This following post was an entry in our Blog to Inspire contest. The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily those of Eco Baby Steps or Parenting By Nature.
Blog to Inspire entrant Dagmar’s momsense is Dagmar Bleasdale, grew up in Germany then moved to Los Angeles. Now, she lives in Westchester, New York, near her husband’s family with him and their toddler son.
I hadn’t given it much thought before, but the second I learned I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed. It was one of the things I looked forward to the most about being a mom. I just had a feeling that being able to deliver the nourishment my child needs to thrive would be an amazing experience, and I didn’t want to miss out on that. I had no one to help me — my mother did not breastfeed my brother or me and did not encourage me to breastfeed. After a wonderful, drug-free birth, my doula helped me to latch on my son, but after that I was on my own. I tossed out the schedule they had given me at the hospital because my son nursed so frequently and was so content that I wasn’t afraid that he wasn’t getting enough milk. I followed my instinct, fed him on demand, and trusted that my body would provide what he needed.
My son was thriving, yet my nipples were hurting so much during those first weeks, I would gasp from pain every time he latched on. But I was determined — instead of giving up, I sought the help of two lactation specialists. The first one didn’t know what she was doing — the second one is the reason why I am still nursing. She diagnosed my son as a lazy baby who didn’t latch on properly. We learned the correct latch and now, three years later, I am still proudly nursing my little man. He still nurses several times during the day and night and has no intention of self-weaning, and I love nursing him so much, I am in no hurry for him to stop either.
I feel most like a mother when I am breastfeeding. I was meant to do this — for my son and for myself.
I feel most like a mother when I am breastfeeding. I was meant to do this — for my son and for myself. I never get tired of giving him the comfort and nourishment he needs and wants, and feeling his little body close to me. And I don’t get tired of encouraging as many moms as possible to start and continue to breastfeed. I had no idea I would breastfed my son this long, but I count it as one of my proudest accomplishments to be able to do this for him. I also had no idea that I would become a passionate breastfeeding advocate, a La Leche League member, and that my desire to connect with other women interested in breastfeeding would lead me to start my blog, Dagmar’s momsense.
After learning how important it is to get the correct information and support in the beginning, and that most problems with breastfeeding have to do with an incorrect latch, which often can be remedied pretty quickly, I started writing my blog out of a desire to help other moms. Breastfeeding isn’t easy for a lot of women in the beginning, but while a new mom might think she is alone in her struggle, her problems are most likely not unique — many women before her have encountered the same challenges. I want new mothers to know that there are many resources and free help available and that they can look to me to be their cheerleader if they don’t have anyone else to support them.
After my wonderful experience with breastfeeding, I want as many other moms as possible to experience that special bond with their babies and the pride they will feel about being able to give their children the perfect nourishment and comfort. I believe most women can nurse their children with the right support, and I don’t want inaccurate information, societal and work-related pressures, or inadequate resources to be the reason why they never try it or stop to breastfeed. I don’t expect other women to breastfeed for as long as I have — I just want them to understand that every day they breastfeed is a gift not only to their children’s but their own health.
Making it through those challenging first weeks has been so worth it, and there have been countless situations in the last three years when I was glad that I am breastfeeding my son. Thanks to co-sleeping and never having to prepare a bottle, I have slept just fine since my son was an infant. I have a very healthy child with a hearty immune system, due in large part to exclusively breastfeeding my son for nine months. When flying overseas with him, he was contently nursing in his Maya wrap and people were astounded about how quiet he was. When he doesn’t want to eat his vegetables, I don’t have to worry about his nutrition because I know he gets everything he needs from breast milk. One more welcomed side effect: the added pregnancy weight came off by itself — breastfeeding is pure bliss!
Read about the Blog to Inspire contest and read posts by the finalists and by the rest of the entrants. Forty-four bloggers reached out to inspire on the topics of cloth diapers, babywearing, breastfeeding, and natural parenting.