If you ask any nursing mom what’s her favorite part about nursing is she will more than likely say – the bond. Because those of us who have had the ability to breastfeed know this indescribable feeling. The time spent cuddling, talking, staring into each others eyes and just knowing you’re providing everything your baby could need, is so intimate and special.
But as mom’s we also know it’s not always an easy path. I’ve nursed all 4 of my children & each one I had to overcome different obstacles.
We struggle, get frustrated, overwhelmed and even experience intense pain. Now a days we also deal with ridicule by others because, to some, nursing is taboo. I’ll never understand how a mom feeding her child in such a natural way is labeled “disgusting” but, a good looking girl walking around half naked is tolerable and more acceptable in our societies standards. Weird.
Besides being a social outcast, nursing can be hard. It’s not as simple as sticking your nipple in a babies mouth and that’s that. Which is basically what I thought when I was 17 when I had my first son, joke was on me.
With nursing you are the sole source of food – if you work, need some extra sleep, want daddy to have bonding, or just need some time away – pumping has to somehow become involved in your already busy and exhausting schedule. But, on top of it all, you have to be careful introducing bottles and binkies to exclusively nursing babies because of nipple confusion. Then the baby refuses the breast & only wants the convenience of a bottle – to them sucking from a bottle is way easier then sucking from a boob.
If you really want to just provide breastmilk for your baby you end up with a baby who won’t latch anymore (or an array of other problems) some mom’s exclusively pump. I have to say, you moms out there who exclusively pump are an entirely new level of super moms – because I despise pumping!
Something that’s so so so so important with nursing that can help so many problems is diet and water intake! If you do not drink enough water your body will not supply enough milk (this isn’t always why mom’s supply is low but it’s a huge factor.) Diet is so very important because babies are truly sensitive to dairy and possibly other foods (remember each baby is different.) This is actually good news for Momma because if you are driven to eat healthy for your baby your baby weight will start shedding off a whole lot quicker!
Other problems moms deal with are lip/tongue ties, supply vs. demand, and just being to exhausted during the night being the sole provider. There’s intense nipple pain from bad latching but also intense nipple pain the first few adjustment weeks. I always recommend mommas finding an organic nipple cream for those first few weeks – I swear it’s a life savior! A lot of people will tell you it’s a “bad latch” but the first few weeks your nipples are adjusting to constantly being latched on too. If your nipple pain last more than those first couple weeks you may want to contact a lactation consultant to check the latch just in case.
When you see a mom nursing, giver her a smile of encouragement instead of a look of disgust – because she’s not flashing her boobs to you or your family. She’s not looking for attention or screaming for praise. She’s doing what she is meant to do & what she’s supposed to do. She knows this is the healthiest thing she can do for her baby & the most intimate way to build a healthy and trusting relationship.
You have no idea the struggles she had to deal with & the obstacles she’s had to overcome to be able to enjoy that special bond with her baby.
To the moms with no support & getting dagger eyes feeding their babies in public – latch on! You are an amazing mom, you are showing there’s no shame in the natural wonders of motherhood, that you don’t care about the society norms, that you’ve overcome obstacles & you’re being a role model for the future generations of mothers.
But, to those moms who couldn’t nurse for any of the reasons above (plus many many more – like having to take certain medications for your own health) don’t take this like you can’t bond with your child, that your relationship isn’t special or your baby isn’t going to flourish and be healthy. Skin to skin while bottle feeding still provides a wonderful bond. No mom should ever feel down and out because she was unable to nurse.
A loved & fed baby is a happy baby.
Spread positivity, education & encouragement.
To all moms.