10 Truths For Breastfeeding Mothers

1st August marks the start of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week and Breastfeeding Awareness Month; a chance to celebrate and raise awareness of breastfeeding.  I could have shared heart-meltingly cute nursing pictures, or inspirational personal accounts of breastfeeding marathons to date, but I figured that my Facebook page has that covered.

So instead, here is a list of 10 truths that most breastfeeding mothers are all-too aware of…

1.  Breastfeeding can be a joy:  I think this picture pretty much sums it up…

2.  There is a direct link between our breasts and our sense of self-worth:  I’m not talking about the way our breasts look, whether they are big, small, up high or way down low, I’m talking about the way our breasts make us feel.  We make milk.  We have a freakin’ Superpower…

3. Breastfeeding is hard work:  Seriously.  Draining, exhausting, confusing, misunderstood and stigmatized.  Oh, and then there’s the bleeding nipples to contend with if mama and baby don’t figure out the magical nursing waltz before the third feed…

4.  When faced with bleeding nipples (see point 3),  social reserve is thrown out of the window:  In no other situation would it be ok to walk into a room full of strangers and say, “Hi, I’m Louise, the one with the bleeding nipples.”  Granted, these strangers were a group of fellow mothers and breastfeeding consultants (aka Nipple Saviours), but still...never before would I have imagined that that particular sentence would have left my mouth (at all, let alone in public.)

4.  Oats have The Power:  Can anybody spell galactagogue?

5.  Other people’s discomfort:  Let’s face it, people can be real A-holes.  I’m hoping to come across less A-holes and more breastfeeding supporters in the future, because you don’t have to be lactating to support breastfeeding.

6.  Breastfeeding is beautiful:  (Excluding the bleeding nipples…)

7.  The term ‘Bosom Buddies’ becomes very literal:  It’s that moment when you see a fellow breastfeeder and you instantly assume that you're long-lost sisters and potential BFFs…but in truth, friendships aren’t built on our feeding choices; they are built on respect for one another.  The Us Versus Them game-playing has to stop.

8.  There is such a thing as a Sixth Sense:  It’s located firmly in your bosom, because your breasts just know when your baby needs milk.  I think this picture covers it…

9.  A let-down is far from a disappointment:  For the mama struggling with supply, endlessly pumping and eating nothing but flapjacks, any reminder that she is enough is a reminder well-received.

10.  There is something quite magical about this biological norm:  I’ll say it again, we make milk…we have a freakin’ superpower.

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(Photo credit: Mama Bean – Unconditional Attachment/Facebook)