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10 Things You Never Knew Would Make You Proud Until You Were a Breastfeeding Mom

You’ve read the breastfeeding books; probably have a shelf full of them... 

or a laptop with a designated folder or a phone full of apps... all dedicated to “what to expect when...”

None of these words on a page or screen will prepare you for the emotions you will feel after giving birth and beginning your breastfeeding journey with your baby.

You have done everything you can to ensure that your baby stays with you, skin-to-skin after she is born. You have prepared a home for her where breastfeeding is respected and supported.  

Now here you are, resting with your just born baby against you. Take the time to savor the first few weeks, recognize your accomplishments and allow yourself the luxury of feeling proud.

Pride is a good thing. It’s what keeps us going.                                   

Bet you didn’t know you’d be proud when:                               

1.  Feeling the warmth of your justborn baby, lifting her head and bobbing her face against your breast looking for her first milk.

2. Hearing your baby’s first swallows, and the little noises she makes, as she learns to coordinate her breathing as your milk flows into her.

3. Changing your baby’s diapers and coming to the reality that it is your milk that is sustaining her body. Your contribution to her life is visible in that diaper.

4. Hearing a simple burp of swallowed air or a long fart. By changing her to a more upright position, you’ve created a pathway out for the small amounts of air in her stomach and gut. Now she will return to feeding with more room in her tummy.

5. Watching your baby eagerly open her mouth, anticipating your breast. She has learned to trust you and that you will provide for her needs. As you position yourself for your baby’s feeding, you can see that she has already learned her 1st lesson.

6. Seeing a 1-ounce weight gain on the scale at your baby’s first weigh in. Your healthy, full term baby is growing. All your efforts are measurable in a number.

7. Receiving a compliment and a request for advice from another breastfeeding mother. Your efforts have been noticed by another person who cares as deeply as you do about breastfeeding. You have become an advocate now for all breastfeeding mothers.

8. Recognizing the connection you have made to the previous generations of your family. Mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers... the breastfeeding women who have gone before you, following the natural path.

9. Comforting your baby with your breast after unpleasant circumstances arise. Something as simple as a bath or more intense, like blood draws and vaccinations can provoke crying and you are able to hold your child to your breast to ease her pain.

10. Dedicating a month or so of 24-hour attention to nurturing your baby, she looks up from your breast... and smiles. Her eyes have been focusing on you for a while now... and you thought that was heaven... but a smile? This is your precious reward. Keep going. So many more rewards to come.

Be Proud. Please share your proudest moment with us in the comments section.

Paula Zindler
RN IBCLC

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