World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7 and to celebrate and spread the world, The Pistachio Project will be featuring guest posts by fellow bloggers! When I asked for guest posters on this subject, I had so many bloggers accept that even though it is now a day past World Breastfeeding Week, I have one more bonus post! Today’s featured blogger is Melanie of Sunshine Praises. Check out her post below!
When my first son was born, I thought I was fully prepared to breastfeed. I had dreams of sitting in the rocking chair in his room. Him snuggled close to me as I stared deeply into his eyes. The two of us sharing little moments of magic while he was eating. His room was set up as a little oasis for breastfeeding. I had a little night light, a denim Boppy and tubes of Lansinoh stuffed in the chair pockets. I believed I was fully prepared for this very important task in our new relationship.
Unfortunately, what I wasn’t prepared for was how hard breastfeeding was actually going to be and we only made it about 3 weeks before I succumbed to the pressures of the doctors to introduce formula.
Not being able to breastfeed my son was devastating, so when I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter, I sought out support before she was even born. I armed myself with knowledge and made sure that she and I were going to be ahead of the game when it came to breastfeeding this time. With Lu, there was no little oasis. I had a co-sleeper in my room and a pillow on our recliner downstairs. We had some troubles in the beginning that made nursing painful. I often found myself “checking out” of the process. I would stare mindlessly at the TV or play on my Blackberry. Most of the time breastfeeding felt like a chore to check off the list. It was usually only in the dead of night that I really took time to focus on her. Regardless, we made it to 14 solid months and never supplemented once. I felt slightly vindicated.
Now, here I am again. I have a brand new little one. Breastfeeding has had a few challenges but overall it has been pretty easy. Unfortunately with the easiness, It has also caused me to be less intentional when feeding him. Since the very beginning, I have found myself immersed in Facebook or Candy Crush. I have even drained my DVR of an entire years’ worth of television shows. The complete 3rd season of Pretty Little Liars? Yep, I watched all 24 shows in two days while the little man was latched just doing his own thing.
Then one night, I had run out of lives on Candy Crush. It was 4:00am so no one was updating Facebook. I had read the news, checked my Scrabble games and run out of blogs to read on Bloglovin’, when I looked down at my little one and caught him staring up at me. I am pretty sure if he could talk, he would have said, “Hey Mom, it’s me, down here. Can you just pay attention to me?” I was instantly grieved. For the past several weeks, what I had once thought was so important, that I had fought so strongly for in the past, had become nothing more than task from which I needed distraction. I hadn’t been using the time to bond with him. On the contrary, I had been doing everything BUT focusing on my little man.
It got me to thinking about how many of today’s Moms are in the same situation I am. How many of us spend more time using technology to keep us busy while breastfeeding instead of breastfeeding with intention?
That night, I made a vow to myself to put down my phone and turn off the TV for at least a few of Ez’s feedings per day. Instead of focusing on what was going on in Facebook land, I want to focus on what was going on in my actual hands. Instead of requesting more lives for Candy Crush, I am taking time to intently study the little life right in my arms. Instead of engrossing myself in the fictional lives of TV characters, I am now engrossing myself in the quiet breathing and steady heartbeats of my little guy. Instead of allowing technology to distract me from the most important moments he and I have together, I am taking the time to breastfeed with intention.
What about you? Are you ready to set aside technology and create an old-school oasis for your baby and you? Tell him stories. Make up silly songs. Tickle those little tootsies. Memorize that soft baby skin feel. Let your body fall in sync with his sucking patterns.
I know it won’t be easy but I am going to work on it because I know in the long run, breastfeeding with full attention and intention is only going improve the already amazing relationship that he and I are developing every day.
Melanie is a Full-Time Mom, Part-Time Blogger, Sunshine Dreamer and God Follower! She is the blessed mother of three miracles and works outside the home as a sign language interpreter. You can find her blogging about all sorts of topics over on her blog – Sunshine Praises.