Whenever, I met saw mothers nursing their children, I felt that this was the ultimate pleasure of motherhood. I thought, when I have my own child, I would breastfeed it for hours and love him to the core. The first part of my wish was completed, for I had a nice healthy baby but unfortunately the second part could be not completed. For there were many reasons for the same.
I delivered my son via C-Section. For the first day and half, I was completely on IV and had started with liquid only towards the end of the second day. On the third day, the lactation consultant along with the doctor and nurse visited me in the hospital and taught me the right way to hold the baby and the little nuances of breast feeding. The fourth and fifth day were little difficult for me as I was just trying to latch the baby. For some strange reason I was unable to feed my baby and he would go on hungry.
I sought assistance of my doctor and nurses but for some reason, was unable to do so. After some time, we found out that it was a case of shy nipples, which means that the nipples had not come out completely, and there was no proper opening for the milk to come out. The doctor asked me to get a nipple shield. I tried using the Nipple Shield for a few days but for some days I could decently feed my kid. I gave him formula milk as a supplement but somewhere deep down inside, I was feeling guilty because I was unable to feed my own child.
The trauma of unable to feed my own child made me feel more helpless. When I went to the hospital to remove my stitches after 8 days, I explained the doctor about the same. She asked me to be patient and give me an attempt. The frustration of not being able to feed was eating me inside out. I wished by some miracle I could feed him. Though he was a happy healthy baby, it made me helpless. What was worse was the baby required feeding every few hours and whenever I had to make the formula in front of the guest, I would be bombarded with questions on why I am giving him formula.
Days and months passed by and by the end of about 40 days I went completely dry. I just wish instead of stressing about the fact if I was a little bit more relaxed and patient with my breast feeding journey. Yes. Breast feeding is important for growth and development of the child, but some unfortunate mothers like me are unable to do so due to various reasons such as medical, stress, post partum depression.
It is good to be open and encourage breast feeding but it is also important that we also support the new mothers. A mother is born, when she gives birth to her child, before that she has been a daughter, professional, wife and everything apart from being a mother. It takes time for women to change from Women to a mother, it is difficult for her to give up her life overnight.
Yes. It is important to normalize breast feeding but simultaneously, it is also important to accept the mothers who cannot breast feed into their circle. Nobody, wants to deliberately switch on to formula feed. Sometimes it is our helplessness, which forces us to do so. I guess, it is high time, that we leave off the old traditional restrictions and the new competition in our society. If we just let a mother be happy, in her condition, that would be more beneficial to both the mother and the child.
Last but not the least. It is perfectly normal to talk about your breast feeding experience on a public platform because it is important that both men and women know the nuances of breast feeding and learn from others experiences.