Riding the Fence on Breastfeedingby 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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