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Reflecting for World Breastfeeding Week

Erin Howard

Hello friends! This is goodbody goodmommy co-founder and CEO, Erin. As World Breastfeeding Week comes to a close, I’ve thought long and hard about what to say concerning my own breastfeeding journey. Should I give advice? Share successes? Struggles? Disappointments?  I’ve spent the last four and a half years either pregnant or breastfeeding; I’m currently nursing my third and possibly last baby. I’ve had plenty of each of the above.

As this blog evolves, I’m sure I’ll share many personal accounts that will touch on each of these topics. But for today, I thought I’d be honest, and share just a bit of WHY breastfeeding is so important to me. What I’ve gained – and what I get – from this journey.

When I pregnant with my first daughter, I knew little about breastfeeding. I had few friends who had children, and those who did never lived close when they had kids. I wasn’t sure how long they breastfed for, why they did, or in some cases, if they even did. A little in the dark, I did some research, took a class, read some blogs. I decided to breastfeed my daughter first and foremost because I believed it was what was best for her.

But soon, it evolved into something much more for me. Breastfeeding was, and is, the one thing that only I can give my children. At some point, these kiddos won’t need – or want – my constant attention, guidance, reassurance, comfort. As I look at my newest baby, this thought makes me so sad. So I am 100% OK with the fact that I love breastfeeding her because it is one thing that only I can do for her. That its our time together. That I have to stop paying attention to whatever else I’m doing to feed her. To cuddle with her, to hold her, to stare at her. No matter where we are, I have a built-in excuse to take time out of my life and focus on this amazing human I’ve made.

I often hear women say that they miss nursing. Now that I’ve stopped nursing two of my three children, I understand what they mean. It’s not the engorged breasts or the leaking they miss. It’s that sense of being needed SO MUCH by someone else. Knowing that you’re providing everything that baby needs. It’s that time alone with their baby. It’s that built-in excuse to hold your baby and reflect on how lucky you are to have that baby.

I joke that I breastfeed because I’m a baby hog. But, it's kinda true. And I’m pretty A-OK with that. Because one day soon, this baby will look at me just as my other two do now, and say “Mommy, I do it myself.” And they won’t be my tiny little babies any more.  

We look forward to learning more about you, and having many discussing around breastfeeding on this blog. Thanks for supporting goodbody goodmommy!