July 31, 2021 3 min read
I was at 28 weeks, reading books on motherhood and learning about childbirth and parenting. I would go to the antenatal class with my husband and it always made me laugh to see him trying to swaddle the dummy baby. I was preparing for the arrival of the baby as well as I could.
I wanted to try breastfeeding because I wanted to give my baby the best antibodies and the priceless bonding that I wished to have with her. I joined several breastfeeding groups, watched many breastfeeding videos. I believed I was well- equipped with loads of information on breastfeeding.
And I thought I was prepared. But, no.
While I was dealing with the after-effects of the C-section – the shivering and the slight disorientation, the nurse put my baby onto my boob. I was lost. I thought the baby would automatically suckle. Oh, how wrong I was.
Apparently, the baby didn’t know.
I kept on trying for three weeks, with sweat, tears, and mastitis. I even started supplementing half of the feeds with formula. I felt dejected. It was only after seeing a lactation consultant that my breastfeeding with my baby was actually started successfully.
This is why I wanted to connect with all you new mums and expecting mums. Whenever you feel stressed over breastfeeding (which is perfectly normal), know that there are options that you can go for.
Browse through qualified breastfeeding websites to get information and support. Also, consider visiting a certified lactation consultant, especially if you are struggling. They will guide you well on how to correctly breastfeed.
As a breastfeeding mum, instinctively I will be inclined to encourage and share the benefits of breastfeeding. However, every mum’s journey is different and unique to her. Instead of judging, we can show support and be there for her.
Some mums have low supply, and some have oversupply; some are struggling with pumping, and some are struggling with latching. I can go on and on. Every one of us is fighting in our own way, to give our best to our babies.
This is why, we want to do it differently this year.
We support World Breastfeeding Week, 100%, but we do it with more awareness and acceptance.
Be aware of the hormonal changes after delivery. Know that the milk supply usually comes slower for first-time mums. Be equipped with knowledge on the breastfeeding challenges that may arise and the help that you can seek.
Acknowledge that babies cry most of the time. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do, it’s not your fault. You have probably tried your best. So, take a deep breath. Talk to someone and always ask for help.
This week is all about celebrating you. You are brave and I am so proud of you. Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
p.s. Every breastfeeding journey is as unique as you are, and we loved all the stories our mummies shared with us in 2020. Read more here. We hope these stories can encourage and inspire other mummies on their breastfeeding journeys.
Written by Florence Tay, co-founder of Lovemère.
She is a breastfeeding mum of three children and is always up for a conversation on motherhood. She believes in being non-judgemental and supportive of the choices that we all make as mothers.