Breastfeeding; Any Parent’s Proud Accomplishment

marinel breastfeeding

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Zaymarí, I couldn’t help to feel overwhelmed but excited at the same time because it meant I can set goals as a parent, for example: having a natural vaginal birth, breastfeed for at least a year, becoming more organized with the baby’s things, among many others. Having my first baby meant that my life was going to change and for the better. It was my opportunity to raise one of my own and make decisions that for the first time didn’t require MY parent’s permission. And so, I did it! I had a natural vaginal birth at age 19, giving birth to a 8 lb 10oz baby. Amazed until this day that I did it which was in no way easy but it was something my heart desired to experience and with the help of my family members in the room, my husband, my wonderful midwife, and the nurses, I was able to do so. But that was only the beginning…

I would have to say that thus far, my greatest accomplishment as a parent is having breastfed my daughter for 11 months exclusively and a year and half of weaning. The peer pressure I had to supplement was one of the biggest challenges I had to face while breastfeeding; Coming from a family that believes that a baby only cries because she/he did not have a satisfying feed. But guess what… I taught both them and myself a lesson. I helped them understand that a breastfeeding is normal, takes time, patience, and I was perfectly able to nourish my daughter without the help of formula. And taught myself to never give up and to listen to my heart and my desires as an individual and in this case, parent. I cried many times because I began to believe I couldn’t do it when my daughter wanted to nurse two times in an hour, when she had nights in which she couldn’t sleep and the only thing that comforted her was nursing or when my breast felt so empty at times and I had a crying baby to feed. I didn’t have a CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor) to call or someone with experience to help me and support me in that way… I had to find the courage and strength from within and I became my own CLC (no pun intended since now I am one lol).  I am grateful for those that did support and respected my decision like my husband and my mom did; they were a great part of my motivation to keep going. Now, everyone’s proud of me and they talk about it all the time how I was able to breastfeed for so long. My cousins look at me as an example of resiliencE and perseverance and now I am able to help them reach their breastfeeding goals.

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