I’ve always thought of breastfeeding as a uniquely special bond between mom and baby. Although tiring, some of the most precious moments was spent while feeding my babies.
Before I continue…why didn’t anyone tell us what a nightmare breastfeeding can be?? Everybody tells you how painful birth is and how you should “push” when you feel a contraction but nobody ever tells you of how painful breastfeeding can be or how you have to hold on to your nipples for it not to be sucked off? I had a love-hate relationship with breastfeeding. I loved breastfeeding my kids but I hated that I wasn’t able to do it for longer than what I have.
At first, breastfeeding was a struggle but with the help of a nurse, I got the nick soon after. I loved breastfeeding my kids but I struggled quite a lot with keeping up my milk supply. All the jungle juices and the many cups of tea and having your newborn suckle at your breast for hours didn’t help at all.
Being able to breastfeed my kids was something I was so proud of as I know (and read) that it the best and most natural way to supply your baby with what they needed. Sounded real simple but it’s not the case for everyone.
With the responsibility of being the only one who can provide this for my child, it also came with its own challenges. Since I have big boobs, I’ve always been afraid that I would suffocate my kids while breastfeeding. Don’t even let me get started on these nipples…hopeless!
I’ve soon realised that big boobs doesn’t mean an automatically unlimited supply of milk for your child. Man, did I struggle to express when I returned to work after my very short maternity leave?? I would sit for long periods of time and end up with a disappointing 3 tablespoons of milk.
I was so determined to keep Azaria on the breast that I only bought her bottles a few days before my maternity leave ended. The plan was to breastfeed when I’m home and have her drink the expressed supply when I’m at work and supplement with formula, if needed.
It wasn’t even 2 weeks after I’ve started work again and I get home and she refuses the boobs. After attempting a few times, my husband walks up to me and says, “Juwayra, it’s okay. You did your best”. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear because I had this plan where I breastfeed my child up until she turns one. After I cried my eyes out, I pulled myself together and carried on about my day.
When Jaymee arrived, breastfeeding was a bit more easier and I could breastfeed for a bit longer. Since I was able to take Jody to work for the first two months back at the office, I could keep him on the breast the longest.
The first week of August (1 – 7 August) is globally celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week where people all over the world educate and spread awareness to moms everywhere. While we all know the importance of and how beneficial breastfeeding your baby is, there are some women out there who is unable to provide it to their children.
When my plans on how long I want to breastfeed my kids didn’t work out, I felt terrible and incompetent as a new mom. It would have been more terrible to have anybody crucify me for not breastfeeding my kids for longer .
If you are struggling or know of someone who is struggling to get the hang of things, try and find some help. There are wonderful consultants that offers support to breastfeeding moms at local clinics and hospitals. If you are unable to, don’t beat yourself up. you are still a great mom.