Name and age of your nursling?
Sage Neva, 7 months old
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
Physically, the biggest struggle has been some vasospasms when she was a few weeks old. Feeding time went from sweet quiet snuggling to intense pain. But we got it sorted out and have been pain free since then.
Emotionally, the biggest struggle has been lack of support by a few people in my life. Before Sage was born I thought breastfeeding was mechanical, only for physical nourishment, it was only food. And then she was born and I realized that it is so much more. It is the warmest blanket on a cold day, cool breeze in the sun, soft comfort to both of us. It is connection and love to her and from her. Lack of support for breastfeeding has felt like lack of support for how I love and care for my daughter, a lack of understanding of how I parent and everything I am.
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
I love that it simply and carefully solves everything. Hungry, thirsty, sad, confused, excited, lonely, scared. Nursing is the greatest source of comfort for Sage. I love to watch her explore her world, feeling so strong and independent, and then that independence shakes a bit, she snuggles in, sipping and gulping, pushing her body in as close as she can to mine, until that independence surges again and she is off, ready to explore more of the world.
It gives us an opportunity to slow down together. To stop everything else and just rest. It reminds me to slow down the rest of the day, to enjoy each smile, giggle, each new thing.
Who (or what) has offered you support in your journey?
I started attending LLL meetings while pregnant. I think I heard so many times that breastfeeding is difficult, that I really expected the worst. But it came naturally to both Sage and me. We continue to attend meetings and, in addition, I have reached out to connect with other like minded mamas. In this world of polarizing topics in parenting, surrounding myself with gentle, kind, experienced mamas has been so important. They are there when Sage is eating every 20 minutes- not telling me that someday she will be on more of a schedule, but reminding me how sweet it is that I can meet her every need right now, that I can hold her close and love her and give her exactly what she needs. They are there to say that there is nothing better than slowing down, stopping, listening to Sage, and taking the time with her.
Any other advice for moms who want to breastfeed?
Trust your body and trust your baby. You both know what you need, you just have to listen carefully.
If you want to participate in the Breastfeeding Project, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!