It’s been nine years since I nursed my last baby, but it seems like yesterday. I loved it. I nursed each one of my three babies until they were almost 13 months old. I’m sure I could have nursed each one longer, but at the time, it was “the norm” to stop once they reached a year. Now don’t get me wrong, nursing wasn’t always easy. I had cracked nipples and I remember being terribly engorged with all three babies.
I nursed in public and nursed in my car. I mastered nursing while on long road trips. I could cook and clean while nursing. I could pump 6 oz. from each breast in three minutes flat. I really did love it. By the time I nursed my third baby, I was a pro. I remember taking a photo (for my eyes only) while my third baby nursed, knowing it would be my last time. I never wanted to forget that moment.
I would have never guessed that I would have the opportunity to engage in “nursing” again. As a doula, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to coach new moms in those first moments of breastfeeding. My number one tip as they begin this new phase, is to RELAX! Yes, there are a variety of positions – the football hold, the cradle hold, lying down, sitting up – but to me, the most important thing a mom can do is relax. The baby can sense your tension. It’s a brand new experience for you and it’s a brand new experience for them. So relax.
Why all the nursing talk? These upcoming months we will all hear a lot about breast cancer awareness, so we wanted to dedicate a whole issue to breast health and women’s health. Within this issue (here’s a direct link), on pages 9 and 11 are two stories to increase your awareness of breast cancer caught early. We’re also sharing stories and articles highlighting the challenges of breastfeeding while working and exercising. And if you’ve been remiss in taking care of yourself (we understand, sometimes momma’s health takes a backseat to our kids!) we’re sharing Orlando’s best OB/GYNs on page 16.
My hope is that you will be informed and encouraged by this issue. But please remember, even though I nursed my babies for about a year each, it didn’t make me “mother of the year.” Your ideal length of time might be two months, or it might be two years. No matter what the length is, embrace it … and relax!
editor in chief