Wednesday, May 12, 2010

...Is Before Your Eyes...

The moment you become a mother is a moment of birthing not only the child who has grown inside you but also a rebirth for yourself. Transformation from a woman into a mother is a momentous occasion.

For many mothers, the first real decision as a parent, is the decision of whether to breastfeed or not. Whatever your stance on this matter is, there is no disputing the scientific data that breastfeeding is superior to formula-feeding.

First, let me confess, I am a lactivist. I believe all mothers should nurse their children unless the mother will harm the child doing so; harm meaning infect with a disease or ingest illicit drugs.

Now that I have that out of the way, I haven't always believed so strongly in breastfeeding. I thought I would give it a shot with our first daughter. Why not? After all, it is free. The first few months were difficult, I admit. Learning to nurse when I had never seen it before was quite an experience.

Engorgement led to milk being shot across the room, soaking everything in it's wake, multiple times each day. I'm getting ahead of myself, let me rewind.

If you're unfamiliar, breastmilk doesn't automatically "happen". Colostrum, which is high in proteins and low in fat and sugar, is produced first. Your baby's tummy is so small that it can only hold about a teaspoon of liquid. Thick colostrum is perfect for such a small stomach. Three to five days after giving birth, your body begins to produce milk, and a lot of it.

My milk decided to arrive at the pediatrician's office one day, sans nursing pads. Quite embarrassing. To quote Forest Gump - That's all I have to say about that.

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