In honour of Breastfeeding Awareness Week I was asked by the incredibly talented Durban photographer and breastfeeding mom herself, Tanya Jacobs to participate in a personal project she was working on and I jumped at the opportunity to not only share my journey to inspire others but to capture beautiful pictures of an amazing journey I have been taken on.
Since having my daughter, Maddison I haven’t shared a large part of what being a mom has meant to me – this being my breastfeeding journey. This post is dedicated to sharing these pics and my interview with her (which you can read here).
Before I had Maddie I had attended an antenatal course which briefly covered breastfeeding. I must be honest – I didn’t think much of it and only after I had heard how much formula can cost per month, I went home to my husband and told him WE HAVE TO BREASTFEED! Amongst the other long list of benefits the pressure to breastfeed, produce milk and have that perfect latch was ON!
Having my daughter has been a whirlwind of emotions! Becoming a mom has been the biggest blessing I could ever have dreamt of yet it has been the most challenging thing I have ever experienced!
If you had to ask me what has been the biggest challenge since becoming a parent I wouldn’t say lack of sleep (because she sleeps through), I wouldn’t say lack of ‘me time’ (cause my husband is amazing) – I would have to say the breastfeeding!
The truth is – the first couple of weeks, if not the first two months are really hard! With feeds every two or so hours that last up to 30 minutes, finding the perfect hold, getting use to holding the weight in your arms and then there are the growth spurts! I remember crying so hard during Maddie’s first growth spurt… my nipples felt like they were bleeding. I remember dreading my daughter waking up cause I knew she would want to feed and I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore.
She’s just over 20 weeks now and I am SO, SO proud to say, Maddison has been exclusively breast fed since day one! Today I look back at the challenge breastfeeding was and I smile… Because today I am so proud! I have never been so proud of myself and the capabilities of my body! It is amazing to know that a liquid substance my body makes (magically) is what is solely keeping my daughter alive, and not just alive but growing and thriving!
I think my motivation from wanting to breast changed the day my daughter first latched… there was so greater feeling than having my child so close to me, feeding from me and getting all the nutriance she needed from my body! I guess I was grossly naive before having her not knowing all the benefits not only for her but for me that came with breastfeeding.
I only recently realised how much I loved breastfeeding after I went back to work and was away from Maddie for a good couple of hours and fetched her, brought her home and fed her – it was in that nursing session that I realised what this journey has meant to me.
The truth is not everyone can breastfeed, for medical or lifestyle reasons and I am so blessed to have persevered and have established a milk supply that satisfies my daughter! My initial aim was to breast feed for three months, now it is six and then it will be for as long as she will want to nurse from mom!
If I could give new moms a piece of advice when it comes to breastfeeding is persevere! It gets better! Never stop feeding and / or pumping! The more milk you tell your body to make, the more you will make! The nutritional benefits of breast milk match no other! This was a huge motivator for me when I felt like giving up and pulling out the tin of formula! But the realisation that I had all that my daughter needed and more to give her THE BEST start in life that she could possibly have!
Dress by Bianca Warren
Finger and toe nails in Gelish and eyelash extensions done by Sorbet Gateway (Use my name as a reference when paying for any treatment and get a 10% discount) Book your treatment by calling – Gateway: 031 566 3208 | Granada: 031 561 2538.
Maddie is wearing a tutu by Schnooky Pie
Photographs by Tanya Jacobs Photography
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For collaborations email: email@example.com
YouTube: Monique Devilliers