Breastfeeding for the Bibliophile

Yes, you read that title right. There’s a lot of talk about breastfeeding now- most of it overblown, if you ask me. My official stance is that it’s a natural process that just isn’t being treated very naturally in our current culture. But there are plenty of people to argue that point. What I want to celebrate about the process is what a golden opportunity it was for me to get caught up on books. It wasn’t at first, of course- my daughter and I both had to figure out what we were doing. Realizing that I would be confined to a chair for, basically, hours on end, I learned pretty quickly to always make the time before we sat down to pour myself a drink (if not grab a snack on the way) and have a book in hand. And then it was wonderful. Baby & BooksBreastfeeding is supposed to be great bonding experience for both parent and child. Only in the beginning, when the babies would basically like to eat any time they are awake, it’s a bit much to expect even the most doting mother to be able to stare at her beloved infant for roughly 26 hours a day (interrupted mainly by diaper changes) without some form of mental stagnation kicking in. My daughter also liked the sound of my voice, and although I may turn into a chatterbox when social functions get my nerves up, I just don’t have that much to say when I’m at home. Two birds, one stone! I started reading aloud- whatever it was I would enjoy- since at three months, I wasn’t overly concerned about her picking up curse words or the like! And we made it through some great books. You know those hardcovers that could double as weapons? That feel kind of amazing in your hands, like a worry stone, but that you barely transport from your night stand to the living room, never mind out of the house? Perfect time for those! And, for awhile, you get an audience who is happy with anything that makes you happy. Now my daughter is old enough to pick her own book out and follow us around the apartment until we read her the one she choose. Honestly, picture books are growing on me… but I’m getting a bit nostalgic for the days when I could read Tyrion’s dialogue aloud without worrying about my daughter walking up to me and saying, “Where do the whores go?” Obviously, I love books, so this was my thing. Breastfeeding is an incredible commitment, almost impossible to fathom if you look at the hours it entails head on. There is a lot written about it. However, what I failed to find in any of the pieces that I read was this: that time doesn’t have to be all for your baby. There are ways to share it, to make it “you” time as well. I hope that, if you just happen to be stuck with a newborn yourself, you can take the time to care for the woman on the other side of the boob, as well as the baby!

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6 thoughts on “Breastfeeding for the Bibliophile

    1. Thanks… I remember how terrifying and un-relatable everything I read about breastfeeding during my pregnancy was… People get so worked up about it. A lot of the advocates tend to write about in an inflated way that feels a bit moralizing and judgmental. Certainly, it can be a great bonding experience, but not if the mom doesn’t take care of herself as well.

      1. I breast fed both of mine and found that one baby loved it and the other didn’t seem so keen. I was glad that I was able to give both of my children the best start in life without neglecting myself too much.

      2. It’s kind a of a nice time for body to work on healing itself… On the other hand, you’re stuck in one spot for A LONG f***ing time!

      3. I imagine a second child would be much less interested in hanging out while they have an older sibling running around, doing interesting stuff.

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