Tied To the Nursing Chair

May 10, 2008

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I have a question for you nursing moms (or those who have breastfed at some point in their lives). Did you ever feel like you were tied to the nursing chair?

I remember when one of my childhood best friends had her first baby. She told me that she started out breastfeeding, but weaned her baby very young because, as she said, “eventually I had to get off the couch.” I didn’t really understand what she meant because I didn’t have a little one of my own yet, but as my kids started to make their appearances, I began to get it.

I love(d) nursing and didn’t resent the time spent doing so, but I would have the rare twinge of impatience at a baby or toddler who seemed to take foreeeeeeever to finish up. Maybe I wanted to do “other things”. Maybe I was feeling a tad hormonal or touched out. Maybe the child was older and I was feeling a little impatient with his or her demands in general, and that was showing up in the nursing relationship.

When I felt like this, I tried to distract myself by multi tasking. Most babies don’t mind if you check email or read a book (or pray or practice relaxation breathing!) while you nurse. When my oldest was a baby, he was a high needs kid who nursed all the time – it was the only time he was happy. I got a LOT of reading done that year lol! I also discovered baby slings and learned how to nurse in one, hands free. I could wash dishes and breastfeed at the same time! Ya want that mammamiwk?
Creative Commons License photo credit: snaulkter

But overall, I knew that breastfeeding on demand, or as I prefer to call it, breastfeeding “on cue” was the right thing and would actually save me time in the long run.

Each nursing session is an investment in mine and baby’s health and their emotional well being. And each breastfeeding released hormones (oxytocin, prolactin) that made me feel less stressed out and that relaxed me. These hormones are nature’s gift to help us be better mothers.

That doesn’t mean I never set limits with my nursing toddlers because I did – it’s a nursing relationship and there’s nothing wrong with them learning the give-and-take that occurs in relationships.

What about you? Did you ever feel tied to the nursing chair? When? And what did you do about it?

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3 Responses to “Tied To the Nursing Chair”

  1. Marguerite - momsherbs on May 13th, 2008 2:21 pm

    I breast fed all four of my children and it is truly a special time and has so many benefits. I just posted on my blog on how it helps your body get back to normal faster too.

    By the way, glad to know you are doing OK in Georgia. My daughter attends college in Atlanta. Praise God you all are alright and prayers go out to the families who were affected by the tornadoes!

  2. Lisa on May 13th, 2008 3:58 pm

    I felt that way, but nursed DD until she was 20 months of age. I was a SAHM.

    With DS I work outside the home. I find myself more wanting to leave the chair, but I notice I am like that more when there are things going on around me. When I am in his room and it is quiet, I enjoy the down time. Sometimes I read, but only when he is tired, otherwise he will grab the book.

    He is 10 months old and pretty much our last child, so I am enjoying this time together.

  3. Cathy on May 13th, 2008 5:40 pm

    I nursed my first two to 15 months and am into the twelfth month of nursing my third daughter now. I try to periodically do nothing while nursing so that I’m forced to look and feel and experience the closeness of it.

    Most of the time, though, I either type one-handed (it’s pretty darn slow, lol) to surf the Internet or read a book. It definitely makes me more patient.

    I think the main thing was just getting used to not being in charge of the organization of my life. I can’t ever be sure I’ll get to finish a meal or cleaning a room without being interrupted multiple times by a potty emergency or impromptu breastfeeding session. At first it was horrible, then mildly annoying, and now just so normal that I usually don’t notice!

    It’s crazy, but having been something of a control freak my whole life, I’m willing to bet that it’s good for me to surrender to the needs of my kids, at least while that’s what’s best for them.

    Great blog–thanks for the discussion!

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