Nadirah is the mother of a 16 month old girl, who is an avid nursling. Nadirah blogs about her views on motherhood at Nad and Zara Take on the World, and recently self-published a book of motivational essays, On All the Things That Make Me Beautiful.
What motivated you to breastfeed?
My mother breastfed us, so it just seemed natural — never considered anything else.
What is the history of breastfeeding like in your family?
Just answered this in 1. My mom is a hardcore advocate. My grandmother probably did too. She’s pretty old school, but I’ve never asked. Did they even have formula back then?
What was your attitude toward breastfeeding before having done it yourself?
It always just seemed like the natural thing to do. It’s no coincidence that your boobs fill up with milk right after having a baby. It’s supposed to be that way.
What were the early days of breastfeeding like?
Hell. It made my stomach hurt soo much! And she sucked sooo hard. Felt like a vacuum.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding-related challenge?
Her always wanting to nurse. She LOVES it, which is great, but I get no freedom. She’s always on me.
What has been easiest about breastfeeding?
Not having to worry about washing bottles and buying formula and all that. Her booboo is much more pleasant also.
How has breastfeeding changed from one child to the next?
I only have one.
How long did/will you breastfeed? How long exclusively?
She’s 16 months and she’s still exclusively on that “good good.” I started giving her food around her 1st birthday, and I’ll still partially bf until 2. Well, I’ve given her little bits of apple and stuff, but shes not really into it.
Who have been your breastfeeding role models?
Mom, for sure.
How did you learn to breastfeed?
She was a great latcher. The nurse helped me too.
What’s the best/worst breastfeeding advice you’ve ever received?
Someone told my husband, “Tell your wife she better give that baby some formula before she dies of starvation. Breastmilk isn’t enough.” That idiot. And it was a woman!
Have you experienced any negative reactions from others regarding breastfeeding?
Other than the dumb lady talking to my husband, no.
Who has been your biggest supporter about breastfeeding?
Everyone supports me — never had anyone question (not outloud anyway).
What is/was your breastfeeding routine like?
Real simple: let her get on whenever she wants.
How do/did you handle separations from your breastfeeding child?
Not there yet.
Is there anything that you wish you would have done differently?
No. Well, I wish I never let her sleep in my bed — seems like she’ll never leave. She nurses all through the night. I also wish I pumped more and fed her from a bottle because now she’s sooo addicted to nursing and barely takes the bottle.
What would you say to a woman who is unsure about whether or not to breastfeed?
I’d say try it. It’s free, a million times healthier, and really lets you bond with the kid. It has all kinds of benefits for you and the baby.