Breastfeeding at 8 months: What it’s like now

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Daily, LIFE, New Mom Experience

Back when we were just starting out, breastfeeding was so hard, overwhelming, painful, different that I could never  imagine that there would come a time when it’s no longer all those things. I always loved breastfeeding, even in pain I never thought “Oh I hate this, I want to stop”. I mean, I did when it was toe curling painful but I didn’t really mean it. I’ve always LOVED the idea of giving my baby not only sustenance but more than that: comfort and warmth and the one thing she is supposed to have for many many years, and as a mother I wanted to give it to her.

After the initial painful 8 weeks of breastfeeding (Alexis has a shallow latch), things got better, A LOT better. It didn’t hurt anymore, it was great and sweet and bonding. But it’s at 6 months when I started LOVING it. Like, looking forward to our breastfeeding sessions. I got attached, sucked in like a teenager with her first love. It must be oxytocin spreading through my body whenever I breastfeed that makes me feel that way, but I just cherish every single second of breastfeeding.

I think what brought this on is the fact that nursing is how Alexis falls asleep now. Lying in bed curled up next to me, her legs in a fetal position again my tummy, one of her arms under my breast and the other softly touching the top of it, and then she slowly drifts off, all warm and cozy and snuggled. WOW! It’s just not the feeling one can properly describe. You just have to experience it to understand.

My favorite, though, are the nights, when I put her to bed and it’s pitch dark because that’s how she likes it and the only thing that I have to concentrate on is the two of us. Probably the lack of one of the senses, sight, in the darkness is what intensifies the sense of touch, but it’s amazing!

I love breastfeeding in public. I feel proud, I feel free, I feel like I am doing my part in making breastfeeding ok, making it normal, making it what mothers do. I don’t use covers. Out of principle. Even in situations and places that even I feel a bit squirmy about having to breastfeed out in the open. I push through that silly fleeting feeling of embarrassment and {inconspicuously) feed my baby. Right there and then. When she wants it, where she wants it. Breastfeeding in public doesn’t have to be made a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be shunned.

On Instagram, a few other girls and I had a 3o days of breastfeeding challenge. We spent 30 days taking one picture a day of our babies breastfeeding (not in public, just anywhere). I loved seeing other women have sweet moments with their babies. And I think I will be speaking for all of us when I say we have gained even more appreciation for breastfeeding, more confidence in what we are doing, and less reservations.

During the day, breastfeeding takes on a different role. The challenge is to feed my baby without something else distracting her. We nurse while sitting up, we nurse standing up, lying down on the floor, swinging, hanging over her. It’s a fun time and we both love it. I think it’s important not to stress out and just let your baby do what she wants (especially if time isn’t an issue). She wants to latch on and off 10 times in a row, that’s fine. She wants to snack for a minute and come back a few minutes later for more, let her. It’s her food, she wants what she wants, she needs what she needs – there’s no reason to have power struggles. Sometimes, she would eat for a bit and then be done but continue being fussy. It took me a few days to understand what she wanted- she was thirsty. She wanted the foremilk from the first breast, and then to be switched to the other one to get its foremilk, too. She was not hungry, she didn’t need the fatty stuff, just the foremilk. That is why I feel it’s important to just let babies self-regulate when it comes to breastfeeding. We don’t know their needs, we know so little about how things work. But they know EVERYTHING, they know exactly what is necessary to grow big and strong and smart. And I love breastfeeding for that, too.

Issues:

Plugged ducts: I finally got a plugged duct a few weeks ago. I knew what it was right away because one morning I just had this hard wedge shaped lump in my breast. I didn’t really have time for warm compresses (kept trying to get to them, but you know how it is with a baby), so all I did was massage it upwards and nursed on that side frequently. And 2-3 days later it was gone.

Biting: We haven’t had too many issues with biting. She only bites when she is teething and I {try to} calmly unlatch her and put the breast away for a few minutes and give her a teether instead. She’s only bit me 3 times total, and only when she was really uncomfortable from teething. It hurts, but it doesn’t hurt any more than the initial 6 weeks of breastfeeding did, so I am ok with that.

Breastfeeding is awesome!

For all the girls out there who are pregnant or looking to get pregnant, breastfeeding is an not experience to be missed if you can help it at all. It is life changing. Your views of the world, babies, other breastfeeding mothers, breasts, nurturing, nourishment, they all change. It’s an awesome high, a hormone of love and happiness. It is not something to pass up by choice. So look forward to that! Prepare for it!  Make it work! No matter what!  Read up as much as you can, talk to other breastfeeding mothers, get in the right state of mind! No matter how hard it might be in the beginning, just remember that it gets AMAZING, so amazing that the possible struggles are well worth it.  When I was trudging through my own 6 weeks of pain, I was told THAT by other breastfeeding mothers. I believed them but I didn’t understand, just like you won’t understand until you’re here! And it’s ok, just go on blind faith. And if it ends up not being for you, if 6 months down the line you decide it sucks, no harm done- you’ve given your baby the perfect food and the perfect bond.

Just started breastfeeding and having trouble? Read my other breastfeeding posts:

Breastfeeding Journey ***
Follow Up to Breastfeeding Journey ***
Breastfeeding Products that helped ***

 

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