Milkmaker | Corina Nika
Sharing our next Milkmaker story from mama, designer and blogger, Corina Nika. Happy one year of breastfeeding mama! Have a story you'd like to share? Email us at email@example.com.
Like any other mom, getting pregnant i never knew what to expect from breastfeeding or how i would feel about it. My mom breastfed and i remember vividly her telling me how she felt about it a month before i gave birth. She said, that our milk is powerful and not only in the way i imagine it to be. She said, you can transfer all your memories and love while you breastfeed to your baby. Liquids have a strong energy and memory and your baby will feel every emotion with this connection. My mom is a reiki master so this is something i would expect her saying.
I knew i would breastfeed because that was natural and timesaving, so my husband and i took a breast-feeding class a couple of weeks before my due date. I remember feeling detached and a bit scared. The graphics and images of the babies mouth sucking the nipple felt horrible and scary and i now know i felt guilty for not feeling happy and eager to breastfeed like the other soon to be moms in the room. I left my feelings there in that room and never thought about any of this horrifying pictures again.
Due date was here and i had just given birth to a little person. It was pink and screaming and i was so relieved everything was over. I had a normal birth and really, the easiest anyone could think of. Took only 45 minutes and just 8 pushes and he was out. An hour later, two nurses were holding the baby and putting it in my breast. I wasn’t involved at all, sitting there as the baby was opening its mouth and i felt so creeped out thinking now, i wish i could take it all away and hold him to nurse for forever there. I was so terrified that i had no idea how to hold him and how to nurse, that i asked not to room in, and for the baby to be brought only to nurse every few hours.
I was so scared. So unprepared and i need all the help. Surprisingly, each nurse and each doctor had a different position or tip to give me. Some said i should let him cry and not feed him in less than two hours. Others said i should never lie down to feed him, while others swore by it. Confused and with swollen breasts i tuned everyone out. It was just me and him. And right then i promised him that we know better than anyone and that he would show me the way. "I may not know how to do it, but your instincts do” and surprisingly, that’s how mine woke up as well.
It only took 12 hours and we were breastfeeding as a pro. I could never have imagined how much confidence i felt the moment i just went with what felt right. And even more, how much close and protective of the baby breastfeeding made feel. Just giving birth doesn’t make you instantly a mom, it’s all the little things you do for your baby that do.
The challenges never ended in the first few months of his life. I cried a lot as i had oversupply and made him spit up and cough and then he refused nursing over all making me feel that he didn’t want me. Clogged ducts came along, nipple confusion and then we both had thrush. I had so many reasons to stop breastfeeding and i remember how difficult and challenging everything felt these months, all i did was cry.
I just hold on to people telling me that it really gets easier and one day, things got easier. He recently turned one and i couldn’t imagine him not breastfeeding. It’s really the best part of both of our day. I can feel him relax and be reassured that i am there for him. I can only imagine how calming the warm milk in his mouth must be and enjoy every second of it. As the days go by and i know that he grows older and some day he’ll wean on his own, i’m terrified that one day he won’t need me as much. I’ll know we’ll have other ways to be close to each other, but i’ll miss that raw, natural moment with him, as nature meant for us to be.
While a lot disapprove, we breastfeed to sleep, we breastfeed to be happy, to get over a tantrum or to feel close to each other in a long and busy day. We breastfeed to relax and not only just to eat. For me breast-feeding is a miracle on its own, as i see that nature really planned for everything. Everything your baby needs, you already have it. I read once, that as the baby sucks the breast, his saliva goes in your body and your body can generate antibiotics just for him, for anything he needs. We’re their medicine, their comfort, their nutrition, their safety, we’re the world for them.
Wrapping up my long story, if you’re still reading. I want you to know that nobody knows better than you do. If you’re going through a difficult breastfeeding experience, or you’re unsure or just want some advice, here it is. You and your baby should only listen to your instincts. Let him or her show you the way. Breastfeeding is the most ancient instinct in our DNA and it will eventually come naturally to both of you.
Your baby loves you and only wants to have you close. As easy as that.