I love breastfeeding my infant (he’s 4 months old). It brings me an almost zen-like feeling to watch him grow and know that it’s my body nourishing him. Breastfeeding also causes me to slow down, to set my internal clock slower and move to my baby’s rhythm. When I have had to be away from him and I’m only pumping, I always feel like there is something missing. I can get very caught up in whatever I am doing and start going at the adult grown-up pace. This does not jive with the time experience of babies. They are slower and (I believe) experience the passage of time differently than we do. Breastfeeding causes me to slow down and reconnect with my baby at different points during the day. It is my time to check in with him and really feel how he is doing. Does he look like he’s coming down with something, has he been a little grumpy, is he in a happy mood? These are all things that I read by my baby’s cues. I also feel that I am much more intuned with him and all the oxytocin flowing between the two of us I fall in love all over again.
Studies have been done that show that when mothers and babies stare in each other’s eyes and engage in back and forth communication that both of their brain wave patterns move in synch with one another! (crazy right?) You and your baby are literally in synch with one another…if only we could do that more with teenagers…but I digress. The mother-baby dyad is an amazing connection strengthened by hormones and mother nature. If birth were left to just occur on it’s own for healthy mothers, then Mother Nature has it so that bonding is forged and strengthened during birthing and postpartum. Breastfeeding is a natural continuum to the initial connection forged from the moment you first touch your baby and claim them as your own.