My Facebook friends know, I’m a breastfeeding mom. Some, like my sister, say I am fanatical about breastfeeding. It has certainly made me a somewhat of a celebrity. I featured on two television news inserts, a radio news interview and a newspaper article.
I am passionate about breastfeeding. Maybe even militant. Here’s why. Breastfeeding didn’t come naturally to either of us. It was a painful process, filled with engorgement and epic feeds in quick succession. Frankly, it sucked.
Right before my milk came in, I faced off with a formula-feeding nazi. She came in the shape and form of my mo(nster)ther-in-law and she was hideous. She told me that I was starving my baby, “Look”, she said, “that baby is constantly hungry! You need to put her on formula! I know you really want to breastfeed, but not all women can.” It was horrible.
She even accused me of being too tight fisted to part with a few Randelas for some Nan (baby formula)! It was laughable, really! But I didn’t laugh! I was livid! I vowed to show her! My baby thrived on breastmilk. In your face, grandma!
Once we learnt the ropes, baby and I swung into our breastfeeding journey. No holds barred. I joined breastfeeding support groups on Facebook, even did a stint as an admin on one of the pages.”Don’t quit on your worst day”, is how I’d encourage other new moms.
Unfortunately, I don’t know when enough is as good as a feast! Breastfeeding became a part of my identity. I used it as a crutch. I wielded it at the world, daring anyone to say something.
When I was in hospital, I simply couldn’t keep up with the demand, and we resorted to buying the Nan. She survived. I survived. And I still trumped grandma 16-love!
Early on in my treatment, the psychologist suggested that I consider weaning her sooner than the self weaning age of 5-7years. I have warmed to the idea. I resolved to consider weaning once the breastfeeding relationship stops working for both of us. And I no longer use it as a crutch!