What Breastfeeding Taught Me About Myself


April 7th, 2023 was the last time I breastfed my son. For 20 months, my body provided nutrition and comfort for my sweet boy. It was a long, hard journey. At times it hurt physically, mentally and emotionally. It was a heavy task to hold on my own. My son never took a bottle, so I was the only one who could feed and comfort him. It was completely overwhelming at moments, but it was also incredibly special. Breastfeeding taught me so much about myself and my son. Here is what I learned. 

Breastfeeding taught me strength. 

I learned that my body was powerful. It could not only create food perfectly designed for my child’s needs but also antibodies to keep him healthy, and comfort when he was distressed. I learned of my own strength. I learned I had the strength to persevere even in the face of exhaustion, pain and mental fatigue. But through it all, I kept nursing even on the days when I wanted to give up.

It taught me confidence. 

I learned confidence. Confidence that my body was doing something right after years of thinking my body was wrong. It turned into confidence in how I looked, knowing that no matter what size my body was I was strong, and I was capable of doing something hard.

And it taught me patience.

I also learned patience. Breastfeeding did not come as easily or as naturally as I had hoped. It was a huge learning curve that my baby and I managed together. We both struggled through it at times, but we didn’t give up when things didn’t go to plan.

As I was learning all of these things about myself, I was able to spend precious time with my child. While nursing, I studied his little hands and feet. I learned about his silly personality and I felt his love for me every time I fed him. I never thought I would be sad that this journey was ending because it always seemed so taxing in the moment, but now that it’s over, I’m going to miss all those sacred, sweet, quiet moments with my baby.

At the same time, I’m infinitely grateful for what those twenty months of breastfeeding taught me about myself and my child. I have a new appreciation for my body since she grew, nourished and comforted my sweet baby in a way that was so sacred to us both. 

And a special note to the moms who didn’t breastfeed… whatever the reason may be, just know you are exactly what your baby needs. In celebrating breastfeeding, I am not diminishing formula feeding. Breastfeeding was simply my experience. You are a fantastic mom no matter how your baby is fed. May each of you enjoy your journey through motherhood, no matter what that looks like. 


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