H for Breastfeeding and Hands | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

Our hands are vital, aren’t they; but my, how handy (no pun intended) they are with breastfeeding!

My hands were absolutely crucial when we started our breastfeeding journey.

I vaguely remember the awkwardness of trying to place them comfortably, when my baby was laid next to me for his first latch. Unlike before, I couldn’t just lay my hand or shape my body as I wanted; I had to think of the little person next to me. Thankfully, the joy and surreal euphoria of the moment dwarfed my insignificant concern about the positioning of my hands, as I turned sideways to feed my son. Continue reading

G for Breastfeeding Gift | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

For me, breastfeeding is a gift … a very precious gift.

Why a gift?

Well, for starters, about half of the world’s population can not naturally stimulate milk production, though they could theoretically produce breast milk. 🙂

Of those of us who can naturally lactate by virtue of our gender, there are the few who struggle with producing enough milk for their babies for different medical reasons, and others who produce no milk at all due to e.g. a double mastectomy etc.

There are also the few who lactate but can’t breastfeed because the medication they have to use don’t have a breastfeeding friendly equivalent.

Then of the majority of women who fully lactate and can breastfeed, there are those who don’t want to breastfeed for a range of reasons.

Then there are those who want to breastfeed, but find it too difficult for many reasons – mostly due to lack of adequate information and getting the right support at the right time – to achieve their breastfeeding goals.

There are of course those want to breastfeed, and find it straightforward and easy from the start.

However, there are those who want to breastfeed, find breastfeeding challenging for a range of reasons, but immediately or eventually get the support they need, are willing and able to give it what it might take to work, and in time achieve their original or adjusted breastfeeding goals (if any).

So where is the gift in this?

For me, I belong in the last group I identified.

I didn’t even think about how I was going to feed my baby when I was pregnant. I went to a breastfeeding class but I barely remembered what was said; I suppose I took it for granted that it would come naturally to me, since it’s natural.

I really struggled with making it work for us from the end of our first latch; and I unfortunately didn’t get the right information early on. Nonetheless, I somehow found the strength to commit to doing whatever it took to make breastfeeding work for us – not always the healthiest decision for a new mum, in hindsight.

I was determined to produce enough milk for my baby, and I had lots of hope amidst the despair I used to feel in those early months. My prayers were answered, my efforts eventually paid off, and we’re still going – 2 years and counting.

So for me, it’s a gift because it’s a very precious part of my mothering; one that I had to fight for … even run against the tide of some well-meaning but unhelpful support.

It’s a gift I never knew I wanted, but one I’m so glad I have … a gift that not only gives me a way to nourish my child, but also ways to calm and comfort him, help him to sleep, and even ease his pain on occasions.

It is a gift that has definitely enriched my mothering, and my bonding with my little man.

It’s a gift I couldn’t have gotten the most of it without the compassionate support of so many … a gift that has helped build my character in ways I couldn’t have known was possible.

I’m filled with gratitude for the gift of breastfeeding; and I plan to continue breastfeeding until my little one doesn’t want it anymore.

~ What do you think about the idea of breastfeeding as a gift? ~

I enjoy reading your comments and I reply to every comment.
Check out my #AtoZ challenge from last year, and follow my #AtoZ challenge this year, by subscribing to my blog and connecting with me on my social media networks. 🙂

F for Breastfeeding Fun | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

Breastfeeding can be such fun, though it took me months to discover this. Our first latch was surreal; I’d actually and finally become a new mum, and I had to feed my this little person. Our journey, from this point onwards was physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging for many months; and in ways I could never have imagined. Continue reading

B for Breastfeeding and Baby Bottles | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

When you see baby bottles, what comes to mind? Did you immediately think of breast milk substitutes or breastfeeding?

I think of both; baby bottles are part of my breastfeeding journey, and here are some of my reflections on them.

Common sense, history, and adverts show that baby bottles acknowledge the female breasts as the baseline for feeding babies. Continue reading

A for Breastfeeding Anywhere | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

I remember my few months old baby crying his heart out on our way home, on public transport. I was lost for words and confused about what to do; because I was very conscious of those around me.

I was definitely concerned for my son’s well-being, but I vaguely remember showing more concern for the other passengers on the bus. I remember looking around anxiously, probably wondering about what they thought of me with my crying baby. My look was one of apology for their inconvenience; even guilt for the ear-piercing interruption of their quiet ride.

Babies cry: FACT! We were all babies once, and even as adults we cry for a range of reasons. I now know there is no shame in being seen with a crying baby.

However, this obvious knowledge eluded me at the time; I know I didn’t cause my baby to cry, BUT I also now know that I might have been able to stop him crying.

I tried everything but the most guaranteed method to stop his tears – breastfeeding. This could have primarily met my child where he was, and indeed maintained the quiet on the bus.

But I didn’t know!

I know, ‘silly’, isn’t it.

I didn’t know that I could breastfeed my child ANYWHERE; I did not know that I have the legal right, and indeed the freedom to breastfeed ANYWHERE. And as such, I wasn’t empowered to meet my child’s needs everywhere.

Now I know, and I do.

Breastfeeding affords me the opportunity to be a walking, always present, and available ‘eat all you can’ buffer, and much more, for my baby and now toddler.

I have since breastfed on buses, trains, at service stops, in common areas, in hospital waiting rooms, at parks, at work, on the loo, whilst walking, in a baby carrier, by the side of the road at night, during conferences etc.

Breastfeeding outside the comfort of the home can be daunting, but it is definitely doable; after all it’s legal and normal.  I found it scary before I knew it was okay to do so; even then, it took me a while to develop my confidence to breastfeeding in public.

~ What do you think about breastfeeding anywhere? ~

I enjoy reading your comments and I reply to every comment.
Check out my #AtoZ challenge from last year, and follow my #AtoZ challenge this year, by subscribing to my blog and connecting with me on my social media networks. 🙂

My April 2016 A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal

Like last year, I missed the A to Z Blogging Challenge’s Theme Reveal in March. I wasn’t sure about participating this year because I didn’t get around to finishing the challenge last year. However, I decided shortly before the link up closed early this morning, to have another go.  Continue reading