Unexpected Joys of Breastfeeding

Hey Mamas.  Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, we think you're rockin' this whole motherhood thing.  We are in your corner and we are here to support you.  But if you are breastfeeding, we'd like to add that additional support and encouragement for those days when it's so hard, you're ready to quit.  And on that note, we are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week!  We'd love for you to celebrate the joys of breastfeeding with us.

I expected breastfeeding to be easy, but so many times, I've been proven wrong.  It's anything but easy.  

I expected breastfeeding to be natural.  It's a natural function, but it didn't come naturally to me.  With the help of a two La Leche League leaders, my mom, a few friends, and a lactation specialist, we were able to make it work.

I expected breastfeeding to be a joy.  And it absolutely was.  There were also many tears, especially during days of thrush, mastitis, and when my baby wouldn't latch well.

But there were also some unexpected joys, some moments that took me completely by surprise.

1.  Making eye contact.

All the books said this would be sweet, but I had no idea just how sweet it would be to lock eyes with my baby and watch her smile at me while nursing.  Joy can't begin to describe it.

2.  Seeing the price of formula.

No joke, this can provide much joy in a frugal moms heart.  I remember standing on a grocery store aisle, calling my husband to tell him how expensive formula is.  Yikes!

3..  Playing footsie.

My first born nursed in the football or clutch position.  I don't know why, but it's the only way she would nurse.  And she would frequently prop her feet up on either a pillow, the headboard, or my husband's head.  We still giggle about her need to play footsie with something.

4.  Tornado warnings.

I remember being in severe weather with a tornado warning.  I could hear tornado sirens going off in the background.  My husband and I grabbed the weather radio, a stack of diapers, wipes, and we headed to the closet in the middle of our house. Other then diapers, the only thing our baby would need is mama to fill her belly.  And that's a good feeling.

5.  Cloth diaper laundry.

Breastfed baby poop is water soluble, which is kind of amazing.  That means no need to spray first or worry about poop in any way.  It's such a nice perk that I'm tempted to delay solids specifically for this reason.  I love the convenience of it. Just find your favorite cloth diaper detergent and a routine that works for you and you're golden.  It's the easiest stage of cloth diapering.

6.  When they ask to nurse.

For some reason, some folks think this is weird, but when it happens to you, it's actually the sweetest thing.  I nursed my third baby until he was two, and there's just something sweet about knowing your baby enjoys nursing and can communicate it.  

What are some of your own joys of breastfeeding?