My kids and I watched a really interesting documentary about a female grizzly bear becoming a mother to two cubs. It turns out after the female conceives, the embryo does not begin to develop until she has sufficient fat on her body and is ready to hibernate. This is true even if mating occurred six months before hibernation. I find this fascinating! Then in the documentary the mama bear gave birth to two cubs weighing only one pound each and they nursed for 2 months before she even awoke from hibernation.
I would imagine the cubs were awake some of that 2 months but also slept a lot while nursing. This is an example of breastsleeping, a term coined by Dr. James McKenna to describe how a baby often sleeps while breastfeeding. Just like with the mother grizzly bear, human mothers often sleep while their baby breastsleeps. Breastsleeping falls under standard #4 and #5 of the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. Grizzly cubs nurse for a year and stay close to their mother for 2-3 years (standard #1, #6 and #7). The cubs nurse from their mom when they are hungry or need comfort (standard #2 and #3). So as you can see, grizzly bears naturally practice ecological breastfeeding. Even though we are different than animals in many ways, I think we can be inspired at how grizzly bears and other mammals nurture their young through breastfeeding.
In the documentary, the commentator mentioned that the mother grizzly bear was a first time mother and very new at mothering. She made some mistakes but definitely learned from them because it was a matter of survival for her and her cubs. We are the same, right? We make mistakes. We try to learn from them. We think we need to be perfect mothers but we do not. Remember what St. Teresa of Calcutta said? She said, "God has not called me to be successful. He called me to be faithful." God knows what is in your heart and how much you love your children!