Breastfeeding journey can be emotionally exhausting, ultimately rewarding

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Rosiya and her family recently relocated to Canada. Two weeks ago Rosiya gave birth to her second child at the IWK. She shares with us the importance of breastfeeding to her family.

“My name is Rosiya, I am a mom of two kids, a three year old and a newborn, we are a family of four. I blissfully and exclusively breastfed my first baby until 18 months and I plan to exclusively breastfeed my second baby as well. 

Breastfeeding, to me is a lifestyle. I chose to breastfeed my babies because it’s best for my way of living and it doesn’t require any pumping, cleaning and sterilizing! And personally, It’s the easiest, provides instant soothing and helps me bond better with my baby. 

My biggest support system is my husband, when exclusively breastfeeding, for instance, it can get hard sometimes especially at nights and the lack of sleep can take a mental toll, so having my husband change the baby, burp the baby after nursing really helped me. 

So having a reliable support system and evidence based resource/guide such as lactation consultant has been very helpful through this journey. 

My biggest breastfeeding challenge was getting over the mental/ psychological-emotional stress of it like how much is the baby getting, are they getting enough, why is the baby fussy or gassy, is it because of the food I ate etc., and like there’s a lot of mental weight to it. It was quite overwhelming and so I decided to trust my motherly instincts and go with it. 

When I started my breastfeeding journey, i struggled with finding reliable information/resources cause the advice I received from professionals varied from one to another. So I often felt alone and needed reliable and affordable information. 

Breastfeeding may not always be natural and can be a super emotional journey. Starting from the latching on to the milk coming in and continuing the journey can get emotionally exhausting but also very rewarding. 

Initially, from the constant cluster feeding the nipples can get quite sore and painful, I remember I wanted to quit and thoughts of supplementing with formula was high. People often talk about nipple cream/balm, silverette etc but the pain, it’s like unreal! The engorgement when the milk first comes in during 2nd/3rd day and how heavy and fuller the breast can get. These are all very normal and a part of learning. It’s the much nursing in the beginning that the baby and your body is getting used to it. Being consistent with it and knowing that you are giving your baby the best you could, it’s all completely worth it.”

National Breastfeeding Week is October 1-7, 2022