10 Women Explain How Breastfeeding Changed Them

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


"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
"It resolved some of my body issues. I used to hate my small breasts but, now that they have served such a crucial function, I have an appreciation for them. I was worried that they wouldn't produce enough breast milk but my breasts were actually normal in that way and therefore made me feel normal, like size doesn't matter!” – Jeannette

"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


"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


"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

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills