Today, when I see that rocker, I see us sitting in the living room. There is a gorgeous bright-eyed baby in my arms. A Medela SNS is hanging around my neck, with little hoses taped to my breast (so that when my girl was nursing at the breast, the formula also flowed into her month). There is a gorgeous view out the window of a giant tree that was in full bloom that month, a magnificent contrast to the gray seaside winter sky. There are piles of sweaters and throws. There are tears in my eyes. There is fear and stress in my heart and mind. There is always a question of whether she is getting any milk at all from me, or if I should just give up and go for the bottle.
There is guilt for the weeks she was hungry. There is a stubborn resolution to get through this.
One thing I wish more than anything for that new mama self is for more support requested, taken, offered, and given. Also, more education before birth instead of naive assumptions. I do agree with the post mentioned above from the mom in Nashville, that nursing can be very hard. I was there. I have also known moms for whom it is quite easy, luxurious, free. I think the more real we are about the range of experience, the better off we’ll all be, and the better off our babies. Let’s not scare away would-be nursers with our non-contextualized stories of hardship, please. However, let’s not set them up to feel like total failures because they were not made more aware of the true-to-life range of experience, signs to watch out for, and go-to resources for challenging or doubtful moments. If we’re all in this together, let’s be in this together with our eyes wide open, and our voices well heard.
Top 3 Breastfeeding Websites
Here are my favorite online breastfeeding resources, which I found after our trouble became clear. Each helped to support me through the tough times, and lead to our long-term nursing success. Please share them around more. We never know who is watching our Facebook feeds.
kellymom.com for great articles and sound advice.
ibconline.ca International Breastfeeding Center is amazing and has a library of videos demonstrating great technique and other topics.
lalecheleague.org La Leche League International is the professional, go-to source for support and finding a certified lactation consultant.