The theme for last month’s Carnival of Breastfeeding was aptly, “the gift of breastfeeding”. However, I wasn’t able to submit my entry in time to participate. I still want to write something about it because Naima was a Christmas baby and after 3 years, I’ve come to realize how breastfeeding is a gift she has given to me and not only something that I gave to her.

I shared my early breastfeeding experiences during a May 2009 Carnival and as I’m reading through it again, I can’t help but be grateful that despite the challenges and hurdles, I was still able to continue breastfeeding Naima to date.
The best gift of breastfeeding would be the gift of good health. As a baby, Naima was generally healthy and quickly recovered from coughs and colds and had no major illness. As a toddler, she has gotten more susceptible to various germs, especially when she started going to school. But I believe that the breastmilk she received has helped her recover faster from these illnesses.
Breastfeeding has also given me the gift of time, patience and the chance to bond with my daughter. I have to admit that I love keeping busy and can easily do a million things at once. My husband and I are a perfect match since he takes things slowly and easily why I rush to complete everything if possible. If Naima was formula-fed, I would probably have endorsed her to yaya while I do some other things. Nursing Naima has allowed me to stop, relax and spend time with my baby. Breastfeeding is our quiet bonding moment time – allowing me to explore and enjoy the miracle that is Naima.
Finally, as Melodie over at Breastfeeding Moms Unite puts it, breastfeeding is the gift that keeps on giving. Moms who have had a great breastfeeding relationship end up passing on advice, tips and support to other moms who are encountering early difficulties. I received great support and advice from friends who had successfully breastfed their children. Through this blog, I hope to pay it forward and pass on the good vibes that breastfeeding has brought to me, Stan and Naima. I am always happy to read comments and emails from readers saying how this post is helpful and how they have likewise shared advice to other friends who are about to start their breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding gives moms confidence and the ability to make a huge difference in another mom’s life.
Year 2011 is all about changes and challenges for us. At past 3 years old, I really want to wean Naima. Our first goal was to wean at Christmas but then she got sick. Now, she promises to wean when she enters “big school” in June. I’m all for child-led weaning but I do want to have some breastfeeding-free time before we have our second baby. Crossing my fingers that 2011 is the year! What is the best gift of breastfeeding that you have received?