The beauty of breastfeeding is that it is so many things at once. Although a breastfeeding session is primarily a response to a child’s physiological need, it is also part of a bigger and oftentimes deeper journey that both the mother and her child undertake.
I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 6 months now. While we are still in our beginning steps compared to many moms and kids who have been taking on their breastfeeding journey for years, I have already discovered a lot about how breastfeeding becomes an emotional journey for moms. Here’s what I learned.
During the first days of a baby’s life, a mother’s body is at its most painful. The soreness from every part of her body almost makes it impossible for her to do the simplest things such as standing up, sitting, or moving from one position to another. Despite all these, and lack of sleep notwithstanding, she musters all her strength to feed her child on demand. The liquid gold that comes out of her breast and the tiny human being given life by it are more than enough reasons for a mom to feel her heart burst with gratitude, no matter the pains and aches she feels.
Mothers have heard this time and again, but this has always been true across countries and generations. Many would say mothers are compelled to do this because it is their obligation, but what people sometimes fail to see is that they do it out of love, too. This kind of love is immeasurable and incomparable – a love that creates a bond only a mother truly understands.
Childbirth – and yes, breastfeeding – can be emotionally draining. Moms deal with so much pressure in the first few months of postpartum: pressure to regain strength at the soonest possible time, pressure to work, pressure from friends and family, and pressure from society. It’s impossible for moms to not have moments of tears. But because of its nature, breastfeeding silences all those pressures and redirects a mom’s heart to pause, slow down, and take things one at a time. It is nature’s reminder for a mom to relax and calm down, and in that split second when your baby smiles at her mom – all feels right in the world.
Moms are hard at work all day, every day. This work may be twice as much for working moms, but it is wrong to dismiss the amount of work done by stay-at-home moms. When boxes are ticked, children are asleep, and floors are sparkling clean, moms are physically and emotionally drained. When a mom herself fails or forgets to pat her back for a job well done, breastfeeding takes over. It has the power to turn exhaustion into rest, allows a mom to fill her love tank again, and gives her the push to move and look forward to another beautiful day.