Breastfeeding was the norm in my family. I am the youngest of 6 who were all breast fed, some for a couple weeks others until we weaned ourselves. Also, having 9 nieces and nephews most of whom were breastfed for some time, made it a common occurance in my life. However, it wasn’t really a big deal to me until I had my baby.
My breasts had been leaking colostrum for a few weeks. I had to sleep with nipple pads and I could squirt the shower screen with my pre baby boobs. I knew I wanted to breastfeed but I told myself I’d give it my best go but if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work and it wasn’t going to be a big deal.
– I had no idea of the ‘big deal’ it was going to be for me.
After 7 hours of an active labour that went as well as I had hoped for, my son was born at 2.39pm on my 22nd birthday. I held him to my stomach and chest and once the cord had finished nourishing him we began ‘stuffing’ my boob into his mouth. This moment reminds me of a baby bird waiting for its mother to feed it in a nest. Mouth open wide and hamburger boob being stuffed in.
The days and weeks to follow were filled with frustration, crying, getting my husband to hold my tiny baby’s arms down and away from his mouth while I used both hands to hold his head and get him to latch on. My milk came in on day 4 and would drown my Bub at feeds for the next few weeks. It was an emotional roller coaster and a huge learning experience for both Bub and myself. I didn’t realise how difficult it was going to be just to learn how to feed my baby let alone adjusting to being responsible for a new little life!
We have had our ups and downs with doubt of supply, nursing strikes, refusing to feed anywhere where there are distractions and then anywhere except at home, returning to work and expressing and having to give top ups of expressed milk at the end of the day when my supply would suffer and being completely touched out after holding my babe for literally the entire day and then all night while Bed sharing.
All of the stress, huge sense of responsibility and hurdles we’ve over come have all helped to create this unspeakable bond I have with my son that I know would not be the same without breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the one thing I know that I can be proud of as a Mum. It is the one thing I know I can look back on and say, yes I did that one thing right by my son, it’s the one thing I know that even when I’m away from him for work that he still gets my milk and even though I’m not there he is still partly being taken care of by me.
We all want the best for our children and to give them the best start in life and by breastfeeding and cuddling my son I feel that I have started off in the right direction.
So I guess you could say breastfeeding has become a very big deal to me.