Nursing: the perfect excuse to rest

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These days, nursing my fourth baby, I can say that one of the best things about nursing is the simple brilliance of it – how convenient it is, and how it allows a tired young mother to rest.

Breastfeeding can have its stresses and challenges – we’ve had slow weight gain, tongue-tie, plugged ducts complete with high fever, D-MER, and others can probably chip in with stories of their own. But basically it’s supposed to be pretty much straightforward, or our species wouldn’t have survived. Throw in the facts that nutritionally speaking, breast milk is perfectly composed to meet the baby’s needs, it’s free, and you don’t have to prepare and wash bottles, not to mention worry about hygiene when you’re out and about – and there you have why I love it so much.

Most of the time, on many busy days, nursing is what allows me to put up my feet and rest, at least for a little while, without feeling guilty. We often try to do too much, and find it difficult to switch to a different mode once we have a baby – and nursing is just the thing to force us to slow down, for our own good. It’s healthy, it’s natural, it’s simple, it involves sitting down for regular periods every day and cuddling a sweet baby. It doesn’t get better than this

For those of us who are used to have it all under control, it can be tempting to say to the husband (or whoever there is to help us out), “here, just hold the baby – and I’ll do those dishes”… but no. Someone else can do the dishes, but no one else can nurse the baby. And while sitting down, it’s nice to have a cooling drink of water or a little snack as a refreshment on a hot busy day.

I guess this is what some would call “being tied down by babies”. It has taken me some time to embrace this, but I’ve realized that “being tied down” by nursing is the best thing that can happen to a frazzled mom looking over a messy house. Because let’s face it, we need to rest, we need to slow down, whether we acknowledge it or not. There will be those moments, of course. There will be days when you feel you have done nothing but nurse the baby – but these things slowly and imperceptibly change as the baby grows older. There will come a time when by-and-by, some of the baby’s nutritional needs will be met by solid food, then a bit more… there will come a time when you are able to leave your baby for an evening and go out.

And there will come a time of a bittersweet goodbye, when, with a feeling of a job well done, you relinquish the bond of breastfeeding and continue to nurture your little one in countless other ways. So there’s no rush. Every minute of nursing and snuggling is precious time well spent.

8 thoughts on “Nursing: the perfect excuse to rest

  1. Hi, Anna

    Shabbat shalom umevorah.

    I have a friend who had her baby boy 7 weeks early, on Shabbat 17 Tammuz no less. Even though he is still in the NICU, she gets up every 3 hours ’round the clock to pump milk and sees him daily in the hospital (she didn’t mention it, but I’m assuming he receives the milk through bottles or whatever they have.). No rest for the weary in this case!

    Please pray for Moosha Rossee bat Leeba Elka and her baby Tinok ben Moosha Rossee. Thank you very much in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I truly enjoyed the months I nursed my daughters. As you said, it is the perfect reason to put your feet up and “set a spell”.

    One of my nieces was born 10 weeks early, and her mum also pumped milk and took it to the hospital. Unfortunately, the local hospital couldn’t care for Cardie, so she was in NICU two hours away; Mum only went every other day, but she froze her milk and took it along. On infants that tiny, they use a gastro-nasal feeding tube, as the babies aren’t even strong enough to nurse. I will also be praying for little Tinok and his mum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nursing is one of my favorite things in the world. Praying for all the little ones in NICU to get stronger and go home to their mothers’ breasts.

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  3. Update: I attended the pidyon ha’ben this morning; baby left NICU late last week and the brith milah is later this week.

    Little Peanut (their nickname for him until he gets his name later this week) is beautiful and delicious, as his mother told me. They still have a long way to go for full recovery, but I massaged Mommy’s back, shoulders, neck, head, and face while she lay down on a couch waiting for her little one to be hungry enough to nurse. (I am a medical massage therapist and advanced reflexologist; I received my passing grade for the latter earlier this month.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Little Peanut has been named. Please continue to pray for Aryeh Ben-Tzion ben Moosha Rossee. He’s still not quite gestational age although he received his brith milah this morning.

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