Mississauga ON Canada
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 24 No. 3, May-June 2007, pp. 115
New mothers very commonly hear stories of breastfeeding hardships and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But I would like to share another breastfeeding story, one of happiness, joy, and ease.
My daughter, my first baby, was born on November 15, 2006. I always knew that I would breastfeed and did not even consider any other options. Before she was born, I armed myself with knowledge and support. I read plenty about breastfeeding, talked to mothers who had done it successfully, discussed it with my midwives, and attended two La Leche League meetings. I was ready!
Of course, I heard lots of negative comments and horror stories when I informed people that I would be breastfeeding. Many women told me they had "tried, but just couldn't do it," "didn't have enough milk," "thought it was weird and gross," or found it to be "too difficult and inconvenient." A few advised me to buy some bottles and formula before the baby was born, "just in case!" Most of them had misconceptions about breastfeeding. I was shocked at this negativity and couldn't help but judge them in my mind. I decided to seek out positive stories and encouragement instead. "I will breastfeed, no matter what anyone says," I told myself. There was simply no other way to feed my child.
When Miriam was born happy and healthy, attended by my midwives, she was immediately handed to me and put on my chest. The skin-to-skin contact was wonderful. Soon after our initial snuggling, I attempted to breastfeed her with the midwives' help. She latched on, but didn't drink much since she was too busy looking around in a state of alertness. We were discharged to go home four hours after birth, were visited at home a few times by the midwives, and given some tips on breastfeeding. To be honest, though, the whole process came easily to both of us! Miriam learned quickly how to latch on and suck effectively, and I experimented with positions that were comfortable for both of us.
All my husband and I did was put her to my breast when we thought she was hungry, and she took over from there. Other than a few days of tender nipples, which were tolerable, we've had no problems breastfeeding. Miriam has been growing and developing wonderfully, and we plan on continuing our breastfeeding relationship for a long time. We've been lucky to have such a great experience from the beginning, and I like to share this with others. Many aspects of parenting are challenging, so it is encouraging to hear positive stories.