Found August 31, 2016

I’m writing today over at Raising Mothers in honor of the 4th annual Black Breastfeeding Week. Breastfeeding is such an important everyday matter in the lives of my people & one that did not come easily for me & my beautiful babies. If you didn’t catch my post on miscarriage & infant loss this is a bit of a follow up…Lost & Found.

Found: To Nurture

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I’ve wanted to breastfeed just as long as I’ve dreamed of being a mama. In a box somewhere there is a photo of little girl me: I’m wearing my denim overalls, flap down, smiling big as I held my favorite doll up to a flat little girl chest. As the last born, I never got to see Ma breastfeed my older siblings; in fact I don’t know that she did. I’m not sure where my desire to breastfeed came from. I certainly didn’t see it modeled responsibly in the media— if it all. I didn’t know any breastfeeding families, let alone any Black families taking part in a larger conversation regarding breastfeeding.

My firstborn son, Ransom was the worst nursling. Laziest latch ever. After a week, I was very discouraged. Wait, record scratch. Let’s go back to the hospital. When Ransom was just a few hours old, I was already very discouraged with breastfeeding. Prior to giving birth, I had done a great deal of reading about pregnancy, labor & childbirth as well as breastfeeding, pumping, infant sleep training and the challenges of returning to work in 8 weeks. I was prepared dammit! Being as prepared as I was, nothing could go wrong. Obviously. So when after a few hours I noticed a pattern between excessive cramping and putting the baby to my breast I asked the nurse why. She explained that the breastfeeding triggers the uterus to begin shrinking, which results in period-like cramping. Somehow in my nearly obsessive thirst for information to welcome my first child into the world I missed that detail. Like most things that catch me off guard, I was frustrated, overly sad & throwing pity parties of epic proportions. I wasn’t emotionally ready for for something I hadn’t thought through. So I considered giving up breastfeeding. After about 5 hours.

Join me at Raising Mothers to read the rest?

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