I remember when I began my journey with breastfeeding my firstborn. It was incredibly difficult with a baby that would not latch and nipples bleeding from spending all day trying. My midwife spent two days and two nights with me, sleeping on my couch, making sure my daughter was fed. I had to express milk by hand into a spoon, draw it up with a syringe, and feed my baby through it. I felt so discouraged, tired, overwhelmed. Wasn’t this supposed to be easy? Why didn’t anyone tell me how hard it would be? After a few days without success, crying in frustration my midwife sat me down, looked me in the eyes and asked me what I wanted to do. I told her I wanted to be able to feed my baby. I wanted it so badly. We took her to a few appointments with a body worker and my midwife continued working with me until after a few weeks, we were doing it! It took us a good 6 weeks to get our rhythm and for me to not be in excruciating pain, but we did it. We continued well past a year. I felt so accomplished as a first time mom overcoming this huge hurdle to then have the sweetest breastfeeding experience, but boy did I have to work for it. And with each baby since. I haven’t had the same issues, the rest of them have figured it out right away, but it has always felt hard in the beginning. No one talks about this; I feel this obligation to prepare new mothers who want to breastfeed. It might not be easy. You might have to work really hard at it. You’ll likely need lots of support. You’ll probably be so incredibly sore you’ll curl your toes and curse under your breath with every latch for a while. But goodness if you can get past the hard, it is so, SO sweet! Anything worthwhile rarely comes easily. I want you to know that you can have this for you and your baby if you want it badly enough. Find the right people during pregnancy that will encourage you when you need it. That will look you in the eyes, ask you what you want, and then help you get there. With the right support you CAN and will be successful.
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