Parenting Conversations: Grateful For Breastfeeding

Isn’t it easy to get caught up in what is difficult, what challenges face us, and what is going wrong? And, even if we are going through something less than ideal, we often forget all the things that are going right. Or, we don’t think about what is helping make life easier for us when it is difficult.

Recently, the La Leche League social media team took to Facebook and posed the question, “Can you describe a situation where you were especially glad to be breastfeeding?” We’ve highlighted some of the answers in today’s blog post.

One of the most common responses was when parent or child experienced an illness. Whether it was mild or quite serious, the ability to comfort their child and provide nutrition was one less thing to worry about.

Ann K. recalls when her son faced a life-threatening illness:

“When my son was almost two, he was diagnosed with cancer. I had planned to wean him at one, but neither of us was ready. Then I thought maybe we’d wean around two. But then he got cancer, and I decided that there was no way I was going to take away one of the few sources of comfort and a source of nutrition that he wouldn’t refuse.”

Samantha V.’s daughter had to go through numerous medical appointments and procedures as a toddler, and breastfeeding kept her calm throughout everything.

“The one thing that sticks out is when (my daughter) woke up with Bell’s Palsy two weeks after her first birthday. She was able to nurse through recovery and then for another year and a half of seeing specialist after specialist due to a rare side effect of the palsy. She had a sedated MRI at 15 months. When she finally woke up enough, I nursed her immediately when we got the all clear, and she never freaked out or felt afraid. Nursing got us through all of it!”

Emily H. was grateful when a virus made the rounds in her household and her toddler was nursing.

“My husband and two kids got the flu, and my husband ended up in the hospital. My boys hardly ate any food for several days, but the baby (15 months at the time) breastfed, and it kept him hydrated and out of the hospital.”

For many of those who responded, they were glad to breastfeed because of the convenience while they were on the go for activities with their older children or travel with the family.

Jenni J. shared, “Twelve years ago my then 1.5-year-old, my hubby, and I were visiting India to meet relatives. My toddler was not a fan of much of the food there so I was very happy to still be nursing. My supply ramped up that week!”

Samantha V. chimed in: “Basically, nursing saved our way of life. She’s the youngest of six and over a decade younger than the other five. I nursed her through football games, graduations, band practices/performances (including lots of parades), drill team practices, and drill meets (I was the coach).”

While your nursling is often perfectly content to be wherever you are, no matter the noise or activity level, sometimes both of you need a quiet moment where it’s just the two of you. Molly C. found that breastfeeding met that need perfectly.

“I’ve used it (breastfeeding) to step away from situations for a break and to get my baby back when I started feeling the need for them to be in my arms.”

And sometimes the reasons to be glad to breastfeed are so numerous that you just can’t pick one.

Mother nursing her toddler while getting her hair doneKristian H. shared her list:

“Every holiday and vacation when the baby/toddler needed a nap.

Every checkout line when the baby starts getting hungry.

Every sickness when I knew it helped, hydrated, nourished, and soothed.”

Sarah O. couldn’t agree more and added:

“I’ve been so glad to breastfeed throughout all illnesses but especially Covid, while traveling, because milk ‘straight from the tap’ is the ultimate convenient snack, during and after gestational diabetes (helped to stabilize my glucose levels and protects against developing Type II diabetes down the track), and when my daughters were slow to become interested in solids I was still confident that they were getting plenty of nutrition.”

If you’d like to read the rest of this conversation and discover even more reasons our readers are glad to breastfeed, you can find the original post here.

Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].

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