I am a first generation breastfeeder, "the lone milk machine. In my family they say that Aiden is getting breastmilk instead of "regular milk." Yes, that’s right – "regular milk." Somehow, I thought that even though the women in my family did not choose to breastfeed, they would offer me support but that has not been the case.
When my mother sees there's no formula in the cupboard, she acts like I'm not giving my son something that he needs. Because we have a great relationship I feel like I can tell her when these things upset me and make me feel like I do not have support in the decision to breastfeed. I get similar comments from the other women in my family as well and it is difficult because I know it is not intentional. I love these women and I just would love to be able to relate more with them on my parenting choices in general. That’s why when I recently learned that my grandmother breastfed five of her seven children (which I only recently learned about) but it made me feel so great! I am realizing more and more how important it is for me to interact with other women who have made the same choice as me.
I love reading posts by my fellow Bravado Breastfeeding Diaries Bloggers and reading all the comments readers have on our posts as well. The internet and social media have been such amazing sources of support for me in this whole experience. I have a few awesome friends who also nurse their babies and though I would LOVE to arrange more meet-ups with them, life is busy so we mostly touch base online (Facebook) or through BBM (Blackberry messenger).
My friend Quiana and I met at a pre-marital counseling group through our church when we were both engaged to be married. We bonded over wedding planning, marriage and then having our first babies. Quiana has an adorable 11-month-old and she has exclusively breastfed her since she was born. She has been there for me to talk pregnancy, breastfeeding, and all baby stuff since the beginning. We are very similar in that we really enjoy information and researching everything so when she shares something with me, I am confident that she is well informed about it.
My friend Tati goes to my church and she has two adorable children. She breastfed both and her husband Rich is very involved in that decision. They both talk to my husband and I about their decision to nurse and even supplemented with formula so I felt I could relate to them as well.
Finally, my friend Courtney and I met through our husbands; they were friends before we both came into the picture. She has a beautiful one year old and just weaned her after breastfeeding a whole year. I remember during the first weeks breastfeeding Aiden, Courtney sent me such an encouraging email and I since have read it and re-read it whenever I need a pick-me-up.
While I am not part of a formal group, I am grateful for my friends. I’ve learned how important it is for us as human beings to be in relationships with one another and how support can sometimes make all the difference.