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Journal of Comfort, Joy, and Guidance

Tricia Roiger
Cortland NY USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 23 No. 5, September-October 2006, p. 208

My breastfeeding journey began 10 years ago with the birth of my son, Antonio. He came into the world via emergency cesarean, which caused me discomfort, but didn't interfere with his nursing. As a new mother, I wasn't quite sure what to do so I nursed him as he needed. He nursed every two hours and grew and thrived. But, as a new mother, I wasn't sure he was getting enough.

He was three weeks old when I attended my first La Leche League meeting. The mother-to-mother support answered questions and reassured me. But by four months I was very sore and he was still nursing every two hours. After the LLL Leader, Kathy, observed Antonio, she noticed he had a short frenulum (tongue-tie). Antonio's father and I decided to have his frenulum clipped by a specialist to release his tongue so he could continue nursing without causing me pain. Through the ever-changing growth of my baby, La Leche League and NEW BEGINNINGS magazine, the journal for breastfeeding mothers, were there for me.

I attended monthly meetings and devoured NEW BEGINNINGS the moment it arrived at my home. It provided warm support, giving me confidence to continue nursing until Antonio self weaned at age three. I felt I was giving him the best beginning and wanted to provide the support I received to other mothers, so I trained and became an accredited Leader.

As the years passed, an awareness of the deeper emotional and sexual abuse inflicted upon me by a close family member emerged. Through years of therapy and self-healing, I read NEW BEGINNINGS in a new light for continued comfort and affirmation. I would be taken back to my nursing days, recalling the challenges of a newborn, the growth spurts, the joy of calming an upset baby, and the quiet moments of nursing him to sleep after an adventuresome day full of new experiences. The stories reminded me that I could continue with my own daily struggles as I broke the cycle of abuse. I found security, trust, and hope from the words of other mothers.

Today I find myself reaching for the comfort and affirmation of NEW BEGINNINGS as I struggle with helping my son with learning difficulties. The mother-to-mother support reminds me of the times I have been there for my son, nurturing, supporting, and parenting in successful ways. It reminds me of the bond, the continued growing and learning together, the accepting of each other as who we are as each day continues to be full of adventure and unpredictable moments.

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