Fotolia

10 Women Explain How Breastfeeding Changed Them

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Breastfeeding, vaccinations and homeschooling. I believe these are the three topics that ignite a fire in the heart of most moms, these days at least, but arguably since always. And trust me, I am not here to tell everyone reading that "breast is best" or that the world would be a better place if everyone would just breastfeed their babies. You do you, ladies. I don't judge. There are ways that breastfeeding changes you, though, and that's what I'm here to talk about.

For me, breastfeeding went from something I was pretty ambivalent about (before being a mom myself) to something I felt very strongly about almost immediately after giving birth. And, trust me, that’s not because it came easily to me. Quite the opposite, in fact; I struggled to get my daughter to latch for the first four weeks of her life. I relied solely on finger feeding, a few bottles and a nipple shield before finally getting her to transition to just the breast. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard at something in my life.

Both my children were challenging to breastfeed, although those challenges presented themselves in different ways. For reasons I have yet to fully understand, however, I persevered. Don’t get me wrong; I don't consider myself some sort of hero or saint for persisting, but I learned a lot about myself in the process.

Ad failed to load

For me, breastfeeding changed my view of my breasts. As a teenager who pretty much developed from an A-cup to a C-cup overnight, I was used to a significant amount of attention (mostly sexual) directed toward my chest. The popular boys in school actually nicknamed me "Hooters" (how original, guys) and used to shout "nice cans!" to me in the hallways. It left me with a rather skewed perception of my worth, which (unfortunately) stuck with me well into adulthood.

All of that changed, however, when I began breastfeeding. Finally, my breasts went back to being just another part of my body and not a source of sexual pleasure for others. They became just another body part with a function (feeding my children) and I didn't lean on any other reason why they may get attention as an additional source of my self-worth. I can't tell you how liberating that's been.

Thankfully, I'm not the only one that has been changed by the act of breastfeeding. Here are 10 other women who share how breastfeeding changed them:

Ad failed to load

How We View Our Bodies

GIPHY

"It changed the way I saw my body, as this incredible source of nutrition and goodnes and love. It made me grateful and not only because I lost my baby weight [so quickly]." – Dana

Being able to breastfeed my girls changed how I felt about my body. Not necessarily in how I saw my appearance but how I felt about it's abilities. I have lost 4 babies and struggled to conceive all 6 pregnancies. My pregnancies with my two girls were riddled with scares and issues. But once they were born, I could feed them! My body stop failing me and redeemed itself. I was able to produce enough to feed them even through early term births and lip/tongue ties. It wasn't easy in the beginning but I was able to nurse my first for 3 years and my second for 15 months and going strong. Breastfeeding made me finally appreciate my body and focus less on it's failures. – Michelle

"Pregnancy and breastfeeding (even with the challenges) made me more more confident with my body. Though I don't have the "text book" figure and never have, my body did what it was supposed to, it made healthy babies and produced milk filled with all the good stuff they needed." – Carolyn

The Power Of The Body

GIPHY

"It was empowering to be able to make food for my babies with my body, and to be able to console a colicky baby by breastfeeding. It made me really appreciate how truly amazing the human body is. But after 6 years of breastfeeding, I was so glad to have my body just belong to me again!" – Sarah

"It was the one thing I could do. I failed at consoling my colicky baby, I failed at bonding at the moment of birth, I failed at being joyful and able to handle the sleepless nights. My house was a wreck, any meals were non existent, and I looked like I had slept in a cave for 10 years BUT I could nurse my baby. That one thing made me feel like there was hope." – Alexandra

For me personally, it has also allowed me to become more strong willed and confident...Breastfeeding is beautiful, natural and necessary. Through breastfeeding my now two babies I have become more confident as a woman, a mom, a wife. Moreover, I am proud of myself and thankful for my breastfeeding experiences the good and the bad. If I could communicate just one note to moms, moms to be, their families, friends and even just passersby is that there is more to breastfeeding than meets the eye. –Ashley
Ad failed to load

How To Bond

Giphy

"I miss it! I have nursing envy every time I see another mom nursing. Even if it was not always easy in so many ways." – Catherine

"It was a battle from day 1 to day 730(ish). As awful as it sounds, I never enjoyed it, aside from how convenient it was. My daughter and I are still wonderfully bonded, and we found other ways to connect." –Emily

"Not sure who called breastfeeding natural. Every mom I talk to talks about how hard it is, shares their troubles, many also had mastitis or other issues and admits how hard it is and that its part of the mom guilt. Anyways, perhaps admitting to this reality about how hard it is and how it's a hidden guilt and shame that we hide. I now see why just getting a shower in is success. The moment you finish feeding your child it's time to start again!" –Danielle
Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack