I was very curious about what breastfeeding would be like while I was pregnant. I felt bombarded with information and yet clueless on what it would actually be like. Inspired by Ina May’s encouraging writings and her seemingly daring statements about breastfeeding being “love making” between Mother and Child, I was still quite unsure about the whole having someone sucking on my boob regularly thing. Previously a strictly intimate-only action, I asked myself many questions:
Will it seem sexual?
What if it’s a girl, won’t that be weird?
What if it’s a boy, won’t that be weird?!
Time and experience melt all insecurities. Looking back, no wonder it was weird then — I didn’t have a child then! Now, we have Indra, and no, it is not weird at all.
Feeding a little person from my body has been an extremely natural and easeful thing. It forces me to take extra care of myself first (a parenting theme for me), including food, mental state and rest. And temperature! When my feet are cold, my milk practically halts. Welcoming Indra in Arkansas in July, that one stumped me for a night during an October vacation in Colorado. We were camping in Estes Park in our van and in the middle of the night my milk seemed to just stop coming. Indra was not happy and my mind was racing with what was wrong. Is the travel throwing this off? Did I not eat enough? Alas, it was socks. What an awesome, easy fix.
“Where you awareness goes, your energy flows.”
Frequently stated by my first teacher, Baron, and a common study throughout the practice of Yoga, this statement has been oh so true for all elements in life, including breastfeeding. When I am taking the time to stay present with the current state of my body, eating regularly as Indra does, resting when he does, breastfeeding is like a dream.
Holding my little guy in my arms and sensing his calm, satisfied presence trips all this Mama’s happy switches.
Indra’s been trying lots of foods lately, there hasn’t been anything he doesn’t like and it has been such a delight to watch his expressions when trying things. And it’s mostly just all for fun. It is still the boob providing nutrients for now. Straight from the breast, too! 100% bottle free. I am proud of that fact. Did you know that a mother’s nipple actually reads what her baby needs during a feeding?
“When a baby suckles at its mother’s breast, a vacuum is created. Within that vacuum, the infant’s saliva is sucked back into the mother’s nipple, where receptors in her mammary gland read its signals. Everything scientists know about physiology indicates that baby spit backwash is one of the ways that breast milk adjusts its immunological composition. If the mammary gland receptors detect the presence of pathogens, they compel the mother’s body to produce antibodies to fight it, and those antibodies travel through breast milk back into the baby’s body, where they target the infection.”
Pulled from one of my favorite articles on breastfeeding, here. SO many reason to love breastfeeding.
So much thanks goes to my husband for making our breastfeeding journey so wonderful. It it wasn’t for him feeding me to being with, I know this wouldn’t be the same story. And thanks go to our whole village to supporting us! From the patient yogis at Deza who have offered nothing but smiles mid-vinyasa, to the ONF staff and shoppers who cheered us on in the early days when on-demand feeding meant holding up the check-outline. This has been a wonderful journey and I am so grateful for it.
Nothing but love,