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
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.
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