Friday, November 5, 2010

A Circle of Support

The first few weeks of my son’s life, we lived in a cave. The couch was my little pod, our routine surrounded us and kept us planted. Nurse Jacob, watch TV, try to take a nap, nurse Jacob, go online, try to eat something, nurse Jacob, nurse Jacob . . .
I had unrealistic expectations of what it would be like to exclusively breastfeed my newborn. I didn’t realize that this was normal, that this feeling like I wasn’t a human being because I couldn’t do the simplest task was common, and my tiny little baby needed me to stay in our pod. My milk supply demanded that I stay as close to Jacob as possible, and my body still needed to rest after the delivery.
I didn’t understand how much I needed this time. How much I needed to sit in our cozy little space and cuddle my sweet new baby, gazing at his softening face as he snuggled my breast. I needed this time to rest, to surrender all of my “shoulds” and just be in the moment.
It wasn’t until I joined a playgroup in my hometown and met other new mothers that I began to realize how normal our routine was. I saw these other women nursing their babies in public while simultaneously venting about their struggles and I realized that I was not alone. In fact, I was part of a community, a very special group that I still treasure and credit with getting me off of the couch and into the world.
Because as much as we needed to stay in our cozy little space for those first few weeks, we also needed the support that those other mothers provided. I needed to go to La Leche and increase my awareness of my body and its ability to provide for my son. Jacob needed to interact with other babies and strengthen his social development. And I needed to hear those magical words, the words that are not an answer to the problem but validation that you are not the only one going through it; “I’ve been there.”
We are proud to host a guest post today from Suzi. Suzi is the mother of one son and a Certified Lactation Counselor. She blogs at Attached at the Boob.


This is my favorite post so far I think! It's simple and the truths spoken resound. I, too, wish someone had told me that those first few weeks would be new, amazing, sad, happy, overwhelming... and empowering. Just like the author, I was able to find support through La Leche League; just receiving the sheer acknowledgment that I was not indeed a 'crazy' or inept mother rather that I just needed to be patted on the shoulder and smiled at! If all new moms could grasp that simple truth - to let go of the 'shoulds' and just nurse that beautiful bundle...

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