Friday, July 25, 2014

Relax and Enjoy the Journey

I'm a very Type A personality. Some might say I'm a bit high strung at times. I prefer intensely passionate. As a first time mom, I wanted to be sure I did everything right. Or at least what I considered to be the "right" way of doing things. Breastfeeding was especially important to me and I got a little overwhelmed with worry. Worry about feeding her enough. Worry about my supply. Worry about enough wet and dirty diapers. Worry about how long it had been since I fed her. I used a tracking app religiously for almost her entire first year of life. I needed to know (down to the minute) how long she nursed, on what side, at what time. In hindsight, it was over the top.

As time went on, I stopped worrying about some things, but my old worries were replaced by new worries. Now I worried that my supply might be slipping since my breasts didn't feel as firm, especially as she went longer between feedings. I worried that she would never learn to sleep on her own without nursing to sleep. I worried that she would hate solid food and want to nurse forever. Okay, some days I still worry about that one.

As I talk with new moms about their breastfeeding concerns and worries, I see that so many moms worry about common things that are usually just sapping our already low supply of energy. With all the Booby Traps out there, it's easy to get caught up in a cycle of self-doubt and worry. After nursing for 17 months (and still going strong!), I've learned many things. One of the most important things I've learned is that most of the time, the fears are unfounded and a waste of time and precious energy. Are there some women who will legitimately have struggles with low supply or baby gaining "enough" weight? Sure. But these tend to be the exception, not the rule.

For most women, we can breastfeed our nurslings knowing that we are giving them everything they need. Instead of worrying about potential problems, enjoy the journey of breastfeeding. Each and every day is special, and we never know which one will be the last. So enjoy every aspect of your breastfeeding journey. Your hurdle might be the success story that another mama needs to get past the same thing. And remember...

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