Supporting a Life: “Double edged sword”

Written by: Arianna Davis 2023 BMBFA Mommy Ambassador

Imagine being a person’s lifeline. Where your body literally feeds another. That’s what breastfeeding is like for me. It is empowering for me to know I am my son’s food supply. My journey of breastfeeding began before my son was born. I wanted to be as informed as possible because I feared having breastfeeding issues or being one of the women who can’t produce milk. I had my supporters, and that included BMBFA.

Within 5 minutes of being born, my son latched with the help of a nurse and my doula, it was an experience of its own. What I did not expect was the negative emotions that came with breastfeeding. It felt like a double edged sword: While my son was gaining the nourishment he needed, I was feeling drained. I had heard so much about breastfeeding being better for your mental health so I expected at minimum to feel decent. While I had heard that breastfeeding was great and rarely heard any negatives, there is one instance of few that I heard it was better for a particular person’s health to not breastfeed. I did not ask this woman how breastfeeding was bad for her mental health and I did not do research either, but I later learned negative experiences could include sex life, the time it takes away from other activities, history of abuse, or even negative feelings unexplained.

Talking to other women and paying attention to the women who have shared their stories, whether it was discontinuing breastfeeding or pushing through helped me realize this feeling was not new to motherhood and it’s ok to do what’s best for me.

As I struggled through my negative emotions during breastfeeding I decided to push through. I knew that those feelings wouldn’t last forever and that it was a moment I was facing to nourish my son in the way that I desire. After maintaining and building relationships while talking about those feelings I am at a point of no longer having a surge of negative emotions while feeding, and currently at 7 months postpartum, I will continue to breastfeed.

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