A Bond Beyond...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Aimee Larsen 5 Comments

.written for a Breastfeeding Support Group!

When I was pregnant with my first baby I hadn’t given much thought to breastfeeding, only I knew it was something important to do.  I’d then read the book, “So That’s What They’re For” by Janet Tamaro and forced my husband and mom to read it too…in hind sight I’d say that the author was an “extreme breastfeeder” or maybe just an extreme advocate.  My mind had been made up, nothing else would do.  Even when the pediatrician asked me if he was being breastfed, I said “Is there any other way?”  I think that was the first time I’d seen a doctor take a step back.  Needless to say, we don’t go to him anymore.  If I had to give any advice to a new mom considering the choice of breastfeeding I’d say don’t consider it a choice and take a step away from those that don’t support it and a step closer to those that do.  The benefits for the baby will always out weigh the benefits to not doing it.  I’m not going to deny that it’s hard, it can be hard for weeks but what is awesome is the day you are sitting cross legged on the couch watching TV and nursing your baby and you realize that you didn’t even think twice.  You didn’t dread the latch on or the time it takes.  You just find that its part of your life and part of your baby’s and it works…perfectly!  I’ve nursed all three of my babies to well beyond 6 months; I wish I could have been longer and every baby was a different experience.  I had one that started life in the NICU, the next was healthy and nursed well and also took bottles of breast milk, the other came straight home from the hospital nursing and didn’t take a bottle until he was several months old.  I also became more open in public with each baby and that made things so much easier.  Every baby, every mom and every experience is different.  I’m so proud of myself, but mostly I’m proud of my friends who give it a try.  We ARE all in this together!  The experience of breastfeeding can not be duplicated, it will never be generic and a bottle will never replicate it.  The bond that you form breastfeeding your baby comes from knowing that you alone, with your own body, can provide your baby with the nourishment to grow and thrive and so much more.  

Please do not think in the least that I look down on those that do not choose to breastfeed.  I don't!  I respect anyone's decision when it comes to the well being of their baby as long as it is in their best interest.  This was written solely for the encouragement of those considering whither to breastfeed or not.


  1. Breastfeeding does seem to be an "all or nothing" type of decision. If you don't give it your all, your very likely to give up because it's not easy at first. I've had two very different experiences myself with my two little ones. One thing that did make the difference with my second baby is I became more comfortable nursing in public, either with a nursing wrap (I love the bebe au lait style) or in a somewhat secluded area. You can't just stay at home all the time because your baby has to eat, as a nursing mom you have the same rights as a mother feeding her baby a bottle in public. Needless to say, nursing has been much easier and enjoyable with my second born. These days with a two year old and a nursing eight month old it's much simpler to (like you said) get comfy on the couch and not worry about measuring, mixing and warming a bottle...then of course washing and drying and storing the bottles. Either way - bottle or breast - the baby will grow and thrive, but breastmilk is the gold standard and there is a comfort in knowing my babies were given the best possible start in life. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. I breastfed all three of mine (now 20, 18 and 16) My 20 yr old had her first last year and tried to breast feed but her son was tongue tied and couldn't latch. She did pump for several months though so he got the benefit. I now am expecting my fourth child and even though that first month of breast feeding can be horrid I still plan on doing it, because once you are past the hard part it is the best. I have seen many nieces give up way too easily no matter how much I told them in the long run they will appreciate breast feeding. I didn't know with my first it would be so hard but I was determined to stick it out. Great post! You said things I wish I had known back with the first.

  3. I heart this post. Beautifully written!

  4. I wish that I had been able to breastfeed. I was unable to though. With my first he just wasnt getting enough to eat, b/c my milk had not really come in even though it had been several days. He was terribly hungry I couldnt feed him so we started formula. He only weighed 5lbs 14 oz at birth so he couldnt afford to lose weight I had to do what I had to do to get him the food he needed to grow. I would say I regret it but I dont really it was right for us. Than for my second I will admit I didnt even try it was so much better with a bottle for us that I didnt put myself through the process again when my milk for some reason just wasnt coming in so we started her right off on a bottle, and both of my kids have been very healthy. I know breast is best, I dont doubt that for nutrients however for us, it wasnt it was better to do a bottle. However, I admire everyone who is able to do it, and does do it. I also would like to let those mom's know that try and cant that thats okay too. Just b/c you dont breastfeed doesnt mean you wont bond with your baby. You will, your not a "bad" mom b/c you cant do this. Sometimes it just doesnt work, and thats okay...

  5. Great post.

    I exclusively breastfed Sissy for 2 months. She was very colicky. (How the fiddlesticks do you spell that word?) When I went back to work, I pumped and froze for a while. One day, something happened and she got a bottle of formula. The colic disappeared. I ate a very bland diet. I was miserable with the flavor-less, un-spiced foods I ate to try to prevent her tummyaches. Nothing helped. Formula fixed it. I didn't have my self-esteem so dependent on her need for MY milk that I made her continue nursing.

    Lucky nursed, exclusively, even after he started baby foods. I could eat anything I wanted. Go figure!

    We took Sissy to the Birmingham Zoo when Lucky was a few months old. It was mealtime for him, so I grabbed a light blanket and found a seat in the gorilla viewing room (at least I think it was gorillas. Truthfully, I just remember it being air-conditioned and empty and dark.) I was completely confident and relaxed with my sweaty-headed little one filling his tummy. But the teenager who walked in and realized what was under that blanket was not at all comfortable. I think that may be the funniest memory I have of breastfeeding.

    My sister-in-law was quite a Nazi to me about breastfeeding. She refused to accept that I was doing the right thing for Sissy. She also didn't understand when I weined Lucky at 9.5 months. "He was ready" just wasn't a good enough reason for her. She got the point eventually that I wasn't trying to please her or anyone else. I was only trying to care for my baby, and that I was doing what was best for him.


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