I am a proud nursing mom! I nursed my oldest daughter until she was 21 months old (when she weaned herself). I am currently nursing my 14 month old, with no end date in place.
For some reason, it was difficult for a lot of people in my life to understand why my husband I chose not formula-feed our babies.
I would often get questioned on why I would breastfeed when I could just use formula and when I planned to stop. Many people had rude comments or overshared their unproductive opinions about breastfeeding.
While I have nothing against formula feeding, I chose to nurse because I felt it was the best choice for me and for my babies. I feel it builds a connection with your child that can't be substituted. I also believe that although formula has come a long way, after my own research, I don't think it has all of the nutritional benefits of breast milk. (Look it up!)
Even though I have had people make fun of my decision, I stayed strong and surrounded myself with people who supported me.
My mom, for example, didn't nurse any of the five of us, and almost every other woman in my family formula fed. However, even though I'm sure she has her opinions, she realizes this was a decision that my husband and I made, and supported it and us.
Since I never really had anyone I could relate to, I thought I could help some other people in a similar situation by sharing some tips and advice to any breastfeeding moms out there that have no one else to turn to.
1. Take Care of YOU! Nursing can take a lot out of you, so it's extremely important to make sure you eat well and stay hydrated. I can't count the number of times I've gotten caught up with my little ones and I look up at clock and realize it's noon and I haven't had anything to eat or drink. I had to start setting reminders on my phone so I don't forget to eat!
You want to make sure you're providing the best milk for your little one, and the best way to do that is to make sure you are getting healthy things into your own body. You can't provide the proper nutrients to your child if you aren't getting them yourself!
2. Invest in a nursing cover. I don't mind if other people breastfeed their children without one, but, I personally am not comfortable with it. My nursing cover has a permanent home in the diaper bag, and I take it everywhere. Instead of having to run to the car or bathroom when we're out, I just use my cover while walking around. Any little thing you can do to make breastfeeding easier makes it more likely you'll succeed.
3. Surround yourself with supportive people. Never formula feed because of other's opinions on nursing. I cannot count the amount of times I've heard women say that they have stopped nursing because of the people in their life not supporting them. As a mom you have to be strong for yourself and your baby.
If you don't have anyone, join a blog or a forum. Go to some mommy meet-ups and get to know some breastfeeding moms. Stay positive.
4) Stick with it! Know upfront that it's not easy. It can be painful. It can be messy. It can be time-consuming. It can be a hassle. However, realize that you made this choice for a reason, and you should stick to it. Remind yourself why you made decision to breastfeed, and let that be your motivation. With my oldest, the 1st few weeks were excruciating, and I thought it would never get easier. But it did.
Lot's of people say to themselves, "maybe it's just not for me." Mothers have been breastfeeding as long as they've been having babies. They did it, and so can you! Know that it's something that your body knows how to do, it just takes a little time, persistance, and support.
Be strong and don't give up!
I have a lot of experience with breastfeeding (3.5 years & counting) and I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have! Feel free to comment, I love hearing from you!