Greene County News
XENIA — Mary Musselman of Xenia is the winner of Greene County Public Health’s Breastfeeding Awareness Month essay contest. The contest was part of Public Health’s and the WIC Program’s celebration of Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Ohio during the month of August.
Breastfeeding Awareness Month is celebrated annually in the state of Ohio to highlight the importance of breastfeeding for children, families, and communities.
Below is part of Mary’s winning essay:
“I am a 59 years old and the mother of 10 grown children. Yes, they are all mine with one husband. The Bible tells us our children are a gift from the Lord- we have been truly blessed. I have been looked at as “strange” because I loved being pregnant, labor, and giving birth. I miss that stage of my life, but what I miss the most is breastfeeding my babies. One of my most precious memories is being up in the middle of the night snuggling with my babies in a peaceful, quiet home. There is nothing more peaceful than nursing your baby in the still of the night, plus a special time to pray over my precious gift from God.
As a first time, young, expectant mother, one of my best decisions I made was to attend childbirth classes. They taught us about and encouraged us to breastfeed. My mother did not breastfeed any of her children. One of the main things I learned in the class was not to listen to discouraging comments about breastfeeding, especially from someone who never nursed…
After some research, I knew that breastfeeding is what I wanted for my baby and knew that not only was it the best for my baby but for me as well. The baby would get lots of much needed vitamins, fight off some childhood diseases, and enjoy the special time with Mommy. My babies had fewer colds than many of our friends’ kids as well. Breastfeeding helps Mom with recovery from childbirth, helps your body get back to pre-pregnancy weight, gives women less chance for breast and uterus cancer and diabetes, not to mention the convenience and economical aspects…
Our children are fairly close in age. Our oldest is 32 and my youngest will be 18 in a couple of months… Breastfeeding was a big part of my life for many years and yes, I still miss it. I sometimes get jealous when I see a new mother breastfeeding her baby but it also warms my heart that she has chosen nursing over a bottle. I try to encourage all new moms to at least try breastfeeding…”
For more information about breastfeeding call Nancy Cohen, MS, RD, LD, IBCLC, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator; Elizabeth Varvel, Breastfeeding Peer Helper; or Charity Byers, Breastfeeding Peer Helper at Greene County Public Health, 937-374-5600 or toll free 1-866-858-3588. Visit the website at www.gcph.info.