Let’s Talk About Breastfeeding

This week’s post is written by a very special guest…. my wife. No matter how much I try, I will never do justice to this topic. Yes there are loads of articles out there telling you how important it is to breastfeed your child. But we want to talk about something that mothers tend to take for granted and then struggle later.

Over to my wife.

The first conversation I had on breastfeeding was with my aunt, my dad’s youngest sister. She said, “I breastfed all my three babies until they turned one! I hope you do too. Persevere , don’t give up . ” I was 5 months pregnant.

My brothers and I were formula fed babies so I never had the opportunity to discuss this with my mom.

I remember thinking what the fuss was about. It’s the most natural thing in the world.

A few days later, I was in Japan. I sat by a bridge overlooking a river with flying fish, with the Arashiyama bamboo forest in the background. My phone buzzed and it was my dear friend, urging me to attend a workshop on breastfeeding.

Why did she think I needed to attend a workshop on breastfeeding? It’s the most natural thing in the world! I was only interested in prenatal yoga, and the right breathing techniques, and the right stretches that would see me through a totally natural child birth!

Nonetheless, I decided to go. I was fresh from a holiday and ready to pass some time before I got serious with breathing correctly.

It may have been the wisest decision I made since, forever.

Here’s the thing, breastfeeding may be the most natural thing in the world, but it sure as hell does not come naturally.

I met the most kind, patient, and sincere lactation specialist at the session. She guided us through eye-opening facts about breastfeeding. Things to look out for, the rights and wrongs, the ‘normal’, the important “etc” .

I was one among the two pregnant women in a sea of new moms. The other one was the doctor’s childhood friend.

The mothers shared stories after the session. One had broken out into a rash post delivery and decided not to breastfeed her newborn until the marks were gone. A few  days later, her son preferred the bottle to the breast. Another couldn’t get her baby to latch correctly, leading to frustration for all parties involved.  There were stories of bleeding from sore nipples, babies crying through the night from hunger, and a general air of guilt, at not being good enough to do the most natural thing in the world.

Later, my friends shared their stories too. One baby would wake up crying every 15 minutes, another never latched, a third was formula fed once a day because no one told the mother there was no need for it.

I was now looking at every first-time mom with new eyes. How was her breastfeeding journey going? I wondered. Was she suffering in silence because someone asked her to suck it up (no pun intended) and “bear the pain”? Did a lactation specialist visit her or was she going to listen to family advice? Was she feeling adequate or burdened with guilt?

I don’t want to write about what comprises breastfeeding; that’s not my area of expertise. But I want to spread the word and say, “hey, there’s help available.” Reach out BEFORE the baby comes along. Child birth is a much shorter event than breastfeeding. If there is so much awareness on giving birth, imagine the talks we should have about feeding the baby.

A new mom should be armed with as many resources and as much knowledge as possible.

No, it should not hurt. Yes, it is the most natural thing in the world.

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  1. For the longest time, I thought I was a breastfed baby. While pregnant, I asked my mom about it and she told me that I wasn’t. She tried when she gave birth to my brother (I’m the youngest of three) but when she asked for help, the nurse on call back then wasn’t helpful. To help my mother’s milk come out, she pinched her nipples (talk about ouch!) and it was so painful, my mother tried again. I was fortunate enough that the hospital I gave birth in has a lactation specialist visit you while you are recovering AND makes a follow-up appointment a few days after you take your baby home. I’m blessed to not have issues with breastfeeding, but having that support “forced” on me was definitely worth making the trip back to the hospital. If only all mothers were able to get the help and assistance they need when it comes to such a wonderful, nurturing, and natural thing!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Completely agree. We too were quite naive about it but in this age of technology there is so much support out there that it’s. Ot difficult to reach out but awareness is very low. Thank you for sharing your experience.


