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 mypregnancies I had planned to nurse for as long as both the baby and Iwere happy.
The breastfeeding process is part instinct, part, What on earth am I supposed to do here? Iwas more in the latter camp with my first baby, and hit a lot of bumpsalong the way. I met with a lot of lactation consultants and wentthrough many toe-curling nursing sessions. The difficult part was thatonce I got through the pain of one feeding, I knew it wasn't long beforeI had to do it again.
Pain should not be part of the nursing experience, and it indicatedto me that something was off. Eventually, my baby and I worked it outand we got it. And when we got it, it was great. Luckily, the process ofgetting there for babies No. 2 and No. 3 was much faster and it becamesuch 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. 3was 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 thecomfort of my home with my nursing pillow, my blanket, book, bottle ofwater, TV remote and whatever else I needed. But with baby No. 3, ourbusy schedules-plus the older kids' sports and activities-didn't allowthat 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 constantcompanion. Now that I have stopped nursing and rely on bottle feeding, Ido recognize how convenient it was to have a food source ready andwaiting at all times.
While I certainly don't miss the night wakings every two hours forthose months and months, I do miss the closeness and warmth that thosenursing sessions provided. It definitely was a special bonding time formom and baby.
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