Nine months into breastfeeding my third baby and I’m all sorts of emotions about it all. Part of me can’t wait to be done, but there’s a small part that’s sad that the baby phase of raising my little boys is almost at an end. It’s weird this whole motherhood thing. Each phase and lesson learned, every day and passing year is filled with a dichotomy of emotions. Third time around and I’m still realizing that there’s never a clear cut way to feel right about anything when it comes to parenting.
I’ve written before about my different experiences with breastfeeding, but the emotional part has been pretty much the same each time. I go through the ups and downs of breastfeeding and ride it out until the one year mark when the boys can have regular milk. I’m going to be straight up honest with y’all. There’s a huge freedom for me that comes with the end of breastfeeding. Three times around the breastfeeding block and I’ve never fallen in love with it. While I’m grateful that I’ve been able to breastfeed all three of my babies, I’ve never been the mom that’s been all about it. Don’t get me wrong, it was my desire to breastfeed and I was lucky enough to choose to do so all three times. But, it’s been more of a practical decision than an emotional one.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned breastfeeding my three kids:
It’s hard and it hurts. And it’s totally normal that it can feel unnatural.
I’ve mentioned it before in my previous posts. But, as a first-time, second-time and even third-time breastfeeding mom, it’s never been “easy” or “natural.” I struggled each time in the beginning. At a time that it is most critical to ride it out to ensure a lasting feeding journey. Emotionally and physically, it took a lot out of me. No one tells you that in any class. And I was too laid back to read any books or articles about it to really have any insight into how any of my breastfeeding journeys would turn out. Keeping it real with you mamas, the struggle IS real. And this is coming from a mom who chose to breastfeed each time; who didn’t even endure the pains of any infections, like mastitis or thrush.
You learn new things each time.
My two older boys didn’t get the benefit of Evivo baby probiotic as part of their feeding during their infant years. I simply didn’t know anything about it. Did you know that the first six months of baby’s life are critical for his autoimmune and metabolic development? Yeah, me either, not until I learned about it this third time around. With breastfeeding B, I’ve learned a lot about the good bacteria in the baby’s gut that creates a strong, protective wall and keeps out the bad bacteria.
Evivo, a once daily baby probiotic, addresses this issue head on. Evivo is clinically proven to restore the good bacteria called B. infantis to baby’s gut, while reducing the potentially harmful bacteria linked to colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity by 80%.
It’s crucial to make sure your baby’s gut is on the right track from the very beginning, so it has all of the good bacteria it needs while it’s still in the development stage. By addressing the issue of gut health during this early window, it allows baby’s gut, digestive system and immune system to continue to grow, protect and thrive before introducing solid food around the 6-month mark.
It is okay not to love it all the time.
I love the quiet moments where I can escape to another room to just be with my baby. I love the extra snuggles and the way they fall asleep on my chest. But, I don’t feel that way all the time. And that is absolutely okay and perfectly normal. Being the sole food source after being pregnant is something that can be very wearing on a breastfeeding mom. It is okay to want a break. It is okay to be ready to wean. While I deal with mom guilt in other aspects, this is one where I’ve learned to give myself grace.
Be proud of yourself.
I’m proud to say that each journey met a personal milestone that I set for myself and my babies. I’ve shared in the past about my breastfeeding triumphs, but at the time, I viewed them more as expectations. Now that my third breastfeeding journey is coming to an end, I’m proud of myself for making it this far, (three times). It is quite a feeling to know that I’ve been able to breastfeed all three of my kids and that I survived the hardships I faced in reaching this point.
It’s hard to admit, without sounding like someone who takes it for granted, but mentally and emotionally, I’m mostly ready to be done. It’s definitely bittersweet, seeing my littlest babe grow and flourish so quickly (as they all tend to do these days ). I’ll cherish the next few months and hold onto these last nursing sessions as they swiftly pass me by. But, I will also smile knowing how fortunate I’ve been able to write this story with an honest voice. And I hope that it reaches anyone who feels like I do, to know that you are not alone. And that all of your feelings are valid.
The End of Breastfeeding & Lessons Learned