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Celebrating the Highs and Lows of Nursing

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

Breastfeeding for a brand new mom can be a wonderful, exciting, bonding and also daunting and painful experience. During all three of my pregnancies I had planned to nurse for as long as both the baby and I were happy.

The breastfeeding process is part instinct, part, What on earth am I supposed to do here? I was more in the latter camp with my first baby, and hit a lot of bumps along the way. I met with a lot of lactation consultants and went through many toe-curling nursing sessions. The difficult part was that once I got through the pain of one feeding, I knew it wasn't long before I had to do it again.

Pain should not be part of the nursing experience, and it indicated to me that something was off. Eventually, my baby and I worked it out and we got it. And when we got it, it was great. Luckily, the process of getting there for babies No. 2 and No. 3 was much faster and it became such a special time for me and the kids.

I can recall many a night, just me and the baby in the glider, seemingly the only people in the world who were awake. Nursing baby No. 3 was definitely different, though, because we had the older kids' schedules to contend with.

I have never been a public nurser, much preferring to do it in the comfort of my home with my nursing pillow, my blanket, book, bottle of water, TV remote and whatever else I needed. But with baby No. 3, our busy schedules-plus the older kids' sports and activities-didn't allow that same kind of luxury.

I got used to nursing in cars, on soccer fields, in restaurants, dressing rooms-wherever it was needed. My nursing cover was my constant companion. Now that I have stopped nursing and rely on bottle feeding, I do recognize how convenient it was to have a food source ready and waiting at all times.

While I certainly don't miss the night wakings every two hours for those months and months, I do miss the closeness and warmth that those nursing sessions provided. It definitely was a special bonding time for mom and baby.

Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

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