Riding the Fence on Breastfeedingby By Allison Hutton
The decision to breastfeed is not an easy one for all women. Some women are set in their decisions long before baby arrives. I was one of those women. I never wanted to breastfeed. While I respected any woman's choice to do so, I was certain that breastfeeding was not for me. I knew I would be uncomfortable breastfeeding, and frankly, I had no interest in trying. While I was pregnant with Hannah, I researched formula, bought bottled, and whined about having to go through engorgement. Then, about two weeks before I was due, something overcame me. I had this urge, out of nowhere, to at least try breastfeeding. Believe me, I was stunned by this revelation, as was my mother, friends and husband. I still don't know where this urge came from, or why it took so long to arrive.
When I told my husband I was going to try breastfeeding, he was thrilled. When he asked what had changed my mind, I really couldn't say. I kept saying that the milk was going to be there anyway, so why not at least try? He completely agreed. My mom was shocked as well. However, everyone was supportive. I knew nothing of breastfeeding. I confided in my husband that I was fearful of it not working. After all, I had not attended any breastfeeding classes, nor had I read any books. He quickly reassured me that I would do fine. He reminded me that women have been doing this since the dawn of time, and was fairly certain that classes were not provided to them either. So, I persevered. In anticipation of Hannah's birth, I traded in the Similac for an Avent breast pump; baby bottles for nursing pads; and of course, stocked up on nursing bras.
When Hannah was born, she took to nursing right away. I was pleased, and happy to find the experience less awkward than I had anticipated. I was sure I would be able to continue this for another six weeks. Six weeks, by the way, was the amount of time I "allotted" myself to breastfeed. After that, she was on her own. Six weeks turned to eight that turned to 12that turned to 6 months. I quit setting limits after that. I found that she and I were very happy, and saw no reason to try and force her to stop. I was a stay at home mom, and could let her nurse when she wanted. Our nursing relationship has been a bonding experience that I wouldn't trade for the world. I still get teased from family and friends who knew how "sure" I was of my decision not to breastfeed. Although I would NEVER try to push breastfeeding upon anyone, I greatly encourage everyone to attempt it. There is nothing to lose, and quite possibly, very much to gain. I have been on both sides of the fence, and can easily see the points of view from both parties. I would just hate to see anyone pass on a chance to take part in such a wonderful experience.
Best of luck to all of you!
My name is Allison Hutton. I was recently introduced to the Baby Corner by Elizabeth Geiger, and have found it to be a wonderful resource for those trying to conceive, those who are expecting, and those who are already parents. I am a stay at home Mom to my beautiful daughter, Hannah, and wife to my wonderful husband, Daniel. After a long journey battling recurrent pregnancy loss, we welcomed our daughter into the world on St. Patrick's Day, 1999. Motherhood has been the most challenging, exhausting, and rewarding job I have ever had! In my "spare" time, I enjoy freelance writing about issues dealing with pregnancy, parenting, infertility, and women's health. I hope to provide some insight to pregnancy, as well as information that can be difficult to find on the web. I look forward to becoming a part of the Baby Corner, and hope to make a difference, no matter how small.
Allison is a contributing editor for The Baby Corner as well Editor of Pregnancy after Miscarriage at Suite 101.
Visit he webpage at http://www.geocities.com/allies_girl/
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