Every year, more than 170 countries around the world celebrate the “World Breastfeeding Week” and especially since I’ve become a mother, I joyously celebrate and support this commendable initiative. Three years ago, I became a mother to a “little” macrosomic baby, born after an enduring labor that concluded with a C-section. Although the doctors and nurses that assisted my birth sustained that I needed to “recover” overnight and didn’t allow me to see the baby, my (informed) husband insisted on bringing the baby into the recovery room for “skin on skin contact” and to be breastfed. The first time I held Paul in my tired arms and he latched on my breast confirmed our lifelong bond… and the rest is history. My little contribution to celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, sums up into 4 values that I developed after breastfeeding my son for 1 year and 2 months:
1. Confidence and accomplishment
I won’t lie here. The beginning was really rough: crevices, swollen breasts, constant wondering “is he getting enough?”. The well-intended advice from friends who didn’t breastfeed: “Just give him formula, your boobs are too little to feed your big baby”… “your baby is colicky from your milk”. The confidence came soon after I noticed that following my instinct is the most gratifying feeling and that my son was growing and developing well. Today I continue to pride myself for the beautiful gift I gave and received to/from my son.
2. Patience and perseverance
I was NOT one of those mothers who say that they could feed an army with their breast milk. I remember pumping after feeding Paul, to stimulate lactation and making a little stock in my freezer (just in case I ran out of milk – which by the way, never happened). The moment I became a mother, I discovered new hidden and unknown qualities that resided inside of me. Because of little boy, I became more indulgent and I didn’t give up.
3. Making a difference
Thanks to the breastfeeding class I took while I was pregnant, I became part of a support group that truly made a difference in the entire process. That’s where I learnt that breastfeeding is a natural act, but also a learnt behaviour. Speaking up, exchanging and sharing experiences had a positive impact on my evolution as a mother and individual.
When Paul started eating solids, I continued breastfeeding him, but with less frequency. After exclusively breastfeeding on demand, life was starting to take another dimension. My baby was becoming more independent and I was more settled in my role as a mother. Personally, the transition from pregnancy to having an infant and integrating him into our life was eased by the breastfeeding period in the sense that it allowed us to get to know each other, establish a bond and build confidence in each other. Happy World Breastfeeding Week everyone! 🙂