Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Feeding my baby from my breasts

I love breastfeeding
breastfeeding is relaxing
breastfeeding is exhausting
breastfeeding is a miracle
breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing in the world
breastfeeding is painful
I feel pride and gratification when I breastfeed my babe 
sometimes I feel like a milking machine
when I have to express I feel like a milkmaid
my breasts feel sensitive to the touch and are often inflamed
I need to look after myself and rest for the milk to flow
I wanted to stop a million times 
and I never wanted to stop at all - ever
It is the most natural thing in the world
yet there is an art to it

My girls got on, drank, and had to be taken off. They didn't have a choice, there was someone else in the queue. My boy is a bit of a little piglet on the breast; he thrashes, frets, comes on and off, gets distracted, pulls and nips and nuzzles. He has a choice, he knows he is the sole owner of boobies. But he also sighs with relief when it is offered to him, starts singing when the sweet milk warms and fills his tummy, looks at me and smiles, the love flows and he gets very upset when I scream in pain when he hurts me. And again and again I feel, and despite all the struggles, it is the most wonderful thing in the world. 

But it is not straightforward. I have discovered that for me it requires commitment, resolve, patience, acceptance, trust, time, and love. And although in my mind's eye I see lots of images of the blissful mother-child iconography, so deceitful!, I have discovered that for me feeding my baby from my breasts is not without a struggle.

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