Mind the Gap
Trusting your breastfeeding instincts when everyone's telling you not to.
Imagine what it would be like to hear "She's feeding lots and often because she's building up your supply. Let me get you a drink. Are you hungry?" or "He doesn't want to come off your boob because he's having a growth spurt. You're providing him with everything he could possibly need right now, you are amazing. How about you... How are you doing? Do you need anything? Of course you need something! Hit me, I'm here!"
Imagine being able to rant and cry and swear and weep some more and be utterly at your wits' end and just be held by someone who loves you, trusts you, believes in you, hears you, and doesn't once mention stopping breastfeeding.
Imagine hearing "She might be feeding more than usual because she's teething, and your milk's got anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties. You look tired, can I make you more comfy with some more pillows? Maybe some biscuits? I'll sit with you and we can watch your favourite series?"
Imagine breastfeeding in the cafe and the lady at the next table saying "You and your baby look beautiful together. How are you? I found mothering tough in the early days. You look like you're nailing it."
This is in pretty stark contrast with what most of us experience. Thinking of all the ways in which we long to be supported highlights the many ways and moments in which we are not.
The gap between what we know deep in our intuition and the messages we're fed daily about our own value and the value of breastfeeding can be vast. We end up arguing with the very people we need the most; our partners, spouses, parents, friends. We end up crying in the car on the way home from the GP.
We might be clear on what's right for our baby deep inside, or the gap between what we feel and what we're told might show up as confusion, sadness, anger... because the advice doesn't sit right but we have little idea what else could be true. We can end up feeling completely alone.
Here's a suggestion. Feast you eyes on the science of human milk. Because it's not only mind blowing, it also 100% supports everything you feel deep in your body.
Your instinct is spot on. You know you want to let your baby feed whenever they want to if they're poorly. But being able to articulate that your body has made the exact anti-bodies that your baby needs and is giving them large doses with every feed is a powerful bridge between your own instinct and the outside world that just hasn't really got a clue yet.
Understanding and communicating just how brilliant your body and milk is could be the difference between an argument or a moment of renewed connection and admiration, both for yourself and for each other.
You don't need to remember it all! Just send them a link to our website and say "Read that". Print a few pages off and stick them on the fridge. But most of all, whether others understand yet or not, know that you are brilliant and part of a vast community that gets you and is cheering you on.