Breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts I have given to my two children and myself. It is a gift that has benefits far beyond providing nourishment to an infant/toddler. It is a gift that bonded us early, kept us bonded during growing spurts, provided safety and calm during difficult transitions, plus numerous other benefits that I will forever be grateful for.
Nursing didn't come easy for me with my first child. I had to work at it, but once the two of us figured it out together, it wasn't something we were about to give up quickly. Luckily for me, I was introduced to La Leche League during my first few weeks of nursing. The lessons I learned from this group of nursing moms forever changed my outlook on parenting and health. I felt empowered to follow my heart when it came to my children in all aspects of their lives. As the person who knows them best, I learned I had earned that right to make decisions that felt right to me, rather than what society or even "professionals" felt was right for them. The closeness we experienced together through nursing gave me a unique look into their lives. The empowerment I learned through nursing my children continued into the decisions I would later have to make about my own health with rheumatoid arthritis.
To read more, visit my contributing post at MyRACentral.