How Breastfeeding Changed My Life

WELCOME Carnival of Breastfeeding Readers!!

I always knew that I would breastfeed. When I was in college, I spent a semester studying in Kenya and I remember seeing all of the moms there carrying their babies on their backs while they did their work and breastfeeding. I always thought that would be me. I never imagined, however, how much breastfeeding and becoming a mother would change my life!

Even when I was pregnant, I never imagined staying home with my son. I always thought I would be dying to go back to work once the baby came. I never could have imagined how I would pass my day “just at home” with my baby. Even in my “Kenyan dreams” I always imagined going back to work with my baby on my back and never letting becoming a mom change anything – I would just work and carry and feed my baby. Of course, in my “real world” bringing my baby to work wasn’t an option. I had planned to take three months off, but figured I would be very eager to go back to work once the time was over.

BOY WAS I WRONG!

I cried for a whole week before going back to work. I couldn’t imagine being away from my baby and having someone else care for him! I actually ended up taking four months of maternity leave, not the three that I had originally planned.

breastfeeding-5-mosWell, one week shy of four months, I went back to work. I started on a Monday (if I had to do that over, I would definitely start mid-week!) and it was a tough week. I was breastfeeding, and my son was a nibbler, so I had to pump often. My son nursed every hour during the day, but I couldn’t pump that often, so I pumped every two hours at work. That was FOUR TIMES a day! It was stressful and difficult, but I did it. I missed my son, I missed my “other life” that I had established while I was out on maternity leave. It was full of play dates and mommy groups! I lived vicariously through my nanny who went to all of the play dates and support groups in my place!

I lasted until my son was 15 months old. I had pretty high-profile corporate job which required long hours in the office and lots of out-of-town travel. I was lucky that my nanny was willing to travel with me – so for most of my business trips, I took her and my baby with me. It was a lot of work for all of us and after 15 months, I decided that I wanted to spend more time with my son. I had been exploring other “career options” and even went on a few job interviews. I was still breastfeeding, although only pumping once per day by this point. My son and I had a very difficult time getting started with breastfeeding and ultimately I decided that I wanted to find a way to help other new moms be successful at breastfeeding.

When my son was 15 months old, I left my corporate job and stayed home for 4 months. During those first four months I enjoyed every minute with my son! I didn’t even think about my new career yet – I went to mommy groups and play dates and took my son to his music lessons and swim lessons and the park and the zoo and everything else you can imagine. I just enjoyed being a mom!!

Then in January of 2007, after the holidays were over, I started formulating my business idea. And four months later, A Mother’s Boutique officially opened for business!! I love my job and the time that it gives me with my family! I love helping new moms! I write articles and participate in breastfeeding support groups. In October of 2008, I started this blog to be able to give back even more to moms everywhere! It has been a wonderful journey!

How did breastfeeding change your life? What things did you imagine? And what parts took you by surprise? My journey has taken to places I never dreamed I would be – both personally and professionally. I’d love to hear more about yours!

Thanks for visiting the Carnival of Breastfeeding for May! Take a look at these other great blogs and their posts which are part of this carnival (this list will be updated throughout the day)! Please leave us a comment to share your stories too!!

23 comments to How Breastfeeding Changed My Life

  • [...] Mommy News: How Breastfeeding Changed My Life [...]

  • Hannah

    Breastfeeding changed me in more ways than one. I am more willing to talk to new moms to be about the benefits for mom and child and the family budget. Brian, my husband has an allergy to milk and his mom had to quite breastfeeding him. I was worried that maybe our daughter would be the same way… thank God she doesn’t… but she loves these made to order milk bottles.

  • roze

    breast feeding brought me closer to my body, I’m on the younger side and i still didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin in the beginning of my bfing now 15 months later I’m almost completely comfortable

  • This is such a neat story.

    You hear the stories of how becoming a mom ruins your life, but you’ve showed that it doesn’t ruin it at all. It helps you find your path. For some moms, that’s what they always expected, but for others, it helps take you in a whole new direction.

    And I love that you mention you went back to work and pumped. Even in the corporate world, you made it work.

    Reiza’s last blog post..Leg Huggers Review

  • [...] Mother News Blog: How Breastfeeding Changed My Life [...]

  • Breastfeeding absolutely changed my life. I take my time, I relax with my babe and I’ve learned not to stress out about my house being a mess — I know it will get done in time.
    I feel so close to my babe!
    The weight loss is a great benefit as well!

    desiree fawn’s last blog post..zoo time.

  • slee

    I’m actually a little scared of the ways breastfeeding is currently changing my life. I feel like I’ll never get back to the gym, because there’s no way I could leave e for that long with anyone who couldn’t feed and comfort him if he was hungry and upset. Only I can do that. I hope that by the time I’m back in rehearsals we will have a steadier feeding schedule, but I’m scared that I won’t be able to be gone long enough to continue singing, and that scares me I wouldn’t trade this, don’t get me wrong, but I am slowly beginning to wonder if I’ll recognize myself by this time next year.

