An Open Letter To Breastfeeding

Dear Breastfeeding,

Well, well, well…we meet again.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Nearly two years, in fact. And while 730 days is a hiccup in the span of life, it’s seemed like an eternity since we were last acquainted.

I’d almost forgotten about you. Don’t take it personally; things have been very busy. Plus, while I generally enjoyed our time together before, there were some things that I didn’t miss after Grace switched to formula. We had a rough start, after all. Remember when Grace was a newborn and had a hard time latching, leaving for a painful experience? Or what about that time I got mastitis? Yea, none of that was fun.

Going back to work was what ended it for us, if you recall. It became really hard to keep up a pumping schedule with meetings in the mix, and eventually my body just said, “Psh, I’m done. No more milk for you.” So we parted ways, admittedly with a smile on my face.

I would miss that special time with Grace, but I was happy to be free from what I perceived as the headaches of you. (Before you call me rude, just remember that you once made my nipples bleed.)

I will admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of yours. Until Josephine.  I’ll tell you something I wasn’t expecting this time around: Breastfeeding beyond three months. I thought, “Alright, let’s do this. Let’s be friends again. But only for a little while.” I wasn’t planning on Josephine’s cow’s milk allergy, leaving her unable to drink most formulas. I wasn’t planning on needing you.

But life doesn’t always go according to plans, and now here we are. You and I, working together to provide for my sweet baby girl. We have a new relationship now – one of mutual respect. I’ve learned to appreciate you.

Who would have thought?

We have some help, of course. Shout out to our breast pump, am I right? Another major shout out goes to our new ThirdLove nursing bra. (You may remember me talking about them over the holidays, and when I was in my third trimester with Josephine! True #brandfan, right here.)

Let’s pause for a moment. I think you can agree with me that our relationship got much better once we embraced a great bra to help in our journey, particularly when going back to work. (I love my wireless bra, but the classic option is fantastic, too!)

Remember the first week back, when I had to take off my shirt and bra every time I had to pump? Reality check: pumping every three hours during the day is made much worse when you can’t easily maneuver your clothing. Luckily, since our new nursing bra came, things have been a breeze. Why? It’s the first nursing bra I’ve worn with a front closure and easy open cups, which makes maneuvering pumping and nursing so much easier.

Best, I feel great while wearing it. Let’s face it, breastfeeding. Just because you and I hang out all the time doesn’t mean I don’t want to feel…well, beautiful. And with this bra on, I do.

Alright, back to you and I. 

Throughout my experience this time around, I now see that I wasn’t being fair to you before. I didn’t give us the time to really jive.

I’m sorry, breastfeeding. Truly, I am. I didn’t see you for all you are.

You provide so much more than nourishment for my baby. You provide an opportunity to bond even further. To cuddle, rock, and sing. One of my favorite moments of the day is waking up to Josephine’s gummy smile and nursing her in the morning; it’s our time to start the day right. It’s our time together for just us two.

I’m thankful I got a second chance to embrace you. I’m thankful we work together well now. Most of all, I’m thankful that Jo is happy, healthy, and strong, thanks to us. Thanks to you. I owe you a depth of gratitude that I could never begin to explain.

So, herein lies my love letter to you. You’re really fantastic. A miracle of sorts. (Honestly, I think that every day. How is it that you and I alone are enabling my baby to grow, solely off what we give her?! It’s crazy.)

I’m looking forward to continuing our journey together for months and months to come, breastfeeding. Let’s do this. 



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6 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Breastfeeding

  1. Kelly

    This is beautiful, Emily! I love how you started out with an open letter challenging your relationship with breastfeeding, and then you ended it on a high note. It’s amazing how our bodies change and adapt to prepare for these crucial moments in life.


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