Today I’m writing about my experience with breastfeeding for many reasons. One, because it is the thing that gives me such passion. Two, because it is a healing and beautiful experience that other moms can relate to AND, those struggling with breastfeeding may find helpful. And three, because today, I could use a little extra sparkle and happiness in my day and breastfeeding does just that 🤗
My breastfeeding experience didn’t start out blissful, but it certainly became that! Breastfeeding was never really something I was interested in doing. In fact, I had never planned on breastfeeding my children. I selfishly had worried about it “feeling weird” or “hurting too much” or, as awkward as it is to admit, I was worried it would be too close to a sexual feeling and that made me uncomfortable. But my husband told me he wanted me to give it a try because there were so many benefits and if I decided I still didn’t want to after trying, he would support that. After agreeing, I started to worry about then “having” to breastfeed in front of people for the first time and worried I would look like a fool for not knowing how. Little did I know it was going to be the most natural and magical thing I had ever done. Once she latched, just minutes after being wheeled into the recovery room, it was like the world stopped turning. It was such a feeling of powerful love that one couldn’t possibly put it into adequate words.
Only a couple weeks into my breastfeeding journey I had come to the difficult realization that I couldn’t produce enough milk to continue exclusively breastfeeding unless something changed. This broke my heart more than I expected it to. All of the sudden I felt as though I was failing at the most basic and natural task of motherhood. I had been getting direction from others to explore supplementing with formula and although I do not see anything wrong with it, it was just something that my husband and I simply had not wanted to do for our family. So I kept fighting. With the help of my family, we began searching for any solution. The one thing that kept me pushing forward was the support from my mom and my husband, but especially my mother. She would constantly tell me what a good job I was doing and how proud she was that I wasn’t giving up. It was the support that kept me going and kept me hopeful that we could find a solution.
Hundreds of dollars were spent on supplements as we continued to try everything from lactation tea, lactation cookies, oatmeal, fennel oil, fenugreek and everything in between. If you can think of it, I tried it. Eventually I stumbled on Legendairy Milk products and I was amazed! The supplements allowed me to almost immediately see an increase and have since maintained my milk supply. And it’s not like they are magic, although they are pretty close ha ha. You still have to drink enough water and eat enough protein but it sure makes all the difference!
Once my milk supply increased, the worry and stress started to fade away. Any momma who has struggled with supply knows that the stress and worry can CONSUME you and cause you to think of nothing else. But let me tell you something, if you are struggling with supply, that does not make you a failure as a mother. There is so much more that goes into being a mother! It’s just the way that things happen sometimes and although it is unfortunate, it means nothing about your ability to be a good mom! So because I knew what it felt like to go from feeling hopeless to feeling on top of the world, that is why I started my Blissful Breastfeeding Instagram page. Actually, I started it for two reasons. It started as something simply for me to record and share my breastfeeding journey with other like-minded individuals. I didn’t feel that I would be supported in my breastfeeding journey the way that I was hoping to. I mean let’s be honest, unless you are a breastfeeding mom, you don’t really have the desire to talk about it or think about it all of the time and I understood that. But the second reason and definitely the most important reason was because I started to see how many women benefited from the support of other breastfeeding moms. When I was going through my struggles, I only had the support of my mom and husband. Thankfully that was enough for me but plenty of people don’t have that kind of support and I wanted my page to be a place where women could find encouragement, support, and also seek out answers to help them with their breastfeeding experiences. So I started doing homework and I learned everything that I could to help other mommas. Because of my personal experience and because I’ve seen what the support can do for other women, my passion for breastfeeding EXPLODED in me! I finally felt a sense of purpose, something that I had never felt before.
I was finally able to fully experience the joy the breastfeeding could bring. Because I was no longer focused on my milk, I was able to focus solely on my daughter. The experience brought me such happiness, joy, peacefulness, and the overwhelming feeling of love would just take over at times. I would find myself crying happy tears because I almost had felt myself become complete. When I was breastfeeding my daughter I was not only nourishing her but I was bringing her comfort. I was giving her love. Nothing beats the moments that she looks up at me while eating and smiles, it’s like nothing else in the world!
My breastfeeding journey has only been a little over three months (so far) but I have grown more in this three months than I have in my entire life. I plan to breastfeed for longer than some would probably choose to but I’m excited and motivated to do so! And it’s not to say that this has come without struggles, believe me when I say there have been struggles! And there’s always going to be hick ups and bumps in the road and I know that. But what I am doing for my daughter also has incredible side effects for me and those two things are what keeps me so motivated.
My motivation is now fueling a petition to get Breastfeeding moms in Idaho some protection and support. I don’t who is the only state in the country that does not have laws to protect a breastfeeding mother. In Idaho, if I feed my child in public I can be asked to leave whatever establishment I am at and in an extreme situation, I could be arrested for public indecency. How insane is that?! Not only that, but employers in Idaho are not required to give you adequate time to “empty your breasts”. The legal language in some other states specifically uses that verbiage. And the reason for that is because our milk will only continue to produce if the breast is emptied which in turn signals the body to make more milk. So because of the lack of support my Idaho law, mothers, like myself, are sometimes having to choose between feeding their children and providing income. Because of this backwards thinking I am determined to get changes made. I shouldn’t be thrown out of a restaurant for feeding my child. No woman should ever have to worry about the consequences of taking care of her child in the most natural and basic way. Our breasts have been sexualized by society and society says it’s OK to show our breasts for sexual reasons but society also tells us that it is indecent or inappropriate to expose portions of our breasts in order to feed our children.
My passion comes from an honest and loving place. I love my daughter and I want to be able to feed her by breastfeeding her. There are unlimited amount of reasons that this is beneficial. And I want to protect my rights, and every other breastfeeding mother’s rights to nurture her child in this way without fear of repercussions. I want to be someone that women can come to and find a safety, compassion, and helpful information in their breastfeeding journey. Prior to having my daughter, I honestly did not see the need to have other women in my life. I didn’t feel that female to female friendships were really all that beneficial for me. But after I had my daughter, I realized how important it was to feel supported by other women and to provide that same support to other women. It truly does take a village. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. So I am making myself available anytime for questions, support, or encouragement.
Breastfeeding is beautiful and I can honestly say that it has transformed my life. There’s always going to be struggles, but it will always be worth it! ❤️