Learning and Growing in Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding, I'm not gonna lie, it's been a hard journey to stick with. Not saying the support hasn't been absolutely incredible. There have been so many helpful peers assisting with any questions that I have and they have been absolutely amazing with sharing knowledge with me.
With that being said, my stubbornness to accomplish goals on my own failed me. My little Ellie is 4 months old, and my body has changed so much since giving birth. Mostly my breasts have taken a huge toll. The amount of pain from being swollen and also bleeding from poor latches (that had to be fixed constantly) discouraged me mentally so many times...but as I type this, there is no longer any pain, my breasts feel normal and I'm more physically fit than before my pregnancy.
What happened these past four months? I feel like a pro at feeding my child. Still trying to improve, but a long way from the beginning of my journey. If you are reading this feeling doubt in of yourself, or maybe you want the 'to the point' version of someone who struggled and overcame, keep on reading. So I was literally like, "oh, it's so natural, I won't need any help, my body knows what it's doing." Yeah, I wish I could quantum leap in myself and change my actions sometimes.
As I fed her every other hour it was so painful. It only got worse the more she fed because my body would produce more milk for her and be swollen. But I wanted the best for her, more than anything. The nurses kept asking how it was going with breastfeeding and my shame denied any struggles I was having. (Shame, really?!)
Everyone talks about how amazing your breastmilk is for your baby and that's what I wanted for my little princess. Yet, why did I keep saying everything was fine? Although I cried many times and wanted so badly to switch to formula to just be done with it. I kept feeding her, kept repositioning, had tubes of healing creams, breast shields, frozen peas.
Then came the day, I woke up to give her her morning feed and felt less pain. I finally got it, with pain comes strength.
Our bodies only get stronger with injuries and repair themselves. I felt so much stronger. Eventually it became second nature to me through every feeding. Though I should've told the many helpful people that could've helped me in the beginning, shame got in the way. If you're struggling through breastfeeding, it gets a lot easier and you are built to recover. Don't be ashamed of yourself if you are having a hard time though. That's why these professionals are here for us. Reach out to people who can help you and give you the proper knowledge. Which I had lacked greatly. Everyone experiences things differently than the rest and shouldn't have to struggle. Because breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and the bond it creates is incredible. Don't let shame get in the way of what could be a wonderful experience.
About the Author...
I'm an AF wife, a mom of one, puppy mom of two, and a fish mom of three. Super nerdy from Mordor to Millennium Falcon. Loving my family and life with every breath that I have been privileged with. I'm always looking to better myself each day because we can always be a better version of yesterdays selves.