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Breastfeeding Stories part 1: the power of breastfeeding to empower you

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

I am a breastfeeding mother. I have not breastfed for 2.5 years now, but forever that is what I will be. This is the way I chose and fought for and I can 100% say it has saved me and my sanity. And I miss it terribly :(

Selfie breastfeeding
mother breastfeeding baby

Between having my two girls (and also before and after) I suffered miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy. Miscarriage is not a fun thing to go through at any stage of life or pregnancy, but the damage that the ectopic did to my body and soul was far greater. It was like a bad restart button was pressed and everything I knew about myself and my body completely changed.

But one thing stayed constant and comforting, and that was my ability to breastfeed my daughter.

I remember the moment she came to visit me at the hospital, and the joy of being able to breastfeed her and get that immediate connection and some amount of control of my body. It took me long time to recuperate enough (mentally and physically) to be able to

sisters embrace
My girls a couple of years ago

conceive my second daughter, and all this time I couldn't understand what was going on with my body; I developed allergies and autoimmune reactions that I never had. It was tough and I am still on a healing journey 6.5 years on. All this time, being able to breastfeed was literally the only form of control I had about my body was doing. This story of experiencing breastfeeding as an empowering tool to regain control on one's body was told to me again and again by other breastfeeding mothers. Some of them healed traumas of bad birth experience, some of them found it empowering to be able to use their bodies to nourish and heal their babies, after hating it for most of their lives. Yes! Breastfeeding is an amazing tool to help you get over body image issued and traumas of eating disorders.

So I would like to give the stage to those amazing women and let them tell their stories:

Artistic portrait of a breastfeeding mother
Anna and baby

Anna: I don’t think I ever expected to feel as strongly about breastfeeding as I do. I always wanted to breastfeed but knew it would be challenging. However as soon as my first son, Isaac, was born it just felt like completely the right thing to do and what I should be doing. I loved how natural it felt and how it bonded us. I didn’t however have an easy ride.

Breastfeeding mother looking straight to the camera
Anna and baby

I had bad mastitis that wasn’t properly treated and turned into a breast abscess. This had to be drained surgically, not just once but twice as it refilled after the first time! Despite this I continued to exclusively breastfeeding throughout. Unfortunately I also developed severe postnatal depression. In some ways I think breastfeeding is what actually kept me going in my darkest days. I know it often felt like it was the only thing I was doing right for my baby. Sadly I became so unwell that me and Isaac ended up being admitted to hospital. Eventually as the initial treatments weren’t helping I was forced to stop breastfeeding at 7 and a half months so I could change medication. I was completely devastated as I wasn’t ready to stop at all and I felt awful putting Isaac through it as he refused the bottle. So having number 2 obviously was filled with some anxiety given what happened last time! But I was always sure I wanted to breastfeed again. I had lots of people question whether that was the “right” thing for me.

Breastfeeding mother looking at her baby with love
Anna and Ernest

Whether I should choose to bottle feed to make it “easier” or just in case I had to go back on that medication. But I knew that was what I wanted and needed to do. As soon as my second son, Ernest, was born and latched on, I knew I was right. I’ve had a much easier ride this time, he has always fed happily and I’m so happy feeding him. I feel only pride that I am able to provide all the nourishment and comfort he requires from my body. And I only have to look down at him feeding to feel my heart swell and to know that this is completely the right thing. Not just for him, but for both of us. And I hope this time to keep feeding until we have a more natural ending.

I feel like your photos captured the essence of how I feel about breastfeeding Ernie. They’re so relaxed and natural. There’s no shame there, only pride. But I also feel they really show an air of resilience and perhaps defiance even, that despite my journey I’m still here feeding my baby how I want to.

High angle view of mother breastfeeding her baby
Anna and Ernie

To be continued.... More stories will come soon...

To keep track of future dates of these photo events stay in touch on facebook and instagram.


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