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Dear Mama of a Wannabe Nursling

November 17, 2017

 

My friend,

 

I know you want to nurse your sweet baby.  I know you would do anything to feed this sweet baby.  I know you stay up, giving up precious sleep time you don't have to research every single solitary possible reason for why nursing isn't easy, or why it's not going well or how to fix the problem you and your nursling are facing.

 

I must tell you, "You are enough for your baby."

 

I know these words ring hollow.  You think "How can you say this? You don't even know my story.  You don't know what my medical team has told me.  You don't know what issues we are facing with nursing."

 

I'll say it again, "You are enough for your baby."

 

I know you've been to the pediatrician more times than you can count.  You have a standing greeting with the scheduler.  You have seen countless specialists.  You have seen the best of the best and the most highly recommended.  You sought out breastfeeding friendly medical professionals.  You've seen many lactation consultants.

 

Every one of them has had a different answer for you, but the one theme that rings out is "There is a problem."

 

"You are enough for your baby."

 

I heard you receive encouragement that didn't ring true for you, so you swatted it away and went back to asking hard-coded, fact based questions, hoping for a different answer.  Then, I saw that encouraging person give up on you, writing you off as someone who just wants to wallow.  That's not you.  You're just trying to get to the bottom of this.

 

I've seen you sit there in silence when someone tells you "You just need to feed your baby."  I've seen you enraged when you heard "Your baby isn't doing well with the milk from your body."  I've seen you breakdown when your partner, if even lovingly, suggests that you relieve yourself of this struggle.  I've heard you say "I believe 'Fed is best' and I don't actually have an issue with formula, but I still want to know how to nurse my sweet baby.  Please just tell me how to nurse my sweet baby."

 

"You are enough for your baby."

 

I've seen you in the ER when your baby was so small.  I watched you sit there, helplessly, as your baby undergoes testing.  I saw your face drop when you were told "The issue is your milk..."

 

"You are enough for your baby."

 

I saw you shrink into yourself when someone said "If you want to nurse, you just have to believe and push through it."  "How?" you ask, "How can I push through this onslaught of medical diagnoses and the facts?"

 

"You are enough for your baby."

 

I know you became enraged when you heard your family member ask "Why do you even want to put yourself through this?"  I know your answer: You want to enjoy this sweet baby.  You want to give your baby the best.

 

Deep down inside, you know it in your heart that your baby needs you and your nourishment, yet you doubt and wonder "If that's true, why is this so difficult?"

 

"You are enough for your baby."

 

I heard you give a long explanation for why you stopped nursing.  I heard you defend yourself against the attacks you felt were being waged on your motherhood.  I heard you slump into your words and say "I had to give up."  I watched you say all this, not victoriously, but in defeat, my sweet sister.

 

"You are enough for your baby."

 

You are victorious.

 

You are a champion for that sweet baby you hold.

 

You are enough for your baby.

 

You waged war on feelings of inadequacy.

 

You are enough for your baby.

 

 

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