I have always been fascinated by breastfeeding and am so happy to be able to experience it now with our little Nailah. In this post I am sharing my breastfeeding experience, what it means to me and how I am using breastfeeding not only to bond with our Nailah but to practice self-care as well.
The first time I breastfed Nailah was just a few minutes after she was born. It was such a beautiful and special moment. I remember it exactly: Nailah latched on and looked at me with her beautiful big eyes while bringing her hands together moving her little wrinkly fingers.
Throughout my pregnancy I had heard so many negative breastfeeding stories, but had always told myself that I would want to experience breastfeeding myself. I was somehow always worried I would not produce milk so I thought that I would be absolutely thankful if I would be able to produce milk and nurture my baby that way. I actually applied this attitude of focusing on positive and empowering stories and allowing myself to experience every step myself without any negativity throughout my entire pregnancy. This attitude has served me so much. Our attitude influences our experience. If we nurture our mind with fear and worries our body reacts accordingly. This is true in all areas of life including pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. If a mom is experiencing a lot of worries and fear the milk production can be inhibited or the milk might transfer nervousness to the baby. I believe that keeping a positive attitude positively influences the breastfeeding experience. A positive attitude does not necessarily prevent pain to happen during breastfeeding but it helps in dealing with the pain.
When Nailah was about a week old I noticed that it started to be slightly painful when Nailah was eating. Luckily a friend of mine had provided me with a bunch of nipple balms and pads and told me that I should use them as soon as I would feel the slightest soreness. This was an amazing advice. I am a person that would just keep going thinking that it is not that painful until it gets very painful and that is not a good idea at all when breastfeeding. I took my friend’s advice serious and immediately applied the balm she had given me for the next couple of days. It really is useful to have natural products, for example The Honest Company‘s Nipple Balm at home from the beginning on to sooth the nipple. I always make sure to buy natural organic products, as this is best both for our baby and me. The soreness did not turn into strong pain and disappeared within a few days. Since then I have been having such a beautiful experience breastfeeding.
During my pregnancy I read a lot about the physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding both for moms and babies. Now I myself am lucky enough to experience them. The physical closeness during breastfeeding creates an amazing opportunity to bond with Nailah. When she looks into my eyes while nursing I can’t help but fall in love more and more. I however, have discovered another amazing benefit: a moment to practice self- care through mindfulness and meditation. In one of my Instagram posts I have shared that since my last weeks of pregnancy it is difficult for me to just sit down and meditate, but I think that since Nailah was born I have meditated more than every before in my life. During the first two weeks almost every time I breastfeed Nailah it was a deep meditation. Today every day life has resumed and I am not as focused every time I breastfeed Nailah. At times I catch myself using the phone when breastfeeding but then I remind myself to put the phone down and use the opportunity to connect with Nailah and myself. During breastfeeding my mind is calm and I am so concentrated and focused. It allows me to relax and wind down at least once a day.
I am very thankful to be having such a positive breastfeeding experience, to be able to nurture our little girl and for having discovered breastfeeding also as an opportunity to take care of myself.