My first baby will be born in just about a month. I'm still digesting that information because I never thought it would happen to me, yet here I am, going to the bathroom approximately 12,000 times a day and watching my belly roll with a very real, very tiny human getting ready to make her grand entrance.
Throughout this pregnancy, I've done my research. Car seats, strollers, parenting styles, sleep training – you name it, I've Googled it. However, my decision to breastfeed wasn't something that I had even given a second thought.
I was going to do it – period. It started from purely financial origins. I'd never even been in the baby aisle at the grocery store but even I knew that formula was ex-pen-sive. That's all I needed to know – I never even looked into which brands were better than others, which stores had the best prices, how to get coupons and rebate checks and all that. Free ninety-nine will beat any sale price every time. Additionally, time and again my research pointed to the bazillions of different reasons why breast is best. For me, it wasn't a hard sell.
However, my decision to breastfeed came from my research, not my family. My mother did breastfeed but for less than six weeks because back then that was all you got for maternity leave. So I was dropped off at the babysitter with a bottle and some formula and that was that. My aunt breastfed for less time than that because she said she wasn't making enough milk. Back then, there were either no lactation consultants or my family wasn't aware of them. And pumping rooms at work? Nope. Boob business was strictly for the ladies so husbands didn't have much say or knowledge about the matter so not surprisingly they weren't in much of a position to offer support. The prevailing attitude was breast is best, but formula's not that bad and way, way easier! If you couldn't stick with breastfeeding, no big deal – just pop a bottle! (Of formula, that is.)
These days, everywhere you look there's information and research but most importantly, support. I'm learning very quickly that mothers are the hardest on themselves but also how vital it is to lift each other up when the going gets tough.
If there's one thing I've heard over and over again, it's that breastfeeding is not as easy as it looks. I've armed myself with books, YouTube videos and La Leche League meetings (yes, you can attend them when you're pregnant!), but in the end it's going to be me and that little girl, deciding to work together to make this happen. I've got a sneaking suspicion that we're going to make a great team!