Breastfeeding is Hard Work…But That’s Not All…
Recently a client sent me a nice note with a generous check. She had been feeling gratitude for the help she received to breastfeed her son. There were multiple lactation consultations in her home, a frenotomy (the procedure to release a tongue tie) and body work for baby. There were many up-front costs–some of which were not covered by insurance. Here’s what she wrote:
“I feel so blessed to have your support while my baby and I learned to breastfeed together, I need to express gratitude. Please accept this donation to help another mom who needs your help. Thank you for your help and for this opportunity to ‘pay it forward.”
Gratitude is so important. Gratitude fills us up and makes us feel good. Yet, sometimes, we get so busy with our daily lives we forget to acknowledge this powerful state of mind. If life is more stressful than usual, it’s even more difficult to remember to be grateful.
The birth of a baby is a time of great joy. Even sleep deprived, exhausted new parents are in a blissful state of wonderment and gratitude for the tiny miracle who has entered their world. When there are breastfeeding challenges, however, it can be difficult to maintain that blissful state. And even more difficult to feel gratitude when you are worried that your baby isn’t getting enough milk, your nipples are cracked, and your baby won’t stop crying.
The mother quoted above was in that situation when she first called for breastfeeding help. Her baby had lost weight, her nipples were terribly damaged and she had mastitis. She didn’t know if she would be able to breastfeed. She was discouraged and fearful. It took several weeks for her and her baby to get over the hump so she could enjoy breastfeeding and relax about her thriving baby. She was filled with gratitude—so much that she wanted to pass it on—and give another mother the experience of successful breastfeeding. Wow!
Let’s take a moment to think about being grateful and how it can motivate us in tough times during our breastfeeding journeys. Naturally, you are thankful for your beautiful baby. But have you thought about gratitude related to breastfeeding or breast milk? I certainly have! Perhaps you’d like to join me in feeling grateful….
- for the ease of feeding your baby. No preparation time or clean-up is required!
- for the confidence that your milk is perfect for your baby. Whatever amount your make, every drop is perfect. No need to add anything. It is the perfect combination of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. And it’s always the right temperature!
- that all you do is let your baby breastfeed every few hours and it results in your baby getting chubby right before your eyes.
- for the really great pumps that available to modern mothers. Now mothers can go to work or school and still provide precious milk for their babies.
- for the mother who pumps her extra milk for you when you aren’t able to make enough.
- for all of the accurate information available to breastfeeding mothers. La Leche League volunteers, WIC Peer Counselors and lactation consultants are all there to help you succeed!
- for readily available clean water so that formula can be used safely and pump parts can be thoroughly washed.
- For support of your partner, family and friends. Community support is vital for breastfeeding success!
- For that milk drunk, sleepy grin as your baby slips off your breast.
What is it about breastfeeding that makes you feel grateful? It’s always a great time to remind yourself of the gift you are giving yourself and your baby. It is Mother’s Day after all. If you had help along the way, please express your gratitude to all of those who have provided support for your breastfeeding journey (especially your own moms!) You will make their day.
This article was written by lactation consultant, Renee Beebe IBCLC, and originally appeared on her website The Second 9 Months. For more breastfeeding resources and support from Renee, visit her there anytime!