My breastfeeding experience
I've been meaning to write about my breastfeeding experience for a while but wasn't really sure how or what exactly I wanted to say. With Ayame now 9 months old, I feel like I have a grasp on the whole breastfeeding thing. So here it goes.
Breastfeeding has been a tremendously rewarding and a loving experience for me. The countless hours I have spent with Ayame nuzzled on my breasts, be it 5:30 in the morning or at a business meeting, have been priceless. I truly feel like the bond I have with her now is beyond just love for your own child. It's hard to explain, but I completely understand when parents say they will jump through fire for their children. I definitely without a doubt would.
That being said, I think I have been extremely lucky to have had such a positive experience. Especially during my pregnancy, I found there was enormous pressure from doctors, midwives and the health profession that we MUST breastfeed. I remember feeling utterly worried and almost panicky after my NCT breastfeeding course. What if I don't produce enough milk? There seemed to be no answer to that, but to keep trying. I knew I wanted to give it a go, but the worry of not making enough milk and starving my baby loomed over me. It felt like whether I would be a good mother or not depended on how well I could breastfeed.
There are so many different ways to feed a baby. I was lucky enough to have a partner who after the NCT class said, “forget everything you heard. I was formula fed and turned out just fine”. That was true. I too was formula fed after my mother tried hard and couldn't produce enough milk. I truly think trying to get Ayame to latch on immediately after birth worked for me (emphasis on “for me”) because I felt like there were alternatives. I tried thinking if it works, great, if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world. New mothers go through tremendous amounts of stress and hard work especially at the beginning stages of raising a child. Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience, but it shouldn't be breastfeed or else. It should be do what feels right for you. The most important thing is that your baby is happy and feeding, whatever form that may be.
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