My last post was a quickie. Just a few thoughts that I didn’t have the chance to elaborate on at the time. Here is one of those thoughts that needs elaborating riiiiiiiiiight now.
The United States Breastfeeding Committee has officially declared that August is National Breastfeeding month! As a breastfeeding mama, I’m all for that!
As a woman who feels like she had no other option than to breastfeed even when it was a terrifying stress fest, I am even more for THIS: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/i-support-you-breastfeeding-_n_3685881.html
In case I somehow screwed up getting that link in here, it’s a story on the Huffington Post about how 3 blogger mamas came together to start a movement called “I Support You” It’s all about how mamas need to support other mamas no matter how they are choosing to feed their babies.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always had an absurdly amazing support system in my husband, mom, mom-in-law, sister-in-law, best friend and the list goes on and on. But when I first started nursing it did not come naturally, it was not a bonding experience, it was not enjoyable in the slightest. Without going on and on about it, after the first couple of weeks of pain (way past the point of ‘sore’), 2 sessions with a lactation consultant, hand-expressing, pumping, nipple shields etc. I was in almost a constant state of anxiety and I dreaded nursing, which is just no bueno when it’s almost a 24/7 job. All I wanted at that point was for someone, ANYONE, to say “It’s okay if you don’t like breastfeeding. You can give your kid formula. It’s okay.” But what mom wants to admit that they’re ready to ‘give up‘? Long story short…ish, we ended up figuring it out and we breastfeed now with the occasional pumped milk and a little formula thrown in there every now and then.
My point is that this is a wonderful, much-needed way to unite mothers (and families). We need to be there for each other and understand that each and every one of us is unique and has a different experience and is working under a different set of circumstances and IT’S OKAY! One thing I have learned while on my parenting journey, there is more than one right way to do it! I’m sure I’ll learn this over and over again as I raise my baby girl.
This story made me tear up more than once. Here is an especially touching and relatable part:
We are standing together, and we’re asking you to stand up with us. You, at the La Leche League meeting. You, in the lactation consultant’s office, perfecting your newborn’s latch. You, in the Nordstrom’s dressing room, nursing quietly on the couch. You, at your older son’s baseball game, nursing openly in the bleachers. You, who have cried rivers of tears over your feeding choices, and you, who chose without fear.
I support you.
You, in your hospital gown, asking the nurses for formula. You, shaking a bottle with one arm while your baby snuggles close in the other. You, who have researched the healthiest, most tummy-friendly formulas. You, who pump and mix and combo-feed. You, who have cried rivers of tears over your feeding choices, and you, who chose without fear.
I support you.
You, with your partner, as you feed the baby that you are hoping to adopt. You, who had a mastectomy and are locking eyes with new life. You, who chose your mental health, or your physical health, or your freedom, or your lack of freedom, so that you could feed your baby in a way that protected both of you. You, the Daddy who is finger-feeding your infant. You, the Mommy who lovingly pours formula into a G-Tube. You, at the NICU, pumping your breasts by the light of the machines that are keeping your baby alive. You, with the foster child who you are loving back to health. We see you. You are a part of this conversation too.
We support you.