As a nursing mom and a doula I can say, breastfeeding is not always easy. For instance, with my first three little ones I never nursed longer than 3 months for different reasons. With my first child it was mainly the lack of knowing how to as well as not knowing where to go to find help. With my second child it was a bit different, I had a doctor telling me I was making my child colicky (which was not true as formula made things 100x worse). With my third it was honestly just too much to be wrangling two toddlers with another hanging off of me.
With my fourth child the fact that I had a homebirth and the fact I was beginning my training as a doula led me to take the path of breastfeeding. I felt I HAD to…. Or did I?
And so, my love-hate relationship with nursing began. While I never had latch or supply issues, my simply feeling obligated to nurse my child made me resent it. Nursing day in and day out a child who refused any and all bottles frustrated me. I felt so much pressure to breastfeed from the local community it made me resent actually doing it. Nothing I did was crunchy enough. Was I even mom enough?
And then it happened. I came to meet a lovely woman, Alexia Garcia, who wanted to raise breastfeeding awareness starting in New York City. To me I almost laughed thinking “well duh everyone knows breast is best”. I saw that she was doing artistic photo shoots and it just so happened I got picked for one of the sessions in the same place (she didn’t know) where I had been harassed and verbally attacked for nursing without a cover, non other than Coney Island.
I didn’t know why I was doing the photo session; I just felt I needed to. It wasn’t until after seeing the photos that I realized that what others saw was just a mom nursing but what I saw was an amazing bond between my own child and me. She was 5 months at the time and I hadn’t even realized the way she looked at me. I saw a beauty in that picture that no else could see… it was much more than just breastfeeding. I am mom enough and crunchy or soft, progressive or not, I was her mom.
It was time for me to stop labeling myself and start enjoying motherhood. I felt so much pressure to be part of the breastfeeding crew I lost what mattered the most, the bond between my baby and me. I truly hope some of our readers gain some perspective through reading this post, we are all here in this thing called parenting, be it breast or bottle, baby food or BLW. Supporting and uplifting one another and not succumbing to pressure are very important. Enjoy your little’s for they are only small for so long. We are all doing our best for our children.
We would love to hear about your experience, have you ever resented breastfeeding or felt pressured by it? How did you overcome that feeling? Leave us your comments below!
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