What I Miss Most About Breastfeeding

4 years ago

This past weekend someone said to me, "You must be glad you are done breastfeeding, right?" I wasn't sure how to respond at first. So I thought for a second, and than said, "Well, yes and no."

I had no expectations when I first started breastfeeding, I only planned to breastfeed (if I was able) as long as it was the right thing for both me and my baby. Well, I breastfed my daughter for 14 months. And when it was time to be done, it was completely initiated and led by my daughter.

I received a lot of comments (both negative and positive) on breastfeeding while I was doing it. People are generally very curious about all things baby, and breastfeeding seems to be part of it. I honestly loved that I was incredibly fortunate to both be able to breastfeed and to do it for as long as I did. But I will not lie and say that sometimes it did not overwhelm me. When you breastfeed, you are in constant demand, and while it is nice to be needed, there's only so much you can take. I admit to moments of thinking I cannot wait to be done with this. And now that I am done, I have moments where I really miss it.

Breastfeeding photo via Shutterstock.

Here are some of the things I miss the most:

NEXT: {BONDING} -->

Mother holding and feeding newborn photo via Shutterstock.

Bonding: Sure, there are a million ways to bond with your child. But few things can bring the same level of closeness and understanding of one another as breastfeeding does. In order for me to successfully breastfeed, I needed to understand her, to pay attention to what her movements, sounds, and expressions meant, and she had to understand mine. It was such a simple and natural pattern for us to fall into—our mind and bodies becoming in tune with one another. Each seeking and receiving.

NEXT: {INSTA-CALM} -->

Mother breastfeeding her newborn photo via Shutterstock.

Calming: No matter how badly she was screaming, the moment I started to nurse she instantly calmed down. It calmed her like nothing else could. And the peace I felt, courtesy of the oxytocin my body was releasing, brought me a sense of peace I felt down to my bones.

NEXT: {WEIGHT LOSS} -->

Mother breastfeeding a baby outdoors photo via Shutterstock.

Burned a lot of Calories: I absolutely credit breastfeeding with helping me to lose a lot of my baby weight.

NEXT: {CONFIDENCE} -->

Mother breastfeeding her baby girl photo via Shutterstock.

Confidence: The early days of motherhood can be so confusing and uncertain. Most of the time I had no clue what I was doing or what I needed to do. But breastfeeding I got. It made me feel like I can do this; I got this.

NEXT: {SAVING MONEY} -->

Breastfeeding photo via Shutterstock.

Savings: Now that Cassidy is drinking whole milk, I am astounded by the cost. I am so very grateful we were able to breastfeed for as long as we did. It really helped to save a lot of money.

NEXT: {SIMPLICITY} -->

Breastfeeding in the street photo via Shutterstock.

Simplicity: I never had to worry about forgetting a bottle, or bottle warmers, or if I brought enough formula. It was there whenever and wherever I needed it. Now I leave the house and I'm terrified she is going to starve in our five minute run to the store. I have sippy cups, snacks, food pouches, etc. It seems my diaper bag is full of food and drinks that she never even eats.

NEXT: {TIME} -->

Infant is breastfed photo via Shutterstock.

Time: I never have enough of it. But I didn't have a choice with breast feeding; I had to take the time to feed her. No matter what. It forced me to not rush, to not be constantly going from moment to moment. But to just be still. And man I miss that time. That time to just sit and hold her, look into her eyes, hold her impossibly small hand, or sift my fingers through her hair. To just sit and hold my child in my arms, for me—nothing is better than that.

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