The decision to breastfeed your baby is a substantial one, chock-full of commitment, unknowns, and sacrifice. Learning curves and obstacles are near guarantees for the breastfeeding mama, even if they are minor or quickly worked through.
A successful breastfeeding journey is dependent on many things, but largely built on resolve. Resolve to keep going when you’d rather quit.
Ongoing sleep deprivation, a bout with mastitis, unrealistic expectations, worry over supply issues, pain and discomfort - these are just a few examples of scenarios that routinely take down a nursing relationship.
Determining from the outset what your WHY is will power you through those difficult moments and keep you focused on your primary goal.
So, give this serious thought and consideration: Why are you choosing to breastfeed?
Or, even better: Why are YOU choosing to breastfeed?
The emphasis matters because nursing is an incredibly personal choice.
First, what’s your general Why? Why breastfeed at all? Why do you believe it’s important universally?
Now let’s get personal - drill it down to why it is important to YOU specifically.
Maybe it’s for simplicity or convenience? Nutrition? Financial? Bonding? Benefits to you such as weight loss or lowered risk of cancer? Maybe you see it as a challenge to conquer? Following in the footsteps of someone you admire? Is it simply how you pictured your motherhood?
These are just examples to get you started; I couldn’t possibly attempt to write an exhaustive list of all the reasons women choose to breastfeed, so it’s quite possible yours is something else entirely.
More than likely, you will end up with a merging of several reasons why you choose to nurse.
It probably won’t be the same conclusion your sister or best friend came to for themselves. And that’s a good thing. It should be personal to you. The more specifically and uniquely you can articulate your purpose, the more impactful it will be you when you speak it back to yourself.
Please remember this: your why does not have to be explained to anyone, nor does it have to be approved by anyone.
Once you have your WHY, I want you to grab your phone and 3 scraps of paper.
First, write this on all three pieces of paper: “Choosing to breastfeed (child’s name) is important to me because __________________________. This is my WHY.”
Tape one of these to your breast pump. One to the fridge. One to your nightstand.
Then grab your phone and text your most breastfeeding-supportive friend and tell her your why. Ask her to remind you of your own words when you’re having a hard day or want to give up.
The physical act of writing and hanging your WHY is powerful - please don’t skip this step! You can be your biggest critic or cheerleader - and I’m determined to make you the latter. (There is more than enough criticism out there already trying to derail you).
You can revisit your why whenever you feel the need:
The 2am feed that feels like it’ll never end.
Mid-day pumping session at work when you’d rather be doing anything else.
Evening cluster feeds before bedtime.
When you feel confined by the imaginary short leash connecting you and your baby.
Look back on your scrap of paper and let your WHY drive you, encourage you, and motivate you to face hurdles head on. Let it remind you that it’s more than okay to seek help when needed. Let it be a powerful prompt that your breastfeeding relationship is worth the fight.
Because it is.
Here at Wyatt’s Maternity, we are committed to walking alongside you on your breastfeeding journey, and that all begins with ordering your insurance-covered breast pump! Click here to fill out our form, and then keep coming back for resources, support, and encouragement. Please Contact Us if you have any questions!