Written by You&Milk - Updated on May 5, 2023
This sentence alone could sum up the way in which there was, in my life as a woman, as a mother, a before, but above all, an after
If you had asked me two years ago if I was going to breastfeed our future baby, I would have answered (as I did at the time!) "I don't know, I'll see".
Every woman is different and approaches breastfeeding in her own way, either by thinking about it beforehand or by letting it happen to her, without projection
So yes, there are women who say without hesitation "breastfeeding is obvious to me, the question doesn't even arise". Well, in fact, it does arise... because you can want it with all your strength, with all your maternal love, but sometimes Nature doesn't help us.
Our strength abandons us.
I was not one of them and I accept it. I accept it because I am convinced (and this is only for me) that it is precisely by not putting any pressure on myself "before" that I succeeded in breastfeeding during, and for almost 16 months now.
There is no ONE piece of good advice on how to prepare for breastfeeding.
It was so comforting and reassuring for me to see that my husband was involved in the issue of Breastfeeding. Still no pressure for me
You see, I have a darling who has prepared himself for Breastfeeding (which is a bit of a stretch when you consider that the mother-to-be that I was didn't even know if she was going to breastfeed! Haha!), who has read a lot about the subject.
At no time did he say to me "anyway Aurélie, it's obvious, you'll breastfeed".
On the contrary, he knew that the best way to accompany me, to bring me to consider it, to think about it calmly, was to give me complete freedom to make this choice.
Breastfeeding is a very personal thing, you can talk about it beforehand, with the father-to-be, with your mother (even if she hasn't breastfed!), your sisters, your friends, your relatives, your gynaecologist,...
Breastfeeding should not be the result of family or societal pressure.
Today, we often do things out of conviction, but also sometimes under the weight of a pattern (which we think is perfect), a pattern often conveyed by social networks, or at least by what they want to show us.
Yes, there are certainly benevolent accounts (fortunately!) but a mother-to-be who is a little lost and unsure of herself can find herself helpless and complexed when faced with the images of the perfect breastfeeding mother that some people send out.
Only you will know when the time comes, but you will need the greatest support from those you love, especially the person who shares your Life
I wanted to break free from this, and during my pregnancy I only consulted breastfeeding mums' accounts and blogs very little.
I was more concerned about having a safe and serene pregnancy for our upcoming baby girl.
I practiced prenatal yoga, aquagym for pregnant women (the joy of floating lightly in water when you've gained 20 kilos!), reiki, meditation, relaxation... anything related to well-being and letting go.
With the father-to-be, we also practiced Haptonomy (I will dedicate an article to it in the blog), which brought us a lot of peace, emotion and very nice moments together.
The well-being and health of our baby was THE priority.
The question of breastfeeding was less "central" - but no less important - because in my opinion it would come up later, when our baby was here.
This didn't stop us from equipping ourselves beforehand to prepare for breastfeeding by buying the little kit of the breastfeeding mum: breastfeeding pads, soothing cream for any cracks (they were real, so thank you little tube for working miracles!), breast shells and breastfeeding bras.
Thanks to this, we could say to ourselves: we are ready.
The "funny" thing is that at no point did we consider or think about buying infant milk, "just in case", as some say.
As I write this, I realise that all these little details were actually signs telling me in a small voice "you are ready for this, you just don't know it".
My "own" evidence of breastfeeding came with you, Thelma.
When did I know I was going to breastfeed?
Well, at the moment when everything was so intense that nothing was rational, at the moment of THE meeting. The three of us.
It's crazy how the maternal instinct, yes that famous "thing" that we can't put into words, how it tames you in the space of a fraction of a second, without changing you, without betraying you, no, just because it was there in you, and a little being came to give it the freedom to express itself. I am convinced that Breastfeeding is part of it. It's there, buried inside you or obvious as anything, and the second your baby looks at you for the first time, seeking your warm and comforting breast, you know.
When Thelma was born (she had to be accompanied by forceps, little love...), she was not breathing, so we only had her against us for a tiny handful of seconds to welcome her and contemplate her, because she was taken over very quickly by the paediatrician, just a few centimetres away from us, which allowed us to talk to her, without taking our eyes off her, before giving her a hug.
Her daddy was by her side to reassure her and tell her that soon the three of us would be hugging each other tightly.
Then came that moment when you heard his little cry, the one that delivers you, that takes away the breath of the greatest relief of your Life.
The midwife, while the gynaecologist was taking care of me (I'll spare you the details ;-)...), asked me the question "do you want me to put Thelma to your breast, do you want to breastfeed her? Well, without even thinking about it, without even saying to myself "should I do it or not? "I said "Oh yes".
Nothing was the same as before and I liked the feeling of being carried along in complete confidence and without pressure
And now I can tell you that the 9 months when I didn't really ask myself the question have given way to the evidence of the moment: I was made to breastfeed you Thelma, to share this with you.
I didn't know it, but months of pure love were about to begin, of skin to skin, of cuddly feedings, comforting a sorrow, calming the slightest of your hungers, late at night or very early in the morning...
Yes, I didn't know it BEFORE, but how could I live without it now?
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