Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things a mother can give her child. God created us like this so we can give our baby what it needs when it is born. Perfection! A process so natural and perfectly created.
When I had my first baby, I was so excited to start breastfeeding. I knew it would be a challenge, but the thought of having such an important role in my baby’s life was thrilling.
It all started off pretty well. After a few days’ struggle, we figured out a system and she got the hang of it. By the 6th month, she was exclusively breastfed.
We were proud of ourselves!
There are breastfeeding experts, counselors, nurses, books – so many sources where you can gather information for breastfeeding and what are the benefits of it.
You can see a list breastfeeding tips based on my experience and knowledge in the article ‘’Tips for breastfeeding from a mom to another’’.
Have you ever wondered how people breastfeeded before all these sources have appeared? How did in the past our grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and great-great-grandmothers breastfeed when no one teaches them?! They followed their natural instincts, they knew there was no other option, and they learned from each other. Before the development of modern medicine and the relatively recent advent of breastfeeding experts, women relied on each other for information and support, they followed their natural instincts, they knew there was no other option. One woman would pass along her experiences to another woman, and she’d pass it along to another, and so on. The knowledge and wisdom passed down from generation to generation was stored in their minds, not on the internet. The most important thing to remember is that your children are born with an innate ability to nurse. All they need is a little guidance from you. Remembering what it was like to be a new mom can be really helpful when you’re trying to figure out something that may be unfamiliar.
The Internet is full of materials and information about breastfeeding. I have two children, a boy and a girl. I will share what happened to me, my personal experience because a real life story sometimes can help more than everything else.
We create our own rules. We really have deep instincts and we need to feel and listen to them. What I want to tell you and show you through my story is that breastfeeding is a gift, and sometimes in the beginning it doesn’t start easily, but these heavy moments pass very soon after.
After this period – so wonderful and difficult at the same time, the best emotional moments come. Moments so personal, just for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is a natural transition for the baby. It has been part of you and your body, living and eating in your womb for 9 months. It has never been separated from you. When your newborn starts to be breastfed, snuggled in your arms, it is again connected with the source – the most important person in the baby’s life – Mum. Because for this little baby you are the whole world. Unconditional love, alliance and tenderness that cannot be described in words!
Maybe every woman, consciously or not, imagines how one day she will become a mother. Probably along with this idea, we imagine the moment of giving birth. When I was pregnant with my first child, I did everything I could to prepare myself for the experience and make it as positive as possible. I was so excited to give birth that I took all kinds of classes, read books about breathing and pre-natal exercises, even attended group meetings where other women were preparing for natural childbirth. Of course, God taught me again, that we can’t make plans for everything. Then came the day of delivery, and it was very different from how I had imagined it. Well, my first birth delivery didn’t go even close to what I imagined and dreamed of. I was a little bit disappointed when my son was born by C-section. I had thought that it would never happen to me. I gave birth by C-section because of some complications and it was not at all like they told me it would be. I had never thought that in the end it would end up like this, but now I’m fine with it. I gave birth by C-cesarean section and never had thought I could get there. I had been to all kinds of courses on natural childbirth, breathing, I read so many books, preparing myself physically and emotionally for the „big“ day. When I was pregnant with my first child, I did everything I could to prepare myself for the experience and make it as positive as possible. It was a good thing I did, because things didn’t go according to plan!
But the moment of giving birth itself is another topic, now we talk about breastfeeding.
After giving birth, I was so excited to start breastfeeding. I knew it would be a challenge, but the thought of having such an important role in my baby’s life was thrilling. At the hospital where I gave birth (a famous private hospital in my town), I didn’t receive the necessary support and information about breastfeeding. I can’t recommend this hospital because of the attitude of the midwives. For me, their main role is to support the mother and the baby, to give her confidence and knowledge, both for breastfeeding and for the baby caring. The midwives there weren’t particularly friendly, and they didn’t seem to carry about breastfeeding in general. The midwives there weren’t like that, breastfeeding wasn’t important at all for them.
In my case, the breast milk came slower than I expected, and my breasts swelled terribly. They were lumpy, painful and swollen. Also, the pain in my chest made it difficult for me to breathe. In my case the breast milk came harder than I expected, my breasts swollen terribly, became lumpy and the pain was huge. I couldn’t breathe and move because of the chest pain.
At the hospital, I was told that I have a problem with the milk ducts and that it was my fault (I never understood what it was) and that I would not never be able to breastfeed. They said to give up on my experiments and simply abandon breastfeeding. For them my efforts and will to breastfeed were pointless. And they offered to inject me with something that would stop my breast milk production entirely.
I kept trying. I’ve tried with a hand pump to unclog my breast channels, it didn’t work. After that I’ve tried with an electric pump, it was close to failing. The electric pump was provided by the hospital but was in a very inconvenient place for women in labor. They didn’t want to give the pump to the mothers in the rooms, so we had to go to another place where it could be used, in a small and unheated room, something like a warehouse for their materials. With a cesarean section just done, this was a real adventure. I gave birth in February and it was cold, so dear girls, check in advance at the hospital if they have an electric pump and how and where you can use it. If you decide to get it yourself (so I did at my second child birth) ask friends or buy. There is also a second hand on specialized websites or marketplaces, which you should not rule out as an option. They can be sterilized and become like brand new.
The chest pain was horrible. At the hospital, I was again advised to stop trying breastfeeding and give me the injection or to stop dealing them with my „problem“. Finally, I went back home from the hospital. My mum advised me to make hot compresses with boiled parsley water. The midwife that came to assist me at home was incredibly helpful and supportive at a time when the emotional stress was very high. The same day a midwife came home and helped me with squeezing and massages. She helped me with squezing and massages. It hurt, but it helped a lot. With compresses and massages in just a few hours, the situation has improved tremendously. My GP, an incredibly good person, woman and professional also helped me a lot, . a wonderful source of emotional support. I had an amazing lactation consultant that helped me understand how to handle the initial start of nursing, which was tough but eventually went smoothly thanks to her help and guidance.
In a few days, everything was over, there was no sign of chest pain or tension. Only one happily breastfed baby remained. By the 6th month, he was exclusively breastfed and by the time he turned one year old, he was still breastfeeding and weaning from nursing had started (which is another topic).
The other problem they presented to me with breastfeeding in the hospital was that my baby had a short bridle on his tongue – I was told that in this condition, babies cannot breastfeed. During the whole period while I breastfeed him (more than a year), he was with great desire and appetite. The whole period of breastfeeding, I never had problems because of this short bridle. I breastfed this blue-eyed boy for a long time without any more problems. It was exclusively breastfed bythe sixth month, without any formula added at all. I am not saying not to trust doctors and medical staff, of course, we should trust and be deeply grateful that they exist. I’m just saying that we need to listen to our instincts, our feelings and our common sense. We are mothers of our children and we know a lot. It happens somehow automatically as unlocking centers of the brain that we did not suspect existed.
How breastfeeding with my second child went, you can read here
With love, Tanya Kostova (founder of Cotton Hug by Shapes and happy mother of two)