Willow Magazine CREATING LIFE - Page 88

Relactation is the interrelated two part process of breastfeeding, which involves 1) re-establishing a milk supply and 2) getting baby back to breast after having paused or ceased breastfeeding altogether. It is little known that this is a possibility. As a first time mother I had this vague unsubstantiated idea that my breast milk supply was finite. When breastfeeding and parenting challenges arose, as they tend to do, my abundant supply took a dive, I catastrophised the event and assumed it was a downhill slope to an infinite drought. I began a pumping routine and started taking some supplements to reinvigorate a seemingly dwindling supply. I carried on like this for months, but slowly withdrew as it felt like an insurmountable problem. Retrospectively I didn’t have the knowledge about how lactation actually works.

I hadn’t yet come across the Milk Meg’s memes to understand that my pumping output was not an indication of my supply. Nor did I know that giving something other than my own breast milk could diminish my milk production. Through the looking glass of perfect hindsight, I now know my child’s upper lip tie together with suspected food intolerances and my un-enlightened attempts at “sleep training” also played a part in the drama that unfolded in our breastfeeding story. The mirror of hindsight can be both a blessing and curse. I saw my errors, but couldn’t change them, and felt an impermeable guilt for failing to give him what I consider the biologically superior nutrition, hydration, immune benefits and comfort that breastfeeding provides. However, this failure to exclusively breastfeed for my goal of 12 months empowered and motivated me to create a successful breastfeeding experience with my second honey-child.

IMAGE CREDIT: Captivated Photography

She desires that natural connected space of being one with her baby, desiring not just to feed her baby, because she knows the act is much more than a mode of meal delivery.

IMAGE CREDIT: Womb Warrior

Angela Gallo