Breastfeeding Time. Bonding Time.
Breastfeeding had always looked easy to me. I thought that all I would have to do was to carefully guide my breast through my hungry baby’s lips and everything else will naturally fall into place. But boy, was I wrong!
In those first few days breastfeeding felt like one hard course that needed cracking. It was so hard that I actually began to wish I had taken all those antenatal classes a bit more seriously.
What even made matters worse were all the concerned ‘aunties’ and ‘mommies’ who stood close by, observing my every move. Each, with a different opinion on how breastfeeding should be done, was always quick to jump in whenever she felt I was doing ‘it’ wrong. Come on, where was my privacy in all this? Besides I honestly just wished that they would allow my baby and I learn the ‘art’ our own way.
Now fastforward to when finally, after many failed attempts, we eventually got ‘it’ right. Kind of, that is!!! You see, even though my baby was now sucking with ease, I was suffering from these terrible sore nipples which were the result of him partially biting into and sucking at my nipples. This technique of his turned out to be quite painful on me but good enough, after a little more practice, he finally learnt how to take in the required ‘mouthful’. So thankfully, breastfeeding no longer made me wince in pain. We had both finally turned pro at the ‘art’.
However, even though we had both mastered the art of breastfeeding, one of its key essence…BONDING…was lost on me during the whole learning process. Let me explain a little…
At the beginning I was too busy ‘wondering’ to actually give any serious thought to the fact that breastfeeding was not only about feeding but bonding as well. You see, I wondered if I was doing ‘it’ right. I wondered if ‘anything’ was coming out at all. I wondered if my baby was getting ‘enough’. I wondered about so many things and it was only natural for all my wonderings to quickly give way to worrying.
Next, when my fears went unconfirmed I got so busy complaining about my sore nipples that I often missed out on my baby’s piercing stares.
Then finally, the sores thankfully disappeared and I became such a pro at breastfeeding that multitasking became the order of the day. I could do just about anything as I breastfed…I watched TV, I ate, I read, I worked, I gisted, I walked…I did just enough to keep me from noticing my baby’s clutch on my breast and his cling on my blouse and his wriggles in my laps and his playful jerks on my trunk and his firm grip around my finger.
Yes, I did just enough to miss his round, brown eyes studying and memorizing every angle and curve unique to my face. Several times, I failed to see his attempts at mimicking my different facial expressions which were triggered by whatever mood I was in. I actually missed several of those special moments when his lips gave way to lopsided upward curves. But worst of all, I missed watching my baby fall in love with me.
What was your own breastfeeding experience like? Was it all about the feeding? Or was it a time for you and baby to do some serious bonding? Please, do share your own story with us in our comment box below…
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