My firstborn was not one of those easy babies, heck, he wasn’t even medium. He hysterically cried anytime he was in his carseat, rendering us slaves to our home. He didn’t sleep at all. Like, my fitbit told me I slept 54 minutes one night; it was promptly thrown away. He wouldn’t take a pacifier or a bottle, only mom.
I am not alone in these experiences and motherhood certainly doesn’t come with a manual. Being alone, exhausted, healing, learning, it is all so overwhelming. Figuring out how to breastfeed takes a lot of work and even more support. Then, learning how to go in public and feed a tiny baby, can be harrowing.
When our bodies aren’t what we are used to, and our brains are foggy from a lack of sleep, it is hard to want to go anywhere and meet new people. When breastfeeding is grueling we tend to feel out of our element.
But, support groups are the exact place women need to be during this delicate time. So apprehensively, that is exactly where I went. Knowing that there, in the trenches next to you, is another new momma trying to make enough milk, or latch her baby, or pump for just one more bottle; right here, next to you, is an exhausted new mom who is madly in love but madly afraid as well. That level of support can carry your weary soul through that first year of breastfeeding and motherhood.
The experienced moms taught us newbies valuable lessons of public outings such as:
- Different ways to breastfeed baby
- Change a baby’s diaper on our laps and in their carseats
- Nurse a baby while eating
- Nurse using the two shirt method and in our carriers
- How to breastfeed in public and avoid negative stereotypes
Every single week, I learned over and over again, I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only light on in the dead of night, trying to latch an infant. I wasn’t the only mom who hung up my heels and pencil skirt for a messy bun and beige nursing bra. I wasn’t the only one who sometimes cried right alongside baby.
These women are how I survived new motherhood. This group is what sparked a passion in my soul to support new moms. These experiences lit the way for my small business, That Leche Life, to come into existence. All of this has shaped who I am as a mother and given me the confidence to mother my way.
This is what I want for all new moms. I want them to find the bravery to march into support group and cry, or yell, or laugh, and be lifted up by women. Allow the wisdom of fellow moms to light your path and calm your heart. World Breastfeeding Week is a celebration of Lactivisits everywhere and all of our achievements great and small. Let’s celebrate the community that none of us knew we needed.
Looking for support? Try some of these:
- Join a breastfeeding support group at your local hospital
- Join your local baby wearing group
- Join your local La Leche League
- Join a local Moms Club chapter
- Join a Facebook due date group
This blog has been contributed by That Leche Life. To lean more visit here