Celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week

Despite coming from a family where women either didn't breastfeed, breastfed for a short period of time, or didn't share that they breastfed (I only recently found out I have a cousin who breastfed both of her children), I always knew I wanted to breastfeed and I knew I wanted to do it for at least a year. I had no true knowledge or understanding of it but when thinking of being a mother, it just felt right. Well I had my beautiful bundle of joy Feburary 6th of this year and our breastfeeding journey began. And it wasn't easy. I struggled with getting a good latch, my baby lost about 16% of her birth weight, and I was told I needed to supplement to get her weight up. At one point, about two weeks postpartum, I was at a crossroad. Either give up breastfeeding and go strictly to formula or stop supplementing and strive to exclusively breastfeed. With the support of my husband, mother, and mother-in-law, I had the encouragement I needed to push through with my choice to breastfeed. Five months in, I'm proud to say we're exclusively breastfeeding with no problems. Also while initially using a nipple shield and softshells (cups you wear between feedings), I'm happy to say while they served their purpose, I no longer need them. I know to some breastfeeding is just a way we feed our children but its so much more than that. You have this unique connection, you feel empowered because your body is supplying your child with what they need and for me personally, it strengthens my resolve as a mother. I'm useful. I'm needed. I am enough.

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