  • [...] How Breastfeeding Changed my Life at the MotherNews Blog [...]

  • [...] off the Spaceship: Life, Death and Nourishment So Fawned: Sticking with It Mommy News Blog: How Breastfeeding Changed My Life All That Sazz: Flying Breast Milk GrudgeMom: Breastfeeding Failures and Success Massachusetts [...]

  • I have always been passionate about breastfeeding, since my first daughter was born, but it wasn’t until I started my blog, Breastfeeding Moms Unite! that I ever thought of focusing on something breastfeeding-related for my career. I am planning on applying for my Masters Degree this year with a focus on breastfeeding and how to help low income moms make a commitment to breastfeeding. I hope to be able to change some work place policies that make it difficult for bfing moms to continue too.
    Thanks for this post!!

    Melodie’s last blog post..Can Early Public Breastfeeding Sightings Shape One’s Future Breastfeeding Practices?

  • Hi Slee,

    Don’t be scared! Your time with your infant is so short and so precious. A few things might change for a short while, but as your baby gets older and starts eating things other than breast milk, you will find your schedule gets much more flexible. Enjoy this time because it flies by so quickly!! Thanks so much for commenting!! — Judy

  • Hi Melodie,

    Thanks so much for sharing your story! It is great that you are working to help low income moms succeed with breastfeeding!! How inspiring your story is!! Judy

  • I wrote a post for the Carnival, so I saw your link in the email. I’m glad I stopped by to read your story. Congratulations on your journey. I too pumped about 4 times a day, and it is hard doing that! Good job on your hard work.

    Lori T’s last blog post..Huggies Rewards Codes (72 More Points!)

  • This is great and I am so glad you participated in the Carnival. You can never imagine before you become a mother just how breastfeeding will change your life forever!

  • Breastfeeding changed the way I approach my career, that’s for sure. I returned to work when my first child was one year old, and opted to work part-time. Now that my second child is here and I won’t be able to return to my former job, I’m considering other options. Like so many moms, I want to find a better way to integrate my work and family life than the traditional workplace allows for.

    Amber’s last blog post..Wrap Me Up Mama

  • How did breastfeeding change your life?
    It changed everything, not just my life, but my heart has been changed, too. While pregnant I dreamed of nursing, but dreams didn’t come close to reality. Caring for my son is a driving force that goes so deep, like on the cellular level. The bonding makes everything else easier. I can’t imagine the extra work of bottle feeding. I’m impatient to meet his needs, and nursing does it so perfectly.

    What things did you imagine?
    I expected to feel the love and fulfillment. I even expected discomfort occasionally, though I hoped to avoid it entirely.

    And what parts took you by surprise?
    The tears of my milk coming in – that was a funny day to look back on.
    The excruciating pain the blistered nipples cause.
    I was shocked my the feeling of my let-down. It’s an indescribable feeling.
    How extremely hard it was for me to get and keep a supply of pumped milk on hand.
    How awkward pumping would feel compared to the ease of nursing.
    How much being away from my baby for work would depress me.

    purpleslie’s last blog post..Positive beliefs that I’m going to invest in believing.

  • That was so inspiring. My husband and I choose to work from home for similar reasons. We both didn’t want to miss out on the satisfaction of doing non-parenting work, but mostly we couldn’t imagine not being involved daily in raising our child(ren). So it’s a little unusual, and we don’t earn a lot of money, but it works for us.

    To give some answers to your questions, I think the thing that most surprised me about breastfeeding was how very natural it felt, while at the same time (in the early days) feeling sort of surreal. I just did it, but I felt like I was a picture of a breastfeeding woman or something. Kind of like how when I was pregnant, I’d catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and think I was an icon of Womanhood. But the surreal part went away, while the natural part stayed. Here we are almost 2 years into it, and oh my, I’m one of those people who nurses a toddler! And it feels totally right. Reading some of the other comments — I forgot about those weird letdown sensations, because they’ve definitely diminished now. But they were so strange! And I expected to need a big bra, but not a 36I. Holy mammaries!

    Thanks for sharing your story and starting this blog and your boutique!

    Lauren @ HoboMama’s last blog post.."Hello, nipple!" and other toddler breastfeeding stories, plus a breastfeeding carnival

  • [...] Life, Death, and Nourishment So Fawned: Sticking with It: Our Breastfeeding Story Mommy News Blog: How Breastfeeding Changed My Life And All That Sazz: Flying Breastmilk Grudgemom: Breastfeeding Failures and Success Baby Carriers [...]

  • Wow! How inspiring!! I hope I can manage to accomplished all that you did after baby! I’d love to find a way to work from home and make as much as I do now! I guess we’ll see!

    Thanks for sharing!
    .-= FutureMama´s last blog ..Becoming Something I’m Not… Yet =-.

  • [...] tell you my story. I always knew I would breastfeed. I never really thought about how long until I got pregnant. Then I thought I would breastfeed for a [...]

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