knew that it was the most important thing I could do to get my baby off to a good start nutritionally. Little did I know, there is so much more to breastfeeding than nutrition! It is a relationship; an incredible relationship where we both give and receive. It is also, hands down, the most effective mothering tool I know and I cannot imagine mothering without it. It has been so rewarding and has given me a confidence that has helped me become a better mother (and human!)

Even at 15 months, the comfort and solace breastfeeding has provided for my son is unmatched by anything else. Trips to the doctor and vaccinations, even his first haircut; my son has been soothed by breastfeeding. He was calmed enough to see that these experiences need not be feared. There have been times when he was not feeling well due to teething or flu that breast milk was the only thing he could keep down. I just kept thinking, “Thank goodness for my milk!” And so we continue, until his need diminishes. Just like nature intended.

 I am a mammal and a mother, so I breastfeed.

With gratitude,
L

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