11 Jul 2018

Maybe we’ve missed the boat.

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Healthcare workers teach about breastfeeding using the information they know already. Most of this is about the benefits to babies’ and mothers’ health, now and in the future.

Maybe that isn’t helpful. Evidence about benefits is a foundation for our work, a reason supporting what we do and justifying our salaries,  but maybe it ignores some aspects about breastfeeding, particularly about the experience.

My children are grown now; I sometimes question my mothering, wondering,  “did I do the right thing?” Some memories of their childhoods are painful, and I have regrets about my mistakes.  I never doubt  the value of our time spent breastfeeding. I always feel good about those years, and their memory will stay with me forever.

Breastfeeding was something unique, that only I could give to them, more valuable than anything I could buy, and better than any substitute made in a factory. Truly, food from the heart. Even when babies are breastfed by a mother who is using a tube taped to her breast and milk from another source, that closeness can not be achieved in any other way.

Even when babies can only be breastfed twice a day by a mother who is back to work too soon after giving birth, that warmth, that special time, is remembered with love and pride.

Maybe this is what our clients need to hear.

3 month old Nana BF

 

 

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