You might be a BREASTFEEDING mom if... Chapter 2
You might be a breast feeding mom if...
You whip your breast out in public once a week and no longer even attempt to cover up...this is called a lactation support group...and it is life giving.
Your reusable, bamboo breast pads out number your bras.
You are hungry all the time. Not just a normal hungry but ravenous beast hungry for carbs. Is there any other food group?
Your skin is the desert. No matter how much lotion you slather on nor how much water you drink, it is dry and itchy.
You no longer consider your breasts your own nor are they your husbands. They are your baby's. They belong to her, on demand, anytime, anywhere.
This is your only form of calorie burning. Eat healthy? What's that like? Exercise? Um no thanks.
There is always a milk stain on your shirt. Always.
The act of getting dressed to go out in public requires an act of God because your new standards for fashion are: 1) does this shirt provide easy access? 2) does this shirt provide adequate cover? 3) is this shirt black?
Lactation support group seriously is life-giving. I told myself it was unnecessary for five weeks but now I can't imagine my week without the love and compassion of the women in that tiny hospital classroom. Most weeks there are barely enough chairs for all of us but somehow we manage to squeeze ourselves and our babies and all their stuff (diaper bags...car seats...siblings) into a tiny room barely larger than my guest bedroom. We undress our babies down to their diapers, complimenting each other on how chubby our babies have gotten or sympathizing with the premie moms, and weigh our babies. We pray they have gained a couple of ounces since last week. A pound would be ideal. Our success is determined by our baby's fat rolls. This sounds obsessive but it's not. Weighing is a practical task to make sure our babies are getting the nutrition they need and helps us catch a potential problem like low milk supply.
Once our baby is weighed, we settle in on the comfy chairs and couches and breast feed our babies together. We chat about the struggles we've been having and the joys we've encountered. We laugh together, worry together, and lift each other up. There is no judgment in this room. There is no body-shaming in this room. This space is sacred and for one hour, once a week, we revel in our life-giving and life-sustaining bodies. It truly is a miracle.
I love that we reassure those of us who have to supplement with formula that we are still beautiful and worthy and perfect for our baby. There is no shame in supplementing or deciding no longer to breastfeed. Whatever is best for baby and mama is what the room supports.
My baby refuses to take a bottle. I may write more on this another day but right now we are in the thick of this struggle and haven't figured out a solution other than my breasts. I never knew this was a thing that could happen. It never crossed my mind that a baby would never take a bottle. I have met another woman who is currently dealing with the same struggle and we sit together and reassure ourselves that it isn't forever. Eventually our babies will get past their breast obsession and move on to solids so we will enjoy this intimate relationship with both joy and tears. I love my local lactation support group -- my sacred circle of moms.
Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
I pray that every moment my baby girl nurses from me, that she knows my love for God and knows God's love for her.
P.S. Here's a cute picture of my baby just because.