jp and i always knew we (well, i) would be breastfeeding her. there wasn’t ever any discussion of anything else. the fact that i get to stay at home with her certainly lends to the ease of this decision and i feel very fortunate for the set-up of our family and work schedule, which allow me the time and space to breastfeed her. i applaud the women that pump when they have to go back to work. i do understand the difficulties in the ups and downs of milk-production and latching issues that may affect a woman’s ability to nurse her child as much and for as long as she would like. i do not take for granted the relatively painless time i have had nursing ramona.
i also understand and am thankful that a big part of our nursing “success” is that i had an amazing midwife, maren wood, who was committed to helping ramona and i get a hang of the whole nursing business. ramona latched seemingly effortlessly when she was born. maren was very encouraging but also warned me about how things can change when your milk comes in. sure enough: as soon as my milk came in (only 36 hours after her birth) my boobs became extremely engorged and gave ramona trouble in the latching department. maren came over every day for four days to give guidance, check on ramona, encourage us, and ensure i was doing well physically and emotionally (i was a wreck).
many women don’t have this sort of resource for lactation help. the hospital has lactation consultants in-house but what happens when you leave to go home? or if you are at home but don’t have a midwife as amazing as mine, you can hire a lactation consultant but i know that jp and i couldn’t have afforded that. so, yes, we were very, very lucky. i also had women around me that i felt comfortable figuring out how the whole boob/milk thing worked: i was some form of naked or topless in front of my mother, my sister-in-law, my super doula (pamela black), my friend, aubrey, and, of course, maren and jp. without this trust i don’t know if i could have as successfully and quickly felt comfortable with nursing.
and now, at nearly ten weeks, ramona has become a champion eater. latching on isn’t as awkward or fumbling as it once was. she’s got a radar and knows what she has to do. that has definitely made my job easier. but the questions have started (i love you, erica) about introducing solid foods or how long we plan on doing this and other such inquiries into the relationship between a nursing child and her mother’s boobs. so this article was timely for me: breastfeeding in the land of ghengis khan. because, well, we aren’t worried about when she’s going to start eating solids or how long she may want to nurse. we are confident that it will all happen in due time.
this article was also extremely appropriate to me bc, while i have never been treated oddly bc of our public displays of nursing, it still isn’t something the american public seems to readily swallow (awful unintended pun). and though i’m not setting out to change the world, it would be nice if breastfeeding was looked upon by more people and more openly as a very important and even beautiful thing between a mother and child. and to receive that support from people besides my husband and family and birth team would be wonderful and crazy and, hopefully, inspiring to other women who are considering breastfeeding or are saving breastfeeding as a thing to be done only at home.
there would be a lot of questions people would ask if ramona were still nursing at two but chances are good she may be and we certainly aren’t going to discourage it just bc of what others may think or say. and i’m not going to move to mongolia .