Every mother’s journey with breastfeeding is it’s own unique path. Some mothers struggle with supply issues, and try as they might, just can’t produce. Some nurse for a few months but don’t have the support or education about the process to keep going. Then there are mothers who, aside from some of the usual hiccups, breastfed well past several of their children’s birthdays.
Personally, breastfeeding has been one of the most challenging, loving, and humbling experiences of my life, and I’m so lucky my body and my support team were there to see me through. (I’m also nosy as hell and asked every mom I knew to tell me about their experience so I could be prepared.)
Pro tennis goddess and new mother Serena Williams is going into her 4th month nursing daughter Alexis.
To say that Serena’s hooked (on both her baby and their feeding ritual) would be apropos, considering this tweet she posted:
Serena, I too have had this thought, more times that I can count over the last several months. Especially when you see and feel your supply dwindling in response to your baby’s changing eating habits; your ability to find time to pump in a hectic work day; your own hormone and body changes. I told myself “Just TRY to get through the first year. Then evaluate from there.” So that’s my goal.
But if I were to be totally honest, at this point I really don’t want to stop. It’s free, it’s convenient, and it’s the best food you can give your baby. But we unfortunately live in a society that not only stigmatizes breastfeeding in public, but how long it’s considered “socially acceptable” to nurse a child, especially well into an age when he or she will be able to ask for it.
But considering that the benefits to baby and mama outweigh those pesky stigmas, more and more women are making breastfeeding part of their lives for longer stints.
Just take a look at the overwhelmingly positive response to Serena’s tweet for example.
To just hit the point home a little farther, the CDC published a report in 2013 that breastfeeding rates are on the rise. They found that “77 percent of new mothers are breast-feeding their babies, up from 71 percent about a decade ago.”So there’s definitely good news when it comes to changing society’s prejudices, not mention it’s predilections for mommy shaming.
Nevertheless, theBERRY is here to support all women. And hey Mamas, if you’re reading these posts during those exhausting (yet blissful) twilight feedings, we’re here for you.