Breastfeeding is the normal, natural and greatest thing ever!!! It saved me big time with my first babe particularly, being 21 with PND and no idea what I was doing. Breastfeeding empowered me. My early breastfeeding journey was the greatest personal assurance that I could be a young mum, not be supported by mates (none of whom had little people in their lives at the time) and sally forth into the wild world of motherhood!!
I got hit pretty hard with Mastitis early on. That was not the best time of my life. I fainted a lot (thankfully not with babe in arms) - that was a new experience for me. I pushed through that, feeding most of the time to keep my breasts from becoming engorged.
My breastfeeding experience has been pretty in sync with the overall experience of motherhood, it has its highs and very lows, but I would never ever regret motherhood, it’s one of the greatest things in my life. The same can be said for breastfeeding. Motherhood and breastfeeding go hand in hand on my parenting journey.
I grew up with an awesome mother, who is a midwife, lactation consultant and breastfeeding counsellor. So she was always a phone call away. My partner was a well breastfed little man and we never even talked about nourishing our children any other way than the normal, natural, chin to chest, mouth to breast. I’m sure my partner and I's breastfeeding heritage has definitely helped me on my early steps into motherhood. But after a while we have paved our own path.
We moved to Melbourne for me to study Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts, this was, without a doubt, the biggest challenge to my motherhood and breastfeeding journey. There were no policies or guidelines that I was made aware of that supported my position as a breastfeeding student and mother. My priorities were frequently brought into question, and this was a brutal confrontation with my two realities as both an artist and a breastfeeding mother. During this time, there were a lot of tears and self doubt.
When in public it’s simple, my babe’s gotta drink and eat like everyone else. She is not on any schedule, just like if you or I need to quench our thirst or answer those rumbles down below. She's also growing at an insane rate, so she's going to need frequent nourishment. So I breastfeed whenever were ever.
When it came to feeding my newborn baby, there was no other way for my little person to grow into this world. I will continue to offer her the amazing life giving fuel of breastmilk until she voices her desire to stop. My first little lady made her decision on the eve of her 3rd birthday.
The advice I’d give to breastfeeding mothers, or mothers to be would be this. Your baby is a little person and has needs of water and food that are as varied as our own appetites. You are giving your little person the best nutritional start to life!! Also, your boobs are amazing, learn about what they can do, they work wonders for not only your baby but also for you as a mum. Make informed decisions and be empowered as a woman to know your body does provide enough to nourish your child completely.
This is my 2nd baby, and my breastfeeding journey has been as crazy high and low as the first, but also as different as my two ladies are. Different people, different needs, but still nourishing my 2nd the natural, normal, wonderful, breastfed way!