This week is World Breastfeeding Week. Breastfeeding can be the most wonderful or the most painful experience (or both). It can be a magical way to bond with our babies. It can be nourishing for both the body and the soul.
It can also be impossible, strained, painful. There can be issues with latching, with intolerances, with nipples, with little mouths. It can lead to a great deal of distress if things don't go to plan.
New parents can put so much pressure on themselves to get this right straight away and fit the norms they, their families, the hospitals and society place on them. It can lead to feelings of guilt, desperation and sadness.
Its important to remember that this isn't something you should 'just be able to do naturally'. There are many variables and it can take a lot of practice. Not breastfeeding doesn't make a new mum less than, or a failure.
I encourage you talk about the experiences you’ve had. Reach out to new parent or someone who has been through this before and talk about what breastfeeding means to you, or how you're experiencing it now. Remember, while we often hear that 'breast is best’, what's really most important is the health and happiness of mum, so that she can be all she needs to be for her baby and herself.
Happy World Breastfeeding Week