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Mothers Are Underrated

Margaret Marschal
Inglis Canada
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 21 No. 1, January-February 2004, pp. 12

The birth of my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Abigail, brought many changes to my life, including a new appreciation of my mother. I've always admired my mother, but was not aware of how much until my own baby arrived.

In fact, I didn't always give my mother the credit she deserves. As an adolescent, I decided that mothers were horribly embarrassing creatures, and vowed never to become one. When I was turning 12, my mother set about organizing a birthday party for me.

"What does Margaret need?" asked one of my friends' mother's innocently.

"A training brassiere," was my mother's honest reply. The humiliation I felt at that moment didn't subside until all the presents were opened, and relief washed over me, as I realized not one of the gifts was a bra.

Eleven years later, my mother and I found ourselves in another "bra moment," only this time I was several months pregnant, and in need of some advice on nursing bras. Naturally, I turned to my mother who, as a devoted La Leche League member and Leader, had enthusiastically nursed all five of her children.

Even though we lived 500 miles from one another, my mother still managed to help me find a comfortable bra, as well as a nursing pillow, and several books on breastfeeding. There was no LLL Group in my rural community, but she bought me a membership to LLL and a subscription to New Beginnings. And so, when baby Abigail arrived, I was confident we would enjoy a long nursing relationship.

Getting started took a bit of work, as Abigail had a touch of jaundice and was more interested in sleeping than eating. However, after rousing her every three hours and experimenting with several positions, we eventually developed a comfortable routine. A visit from the public health nurse confirmed that Abigail was gaining weight, and I thought we were set.

Then, during a stay at my mother's, when Abigail was two weeks old, my breasts suddenly felt as though they were on fire. I had mastitis, but it couldn't have surfaced at a better time. My mother was constantly at my side to offer words of encouragement and care for Abigail while I rested between each painful nursing session. The infection cleared up within days, and nursing Abigail was once again a pleasant experience.

My daughter continued to nurse until she was two. Every day my husband and I marvel at our healthy and bright child, and. I know this is due in part to the fact that she was a breastfed baby. Both Abigail and I have benefited from the example set by my mother. And I have come to realize that most mothers are underrated. Especially mine.

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