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Born to Breastfeed

Bridget Hopkins
Houston TX USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2008, pp. 20-21

When I was pregnant with David, breastfeeding wasn't the way I intended to feed my baby. None of my friends or family had breastfed and it just wasn't a part of the culture that surrounded me. I bought bottles, teats, pacifiers, and sterilizing equipment in advance of the birth and even discussed formula milk preparation with friends so I'd be ready when the time came. Nursing wasn't for me. I had heard stories about cracked and bleeding nipples and dehydrated babies, and I wasn't going to put myself through that. It was just setting myself up for failure, wasn't it? No one was going to bully me into breastfeeding or make me feel guilty for exercising my individual right to choose to feed my baby with a bottle. And formula milk is almost as good as human milk nowadays, right?

When David was born and I held that small bundle for the first time, I was amazed by how I felt. I held him close while I talked to my husband, who was sitting at my bedside telling me how delighted he was. And before I knew it, within minutes, my baby had somehow found my breast and latched himself right on. The love that rushed through me was overwhelming. I was choked up and unable to say a word. The three of us sat together in silence as it grew dark outside, while I marveled at how much my son had already taught me about being a mother. I understood without explanation now that my baby was born to breastfeed and I am grateful to him for showing me how to nurture him in just the way he needs.

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