Last week I was reading this post from Courtney's blog (she always loved) larking that got me thinking about how so many of my own views on parenting have changed now that I have a child. Her post really inspired me to share my own before and afters on breastfeeding, sleeping, baby food, babywearing and birth. This post is kinda long so if you make it all the way through then you deserve an award! Look out for my next post in this series - On sleeping - which should be up in a few days!
Prebaby: I always knew that one day when I had a baby of my own I was going to breastfeed. It was something I always supported but never really gave much thought because I had no real reason to. I didn't know anything about feeding on demand or letting your baby self wean so the plan was always to breastfeed until the age of 1 and to have my baby on a schedule. I'm going to be honest with you guys, I was pretty ignorant prebaby, I thought breastfeeding in public was inappropriate and that nursing your child past the age of 1 was weird! I'm so embarrassed to even admit that but I knew nothing about breastfeeding, and grew up in a family that mostly formula fed.
Pregnancy: During my pregnancy I did a lot of research on breastfeeding and parenting. I learned about feeding on demand, sore nipples, child self weaning, under supply, over supply, thrush, mastitis, leaky boobs, clogged milk ducts and the list goes on and on. I also learned that it is recommend to nurse your baby at least to the age of 2 which quickly turned my 1 year plan into a 2 year plan. My whole view on breastfeeding changed and I realized it wasn't all rainbows and smiles. During my pregnancy if you asked me the number one thing I was most terrified of doing once my baby arrived I would have said breastfeeding. It was something that was so, so important to me and so I was terrified that I wasn't going to be able to do it, that it would be too painful, that Chloe would have a difficult time latching on, and that ultimately I wouldn't make enough milk for her. But even with all my fear revolving around breastfeeding I knew I was at least going to give it a try.
My new plan: Nurse exclusively until 6 months and then continue nursing until the age of 2, and to also feed on demand.
At 7 1/2 months in: Breastfeeding wasn't as terrifying as I thought it would be and at 7 1/2 months Chloe and I are still going strong with no end in sight! It's amazing to me how much my views on breastfeeding have changed now that I have a baby of my own. Chloe is nursed on demand, we will let her decided when she is done breastfeeding, and I now fully support breastfeeding in public, in fact its something that I do all the time. I think the biggest change for me though was that at one point I just looked at breastfeeding as something that was best for the baby nutritionally, I never knew that it was going to be something that I loved and cherished so much. Those quite moments Chloe and I share together when it's just the two of us and the world fades away are some of the sweetest, most delicious moments I have ever experienced.