Image: Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz
Breastfeeding a newborn:
"Ohhh, nothing of more comfort than mum, hey? Do you need some water beside you?"
Breastfeeding a toddler:
"Oh, she's just doing that for comfort."
*preschooler yells for a snack and rips a book, washing sits wet in the basket, dinner burns, kind of need to go to the toilet, start walking around with toddler attached doing things one-handed, world implodes*
I was standing in front of Parliament House in Canberra in February of this year.
It was early in the morning and my teeth were chattering from the nerves and the cold. My alarm went off at 5am but I hadn’t slept. I’d breastfed and soothed a 12 month old through the night. I was due to be on live TV any moment. I was in Canberra after being selected as a Trailblazer as part of the ABC Heywire program. It was already an epic adventure - and to have this opportunity to talk about The Postnatal Project on primetime TV was massive.
I am passionate about breastfeeding and feel strongly that breastmilk matters – no matter how long or how much – it matters and is important for both mother and baby.
I am not an advocate of breast is best – but nor am I an advocate for fed is best (I dislike the term immensely, actually). Informed is best.
Since reaching this point in my journey, I’ve realised that I’ve soldiered through many ailments. And I never decide to give up on living because I have the common cold nor does anyone suggest it – so why should I give up on breastfeeding if I suffer a breastfeeding related complaint? It is my hope that people reading this do not feel sympathy but empathy – and see that strength can be found within. Your breastfeeding goals matter, your journey matters and the support you receive matters.