(Columbus, OH USA)
Visitor Breastfeeding Story: Breastfeeding has always been an instinct. Since I was young I knew my body was designed to nurse children even though nursing was not spoken of nor seen from my eyes growing up.
No women in my family nursed their children so I knew I may need to look elsewhere for support. When I became pregnant with my first daughter I was sure I was going to breastfeed. However, that did not go as planned when I had a placental abrupt ion and gave birth via emergency cesarean section at 29 weeks.
While my daughter was in the NICU I pumped and fed her my milk for about two months. Unfortunately, the process was painful and not being in her presence except for NICU visiting hours, her early state making it difficult to latch, and having weak support from family to breastfeed at the time made it difficult for me to continue with my dream of nursing my child. I was physically and emotionally exhausted with a preemie and my milk began to dry up before her due date came when she was released from the NICU.
Although nursing did not last long with my first child, I gave birth to a son 2 1/2 years later. Nursing him has given me all the satisfaction in caring for a child I knew existed in motherhood. After starting him on solids and returning to work part time night shift I became fertile again at 7 months and pregnant again when he was 11 months old. I nursed him through the pregnancy and am now tandem nursing.
The hardest part of tandem nursing is the lack of approval I receive from family; mostly my mother in law. I keep accepting that extended nursing is not what America is about because of the way society has been set up to make money with all the formula and drug companies out there. I just do my best to push any negativity out of my way. I know I need to do this for my family and am so satisfied with my choice to tandem nurse my almost 3 year old son and over 1 year old daughter.
Extended breastfeeding has done wonders for cementing a bond between my children and I that is indescribably special. I encourage all mothers to look beyond American society’s mask of breastfeeding myths and follow inner passions to breastfeed because I have been rewarded in so many ways from it. I hate to see nursing discouraged in American culture and for such a precious gift that benefits everyone go to waste.