It’s been 14 months since I started nursing Asher. We had a rough start. Asher was born preemie size and my milk had not come in yet, so he was supplemented with formula for the first few days. Then, he got into a great nursing rhythm. He nursed like a champ, gained weight, but was also up every two hours and cried his eyes out. He was very difficult to soothe. We didn’t think much of it at the time because our first born was colicky, so the constant crying was something we were used to. As many of you know, it turned out that Asher had soy and dairy allergies, which meant dropping every molecule of soy and dairy for me for the next six months. I didn’t think I could do it at first, but I did. Worth it?
Eight months later, Asher outgrew his allergies and he still nurses every morning and night. He barely gets any milk out anymore, but it’s really not about the milk anymore since he’s 14 months now. It’s about knowing that he’s our last child and I want to hold on to those nursing moments and snuggles for as long as I can. I’m not writing this post to make anyone feel bad about not breastfeeding, not breastfeeding very long, or breastfeeding way longer than is the norm over here. I am writing it to let you know that all that breastfeeding research you read online is dizzying and it’s OK to feel overwhelmed at first. I know I did. To me, breastfeeding comes down to a gut decision. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes for a little while, and sometimes for a really long time.
Who knows if it actually prevents that extra ear infection your baby otherwise would’ve had. I think there’s plenty of evidence that breast milk is what’s best for your baby’s health for those first few months, but whether or not that’s actually noticeable or make a measurable difference, totally depends on the baby. What matters is that you give it your best shot, whatever it is you decide to do. Don’t let anyone hold you back or tell you it’s not worth it. I’m glad I didn’t listen to that advice. As busy as we are, those extra morning and evening snuggles make it all worth it for me.
PS – For those of you who decide to go down nursing lane, here are my favorite breastfeeding resources. Read them on your phone while you nurse and enjoy it…once they get a bit bigger, they’ll slap that phone right out of your hands