Four life lessons breastfeeding has taught me.
By Rebecca Mizzi - Mother, Midwife & Hypnobirthing teacher
1. Babies are all so different.
My daughter was a breastfeeding-pro from the moment I lifted her and brought her to my chest at birth, she latched on and didn’t let go till 26 months later. The breast was our solution to everything from teething to tantrums. This experience put my mind at rest for my second baby… but when he came along, I could tell immediately that this time is would be different and we did struggle in the beginning. It was simply food for him and was not a solution to all that parenting threw at me. This did however teach me two important lessons.
Firstly, that my kids are 2 very different individuals and parenting needs to take this into account, what works for one may not work for the other!
Secondly that we should never be pointing the finger towards the mother when breastfeeding doesn’t go according to plan - the baby has a much bigger say in the success of breastfeeding than we realize or give credit to! With some determination and a nipple shield we got through latching issues and reflux, but this may have been a different story had I not had a bit of perseverance, confidence and experience with breast-feeding beforehand.
2. Mother Nature is a healer
I’ve used breastmilk for everything from mosquito bites and sticky eyes in babies to grazes on my toddlers' knees after a fall at the playground. Mother Nature has provided us something more than food in mother’s milk. This has taught me to respect and look more to our natural resources and healing options.
Jingle shells - natural sea shells that heal and sooth your nipples with just a few drops of breast milk - know more
3. Sometimes sitting still is essential
My lifestyle before a new-born baby didn’t involve much sitting down, then a little hungry baby entered my life and I spent most of those first weeks sat down feeding. This took a lot of getting used to, however in those hours sitting down, and at a generally slower paced life, I realized that actually slowing down isn’t a bad thing after all. Perhaps the rushed lifestyle which most of us tend to adopt, does not necessarily need to engulf every single day. Breastfeeding the second child meant being much more on the go, however a sneaky slow morning cuddle during school time is much appreciated by both me and baby.
Mama muse - wearing the Temptation nursing bra
4. I parent my way
When you have a baby you get many opinions, from many different people… even when you’re a midwife! At first all the questions, advice and comments got to me and would often go through my mind multiple times a day! But when the weaning off the breast comments and questions, which started around the 1yr mark started coming my way, I figured we had done this well so far and I will no longer take much notice of what other people thought of the way I parent. Importantly I take the same stance with other parents, my own decisions with feeding and parenting in general are my own, what others, be them friends or clients, decide are their own decisions, and as long as those parenting decisions are safe, I refrain from comments or questions that can harm one's self esteem.
The above is based on my own personal journey with motherhood, everyone's journey is different, unique and special in its own way.