My Journey With Breastfeeding
I want to start by honouring all mamas and the deep and intricate journey of motherhood. From moment to moment, we are responsible for making decisions for the wellbeing of our babies, devoting our conscious awareness, time and energy to another being.
Breastfeeding is without a doubt one of the best and hardest things I've ever done. It was also an experience that I believe created the most beautiful and divine bond between myself and my daughter, Indi. I share my story as a way of creating dialogue and holding space for women to hear and share their own, raw and honest accounts of breastfeeding and motherhood. To begin to find a way to normalise all levels of this experience and to be consistently reminded of how completely different it is for every woman.
The first few days were extremely painful. I was producing an abundance of milk but found myself counting to ten until the pain passed while Indi fed. Indi had a tongue tie which presented at birth. Later, at five weeks when she began having trouble feeding we made the difficult decision to prioritise surgery so that she could continue breastfeeding. At four months, she became super independent (read, fussy!) and refused to feed in public. With this challenge, came a drop in milk supply. This was deeply painful to me - I always had the expectation and aspiration to feed Indi for as long as possible. My motherly instinct drove me to do anything in my power to keep my supply up.
At this point, I chose to pump in order to increase my milk; I took herbs from my naturopath and doula @annamaria_boelskov and was supported by Ayurvedic postpartum beauty @soma.shakti. Some months, I was pumping round the clock; setting alarms in the middle of the night, even when Indi was sleeping. Many around me thought I was nuts (and maybe I was) but this was a conscious decision that only I could make. After some time, it got easier. I breastfed Indi until 20 months I breastfed Indi until 20 months and then she weaned herself during the Covid lockdown.
Looking back on the journey, it was a wild and tender ride, filled with devotion. It wasn't always easy but I wouldn’t change it for the world; to feel so close to my baby, to know she was receiving liquid gold and to be absolutely amazed at my body's capability to produce it. Through my meditation practice I was able to drop back into my body, to experience calm biochemistry (shared with Indi) and fully surrender to the process as we moved together through the ups and downs of the journey.
I'm sharing this not to give an opinion about whether one should breastfeed or not, but rather, to normalise the journey of breastfeeding and the infinite complexities of becoming a mum. To also highlight that, caring for another human can be more intricate and complicated than what it appears from the outside. I truly honour all mamas who continually make decisions that are right for them and their baby and want those mamas to hear that whilst every journey is unique and different, you are not alone.