Sarah C, is one of our regulars at the store, well loved by all of the team here. She has kindly shared her experiences starting out with breastfeeding and how the Nappy Shoppe breastfeeding cafe helped her. See below for more about her.
There are a lot of breastfeeding-related things out, these days. Should you, shouldn’t you? Benefits, health reasons, ability. Should you nurse in public? Should you cover up? Endless women spending countless hours worrying about OTHER PEOPLE’S feelings and beliefs about breastfeeding, when the truth is, it’s hard enough as it is without trying to consider how someone else feels about your boobs.
The thing is, when I was pregnant, I just KNEW I wanted to breastfeed. And, as it goes when one is pregnant, literally EVERYONE ELSE was an expert on the matter. Tips on how to nurse, how long to nurse, when to wean, how to wean, what to eat to help promote lactation, how I would have to be sober for yet ANOTHER year. (Trust me, I knew that one.) But then, I was discouraged by more than a few. “Your boobs are gonna look like pancakes.” “You won’t lose weight until after you’re done lactating.” Like… mind your own tits.
What not one single person told me was, BREASTFEEDING IS HARD. Like, actually physically having a tiny human with superhero suction powers latch on to a super sensitive part of my body that is tender and, up until recently, was kind of just a sex thing. Nobody told me that my nipples would crack, and bleed, and that I would dread the baby’s hunger cues because I knew the pain that was en route. I didn’t think it was normal to cry at every feeding (which, with a newborn, is every two hours. Yeah.) Some nights I would sit on the couch and feed her so my crying wouldn’t wake up my husband. Some nights, the crying woke him up anyway.
Something else I didn’t know was there is help available. My midwife sent me to the Nappy Shoppe to their breastfeeding support group, the Breastfeeding Café. There, I found a group of women who, like me, were new to nursing and were dealing with a lot of the same issues I was.
IT WAS ALL NORMAL.
Yep. Aaaallll normal. I mean, obviously not normal in the sense of being the desired objective, but my struggles were par for the course in new motherhood. The lactation consultants (Cheyenne and Lydia) helped me reposition, rearrange and renew my faith in my ability to breastfeed. Two weeks after my first attendance, I had my first painless night. And the next night, ALSO painless. Sweet Mercy! I can do this!
I was by no means done with that support group. I stayed until my baby was twice the size of the new nurslings. I stayed until I had every faith and every confidence in our nursing relationship. I stayed, and was welcome. I found a circle of friends, confidants, and cohorts that I still turn to today for all things baby and nursing and motherhood related. We have been going for nine months strong and see no signs of stopping. I can truly say, to any mother beginning her breastfeeding journey, or feeling lost in an existing one, GO GET HELP. You can do this. No matter where you choose to feed your baby, or who tells you you can or can’t, you can do it. It DOES get better.
Sarah C writes about herself “My name is Sarah Carlock, mama of one Lily Rose, who constantly reminds me of my rookie status as a parent. She teaches me new things every day, which is find by me. I’m a knowledge junkie and a natural parenting enthusiast. I’m a babywearer, a breastfeeder, and aspiring doula. I am also a music lover, coffee fiend, beer drinker and a foodie. My husband is either really lucky and a saint or has funny taste in women, but together, sometimes we make magic. “