Tuesday, April 12

Breast is best

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Recently I was involved in an online conversation regarding breastfeeding.  I used it as an opportunity to flaunt a Helium article that I wrote way back in 2008.  Unfortunately though my true feelings towards breastfeeding were not accurately portrayed.

You see I love breastfeeding.  To me breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.  It is by far one of the my biggest mothering highlights.  I can not accurately describe the warm fuzzy glow I feel in my heart when I think about how much I love being able to be a breastfeeding mother.  Only the above articles does anything but give that impression.

Feeding with DD1 had been a breeze.  It clearly confirmed to me that I was meant to be a mother.  Everything came so naturally it felt like I was born to have babies.  I remember feeling quite sad about weening time.  This occurred somewhere between 2 and 2 1/2.  I am not sure why I chosen then it just seemed like the right time.  DD1 wasn't pleased about it all but was relatively accepting of it all.

After such a wonderful experience the first time round I was sure that the second would be a breeze.  How wrong I was.  This time round there was cracked nipples, pain and even at times blood.  The beauty and joy that I was expecting was no where to be seen.  As you can imagine I was gutted.  The midwives assured me that my attachment was fine and that they could see no reason for my discomfort.

Knowing what was on the other side if I just kept going I preserved and after a few weeks, actually quite a few weeks of covering my nipples in lanolin, the pain was gone and breastfeeding was everything I remembered it to be.  However I felt quite betrayed.  My mother assured me that I had been using the lanolin while I was still pregnant the first time round but I can't recall.  I know I certainly don't recall any pain either.  From that point on I decided that as much as I loved breastfeeding I needed to let other first timers know that it was alright if it hurt at first, they just had to stick with it.

DD2 and I went on to be a feeding team for just over two years.  This time however I was devastated to end the feeding relationship and she was less than impressed about it as well.  Unfortunately DD2 had began to become rather possessive of my attention and felt that feeding was the best way to retain it.  Since to me that did not seem right I decided it was time to ween, regardless of neither of us wanting to.

It was not a very easy time for either of us and I suspect that it probably even took it's toll on DD1 and Hubs as well.  It is interesting to note that the article, titled "What you need to know about breastfeeding" that I was passing on to an expectant mum in my virtual mother's group, was written roughly around the time DD2 and I were ending that precious aspect of our relationship.  Which sort of explains the negative feel to the article.

I still stand by everything that I said in the article I just wish that I had of taken the time to put a slightly more positive spin to it all.  No where do I mention the beauty or love that can be felt when a mother feeds her child.  There is no mention of that special connection that a feeding mother feels as she looks down at her suckling young.  Instead I offer the words of a woman who knows she has dutifully fulfilled her required tasks and is in some ways now rendered unneeded.

(Deep sigh)

I have thought about changing the article to bring some of the positives into it all but I don't really want to.  As a high ranking article it is not really in my best interest to change it.  On the other hand I would be gutted to think someone might read it and then decide not to feed.  Oh the quandaries of being a writer...

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