There are many decisions parents make during pregnancy. Choosing the perfect name for their child. Decorating the baby’s room. And whether or not to breastfeed.
Prior to having my children, I did not have a big interest in breastfeeding. I knew about the nutritional benefits and the bonding that it brings between mother and child. But I did not feel like I would be comfortable feeding my baby that way. I didn't feel like I was being selfish, I was just being honest.
My husband disagreed. He believed that breastfeeding was the best for our unborn son. I think men are fans of breastfeeding for two reasons. First, they like nudity, any kind. And second, because they are NOT the ones doing it. “My Mom breastfed me!” he would tell me, somehow thinking that would change my mind. The visual of my Mother-in-law feeding my husband as an infant was not going to persuade me. Sorry. No sale. I hated the idea of feeding in public. I hated those nursing covers. I had been pregnant for a long time. I wanted my body back.
But a strange thing happened to me as I got closer to my due date. I am not sure if I started feeling more maternal or if another big dose of hormones kicked in, but somehow through taking the birthing classes and preparing for our son to arrive, I felt like I might be willing to give it a try. No pressure. I would just try it. We even signed up for a breastfeeding class. It was great information. Breastfeeding is supposed to be this natural thing, but there was a lot I needed to know about it. The first thing, as I would find out, was that it did not come easy or naturally. It was hard work.
And once my little guy was born, I was comfortable with nursing him. I looked into that sweet face and just wanted to take care of him. He would nuzzle comfortably in my arms and sigh as he ate. For me, it was not this magical experience that I had heard about, but it was satisfying to be able to give my baby something that no one else could.
I had friends that wanted to breastfeed but their bodies would not make enough milk to feed their babies.