Breastfeeding. One of the most strange and hard to imagine parts of becoming a mother. When I had my daughter Ana, I knew I was going to give it the old honest effort and hope for the best. I had never witnessed anyone breastfeed- that I could recall.. and I heard mother after mother tell me that they didn’t do it for a slew of reasons and circumstances.. but knowing that “breast is best” for baby was enough for me to give it a go.
It took some coaxing to get a sleepy newborn Analeigh to decide to latch and stay latched after she was born, but once she had her first meal and drifted to sleep on my chest, I knew that I would breast feed for as long as I could possibly muster. I just felt such a strong bond to her immediately and knew I was fulfilling her most basic needs in the way only a mother can. It was not an easy road, with many, MANY trips and calls to the lactation consultants to make sure she was getting enough and to figure out that her fussiness was caused by a number of different things I was doing, eating or had nothing to do with.. It was a hard-fought battle and in the end, Ana had 6 months at the breast, followed by another 6 months of pumped breast milk with only sporadic need for formula supplementation.
I have never felt more confidence and pride in my life than I feel over the victory I won in breastfeeding. It is WORK and it is NOT always easy.. but it was 100% worth it for us. I am an advocate for seeking support in your journey to motherhood, and that includes support in breastfeeding.. because support is the #1 factor in my success. Tim was all for it and so was his family, never making me feel shunned to another room to feed the baby, I quickly got comfortable with nursing in front of people and not feeling like what I was doing was “weird” or “gross”. Meeting the needs of your child is neither of these things.
I tell you all of this, in order to tell you about Esali Birth. Esali is Danielle Bergum’s childbirth education courses (online and locally in the Mid Ohio Valley) Danielle is as passionate as anyone I know about childbirth and breastfeeding and from those I know who took her courses, she is all inclusively teaching what birth can look like to a empowered mother. I believe knowledge is power and pregnant moms need all the power they can have to have the birth and post partum they are dreaming of.
So if you are pregnant or nursing and need education or help, contact Esali Birth, or stop by the Breastfeeding Cafe that is held the 4th Saturday of the Month at First United Methodist Church on Juliana St. in Parkersburg.Casual, comfortable, supportive women offering quality education and personal stories of success, difficulties, motivation, and everything in between. I shot this little video to give you an idea of what happens at the cafe.. just lots of casual conversation, support, q&a.. great stuff with people who have been there, or are there now!
Coming up on Mother’s Day, May 13th, is the Esali World Breastfeeding Week Mother’s Day 5k walk/run and Kid’s races on the scenic Ohio River. All proceeds benefit Breastfeeding Education & Awareness in the MOV and around the world through organizations such as The Best for Babes Foundation & La Leche League. When Danielle asked about sponsors, I was all over it, so one of the prizes you can win at the event is a session with me! If you would like to read more information or sign up – go to this webpage