The Bond of Breastfeeding

Welcome to the Breastfeeding Support Blog Party! Bloggers around the world have gathered together to share posts which provide current or soon-to-be breastfeeding mothers with a wealth of well-researched information, personal stories, and statistics designed to help you have the most successful breastfeeding experience possible. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more about this movement as well as to link to and read more informative breastfeeding support posts.
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My primary reason for choosing to breastfeed my babies was the nutritional value of breast milk. It's amazing to read the list of ingredients in both formula and breast milk. Honestly, it kind of puts me in awe of how the Lord set things up for mamas to nourish their babies. What my body can create, without me trying, is amazing. Beyond the complex nutrition, 20 months into my breastfeeding journey, I've learned there is so much more than nutrition to a breastfeeding relationship.

My first inkling of this was when I first held Jemma. Moments after she was born she settled on my breast and began searching for her first sip of mama milk. As she latched on, I vividly remember her staring up at me. "My Mama", her eyes said. And our bond was secured. Set in stone. Forever united as mom and daughter. During her months as my nursling we spent many moments, eyes locked, nurturing one another. As my milk filled her belly, our breathing quieted and we relaxed. Sometimes she fell asleep, sometimes she stared at me with her ocean blue eyes. Always, I centered myself in my calling as her mother and found a calm serenity as I nourished my baby.

With Max, nursing has been a breeze with the exception of my bout with mastitis during our family's wave of winter illness. Because he is my second and I knew what to expect? Perhaps. Because he's a different baby with different needs? Maybe. Regardless, even if it had been difficult the additional bond we experience as mama and nursling is priceless. I pacify him at my breast, let him suckle throughout naps and I pull him close to nurse when he wakes at night. Of course, I yearn for my sleep and sometimes feel touched out. But this time, this tiny time is short. He will not need me, and only me, for long. He will not be my baby forever and the bond of breastfeeding is helping us both transition from the womb experience to the earth side one.

If only for the nutritional value would I find myself so committed to breastfeeding? Probably not. At least not as much so. Breastfeeding is much more all compassing. It includes nutrition, but extends beyond to a unique mama baby bond, a relationship that is unlike any other. Not to mention the long-term health for mamas that's huge too.

Most of all, it's this ...
The quiet moments, stolen away from the day, that I treasure. The time where it's just my nursling and I. Reconnecting while I turn love into food.
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P.S. As I'm sure you can tell, nursing my babies has been a beautiful journey for me. It breaks my heart that some mama's can't nurse their little ones and I have been blessed to help a handful of mama and babies in that situation. Read more about my breast milk donation story if you're interested!

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This gathering of breastfeeding support comes in response to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s (WAPF) continued stance on breastfeeding, which we all have a great concern with. While the WAPF does support breastfeeding as the best option for feeding babies, it does so with a caveat. Breastfeeding mothers must follow the strict tenants of the WAPF diet and mothers who are not following their nutrient dense diet recommendations would be better off feeding their babies homemade formula (based on the WAPF recipe). In addition, they are outspoken against using donor milk. The bloggers sharing posts today are concerned with the confusion this may cause breastfeeding mothers. Not only does research support the myriad of health benefits of breast milk for babies regardless of the mother’s diet, it also outlines additional benefits of breastfeeding such as better bonding, deeper trust, and a long list of other emotional benefits. Let’s not forget the health benefits for moms!  

We will have a complete list of all the blog posts published today (as part of this Blog Party) in a separate post on Sunday, March 31st. We welcome you to join this blog party by linking up your own new and previously published posts which focus on any positive aspect of breastfeeding and breast milk. Please enter using the Linky Tool which can be found at Hybrid Rasta Mama, Cooking Traditional Foods, Whole New Mom, Alternative Parenting, or African Babies Don’t Cry. (All links will be subject to moderation. Any link not following the spirit of the Blog Party will be removed.

3 comments:

josie renee said...

I loved reading your story! I love breastfeeding and the connection it gives me and my son. I actually had a breastfeeding post scheduled for tommorow but I might it up so I can share it with you all.

XX
Josie
Www.straightnochase.com

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

Beautiful, beautiful post, Gretchen! I've absolutely loved the bond that breastfeeding has created for both of my babies!

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