When it came to having a baby, I was terrible at many things. I was bad at pregnancy (unless “pregnancy glow” is another name for nine months of barfing). I was bad at giving birth (my son was induced at 41 weeks and STILL took 36 hours to make his entrance). I wasn’t particularly great at breastfeeding (I think I was in my son’s third year of nursing before I realized that it probably wasn’t supposed to always hurt).
BUT, I was one hell of a lactator. I’m not even sure that’s a real word, but I like it, so it stays. I could make milk for an ARMY of babies! Luckily, my little guy was perma-hungry. So here are my super selfish reasons for breastfeeding my child for over three years.
1. I’m hella cheap
Not extreme couponing cheap (ain’t nobody got time for that), but pretty cheap, dude. Formula is really expensive. Seemed like an easy decision to me.
2. I’m hella lazy
Clearly I’m not coming off great at this point, but I have to be honest. It’s a curse. I spent the first several months of a rough recovery after giving birth either lying on the couch or in bed. My husband had no paternity leave from work and my village was…nonexistent. Getting up to make a bottle just wasn’t happening. Once I recovered, well, I still didn’t want to get up. Disgusted with me yet? Reread the title of this article, I’ll wait.
3. I finally got sleep
I’ve had insomnia my whole life. The kind where I couldn’t fall asleep OR stay asleep. I was very lucky if I got three hours a night. Well, that magical Prolactin and Oxytocin (the hormones created in both mother and child during breastfeeding that create a calm and loving connection) was apparently what I needed to finally get some shut-eye. Honestly, for three years, every time my kid passed out milk-drunk, it only took a minute for my eyes to close as well. Now that those days are over, this is probably what I miss the most.
4. I didn’t need birth control
I went 15 whole months before my period came back! As far as contraception went, our main method was HAVING A BABY (nothing kills the mood more than a poop explosion), but not having to deal with cramps, migraines, and tampons, etc. for 15 months was a beautiful gift from Heaven.
5. I got to eat a lot
I was one of those lucky ladies who lost weight due to breastfeeding. But if I’m being honest, and we know by now that I am, I wasn’t too concerned with being skinny. But man, did I love all that extra food. Despite being cheap and lazy, I’m actually a pretty healthy person. I exercise because I enjoy it, and I eat healthy because I don’t like feeling crappy. But I sure do love to eat. And I did, unreservedly, for over a year. The feeling of not having to restrict calories for the first time in my life was amazing. It was like being a kid again.
To sum it up, this is not a lecture on why everyone should breastfeed. I don’t care if you breastfeed or bottle-feed as long as all the babies of the world are fed and thriving. And there are just as many reasons not to breastfeed as there are to do it. It’s time-consuming, and terribly painful, and my boobs are cuh-raaaaazy saggy these days.
But for me, it was totally worth it. So if breastfeeding is your choice, hang in there! One day you will be just like me, looking back and wishing for just ONE good night’s sleep! Uh, I mean bonding. Yeah, that’s right.