The Things I Miss About Breastfeeding Long After Weaning

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When you're in the middle of experiencing a clogged milk duct or your baby is having a hard time latching, you're not thinking about the joys of breastfeeding. But there are times that you will -- and at some point, maybe long after you need to use breast pads, you may long for those days of nursing. You might even feel a phantom letdown when you see another mother feeding her baby. After baby has weaned, there may be many things you miss about breastfeeding even if your experience doing so was challenging.

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My own breastfeeding journey was filled with issues. I had twins, and one of my babies had a very difficult time latching. One of my breasts also didn't produce nearly as much milk as the other. I was fearful of nursing both babies at the same time -- a fear I really don't understand why I had, but thankfully after a couple of weeks, I got over it.

Despite it all, when I look back on breastfeeding my babies now, I see magical moments, complete with choir music, heart bubbles bursting all around, and the buzz of oxytocin saturating every bit of my being. But in the moment, that's not what I was feeling at all. I had worry, concern, and fear all mixed in -- something so many mothers have as well. Still, in those times, there is beauty and an experience you'll never forget, filled with things you are most definitely going to miss.

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Moments of Stillness

What other time would you be able to sit still for 20 minutes and have your partner eagerly bring you water and snacks? And those snacks ... who wouldn't want to include extra snacks in your day all in the name of making sure your babies are getting the nutrients they need and that you are adequately fed with all the healthiness around?

Feelings of Empowerment

And your breasts -- oh your breasts! -- will leave you in awe, as they become so full and so heaving with milk. As if you weren't in awe of your capabilities of carrying life and giving birth, this is just another thing to make you feel like the superhero, milk goddess that you are. 

I was a milk goddess. I miss that. 

Pumping Breaks

I also miss those guilt-free work breaks I would take to pump breast milk to bring home to my babies. During those breaks, I would sit there, listening to the hum of my breast pump, and daydream about my little babies at home waiting for me, missing their little faces and spending those minutes watching the drip, drip, drip of liquid gold to nourish them.

Little Victories

I miss my babies' tiny mouths rooting as they searched for my nipple to breastfeed. And that moment that their latch was perfect was like a victory of the sweetest variety. There is also the sound of my babies suckling, their tiny little fingers often grasping to hold one of mine. To look down and see my babies nursing, their little bodies all snuggled so close to mine ... that is a moment I could get lost in, one I could revisit to bring me closer to zen.

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Feel-Good Hormones

Of course, there is the incredible glow of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone naturally produced when nursing. It's a beautiful feeling unlike any other, giving you a love buzz you will feel time and time again as a mother, but no moment as precious and sweet as when your baby is a newborn, those early days and months of life when everything is new and scented with new baby smell. 

It is all of this that I will miss the most. We tend to forget the issues we may have had and remember only the good, the beauty of the moments. And there is the fact that those breastfeeding days will never return, a time when my babies relied on me and the capabilities of my body for nourishment. A time when my babies were babies. The years go by so fast -- seemingly faster than anyone says they do. Thank goodness for the memories.

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