Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Joys and Gifts of Breastfeeding

 Keeping up with the season of giving and being thankful, I have been thinking about the numerous gifts that breastfeeding my son has awarded me. Of course, there is a large range of blessings that can come from such a natural, loving activity - a full spectrum of gifts bestowed upon me by my little one. If you have breastfed a child, perhaps you can relate.

Going through hectic days, especially those first few weeks, I really appreciated how easily I could lull my baby boy to sleep while nursing him. This has continued to help me all these months later. I have gotten him to sleep using other methods, but still nothing is quite as easy as nursing my boy to sleep. This goes hand in hand with another gift: peace and quiet. 

Babies cry. They must, they have too few means of communicating their needs. However, while I'm nursing Nathan, whether it's 3am or 3pm, I get a short period of silence. A moment to just stop and take a breath. Peace and quiet has been highly underappreciated by me in the past, but no more. 

I have a bit of social anxiety and sometimes parties can get to be overwhelming after a while. Breastfeeding Nathan has given me an excuse to duck away and recollect myself while also feeding the little guy. 

There are of course smaller gifts that breastfeeding has awarded me: Larger breasts (to help camouflage the belly I'm still sporting) is one such small gift. Another, is that I have had fewer dishes to wash (bottles and such) and we have saved money by not buying formula. 

However, the best gift I continually receive from nursing my little boy is the closeness and bonding I feel every day. The little glances and smiles, the comfort and familiarity; everything about it really. I love breastfeeding my son.

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