  2. This is a great post. After my C-section I spent three days at the hospital and during those three days I had multiple different nurses come and give me all kinds of different advice on breastfeeding. They all contradicted one another and I ended up getting incredibly sore and frustrated. It wasn’t until my last day there, when a nurse, who was also a trained lactation consultant came to prepare to discharge me, asked to check my baby’s latch to make sure all was ok. She straight away shook her head and said “all wrong” and she firmly gave me instructions on what to do. Everything changed from there. But because I had three days of incorrect breastfeeding already done, I was incredibly sore and cracking. If someone had told me to take a class prior to giving birth then I would have. It’s the best thing any new mother could do for herself and her baby. In the long run I ended up having milk production challenges and my boy wasn’t getting enough, so around 4 months old I started supplementing with formula. By 6 months old he weaned himself off of me and was solely formula fed. Every story is different and every story is interesting!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow incredible what you went through. Weird that the hospital staff wasn’t well equipped for something like this. But yes prior information is always very helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience.


  3. Interesting read. My wife wants to breastfeed, she is halfway through a Leche League book, they are apparently fierce about everything being “natural,” and she tried to find a local class but no luck. We were supposed to attend an intensive one-day birthing class last weekend, but that was cancelled…so she is hoping to be able to attend one in the middle of January (due first week in Feb) with breastfeeding being one the primary things to focus on. As the dad, I feel like there are definitely benefits to breastfeeding, especially the whole “natural” thing as you mentioned, and have a preference for it, but I will also be investigating alternatives just in case.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Absolutely. There are a lot of complications to breastfeeding as well, baby latching being the most important. But a lot of professionals say that the best nutrients for the baby comes from breastmilk which is vital in improving their immunity. Try out some youtube videos in the meantime, it should help.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a challenge, right?! You are doing great! My 2nd baby is 11m now and we still face challenges on and off.
    This is so wise: “Reach out BEFORE the baby comes along. Child birth is a much shorter event than breastfeeding. If there is so much awareness on giving birth, imagine the talks we should have about feeding the baby.”
    I always tell my friends to research baby sickness more than childbirth, but I should say BFing too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Katherine, will definitely relay your appreciation for the post to my wife. We know so many couples who are struggling with breastfeeding right now hence we want to reach out to as many couples and educate them about the help out there


  5. Breastfeeding is definitely a challenge. I worked night shift during the time I had my baby so coming in the day to keep a breastfeeding and pumping schedule was a little tiring especially with working in a hospital where you are always on your feet.

    I actually stopped breastfeeding my little once she turned 6 months. She’s now 17 months a fine healthy smart baby.
    The reason I stopped was it was difficult to have the time to pump milk while working and I was going on a trip for a week without my little one.

    I didn’t have a consultant just my doctor and a few websites. But it was all I had.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My oldest child refused to breastfeed and the lactation nurse was unhelpful. Then later on when I had twins the older of the twins breastfed with no problems but the younger one was unable to so I pumped. But eventually I let it go after three months because breastfeeding twins was hard! They ended up on formula. But I am always happy to hear of women who stick with it!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hey, I just came over here after seeing your comment on my own breastfeeding post. I totally agree with your wife – taking a class beforehand is incredibly helpful. I had attended an NCT class on breastfeeding and it gave me the knowledge and confidence to persevere when things got really tough – although I still think it could have covered a lot more. I’ve actually signed up to be a peer breastfeeding supporter after my own experience! Looking forward to reading more of your blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was adamant that I would breastfeed… as much as I’d like to say it was for the natural reasons.. it was also the cheapskate in me that refused to pay for formula when I could feed him for free! It didn’t come without challenges but we made it passed 1 year 🙂 I ended up using a nipple shield which is basically a prosthetic nipple.. it wasn’t ideal but it allowed us to continue nursing so that’s all that mattered. I to wish there waa more focus put on breastfeeding right from the get go. My OB was awesome but she could only do so much… any information out there in my small town was mostly hippie-dippie and it made me uncomfortable! Luckily we have a great program with public health nurse drop ins and she helped me so much! I’m glad I stuck with it, that I found what worked & although the shield was a pain in the butt it worked!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy that you could share this with us. Breastfeeding is really important and the more I learn about it the more I realise how little people know about it. I hope to raise awareness to the best of my ability.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a beautiful post because we certainly don’t want to cause any undue anxiety to the new mothers who are having difficulty. The thing that all new mothers must know is that they have just participated in the most amazing miracle – the creation of new life and that is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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