To be a teen mom In 2015 means it is more convenient than ever to breast feed. America has put breastfeeding through the ringer and history tells of many agendas or cultural norms that dictated whether or not a woman nursed her newborn baby. I myself was fortunate to give birth as a teen mom during a time when nursing was encouraged in the delivery room. I was actually really uncomfortable breastfeeding as a teen. I was feeling very humiliated about being pregnant. I really didn’t understand much about what I was going through. My body was still foreign to me, in so many ways. How could I share my breasts with my new baby? It scared me and made me uncomfortable in a way I just wanted to run from. I was selfish and brand new to motherhood. Yet when my son was born and the attending nurse prompted me to try breastfeeding for the first time, I didn’t resist. I had been told how important a mother’s breast milk is to a newborn. I knew that even if I only nursed for days, it was greatly beneficial for my son’s immunity. So I yielded. I nursed my son the best I could for about a month. Unfortunately, that first lesson I received in the delivery room was the only one. Once home I never developed the technique of a good latch. Healthy newborn babies have what I call the death grip latch. It is intense and you have to understand how to properly latch your baby to your breast. If not, the pain can be unbearable. That was my experience. I nursed, but when I experienced pain I gave up. I was planning on continuing my education after I had my son. I was due to return to high school 5 weeks after giving birth. This in itself was stressful. As a teen mom I had the option of nursing my baby at school. I would be called out of a class to nurse as my baby required. My high school had a teen mom program for girls like myself. They made it possible for mom and baby to be on location together for different parts of the day and cared for by childcare professionals the rest of the time. Girls could get a high school diploma even though they were going through pregnancy and motherhood. Me, personally, I could not handle the embarrassment. I was so awkward as a teen mom breastfeeding,
but I really want young moms NOT to feel the way I felt at 16!
I say this because breastfeeding is such a profoundly beautiful experience. To be snuggled together as mom and baby; warm, soft, perfect. Your body makes the perfect food for your newborn! It’s as supernatural as the baby forming within you. You should continue to be healthy and exercise and take vitamins and watch your weight – just as you did when pregnant. This means sacrifice, but it is sacrifice you will be most glad you made. Especially as you watch your child grow into a healthy, secure being – you will treasure the time you spent breastfeeding.
I have since had the privilege of nursing all 7 of my babies, the longest time frame being 18 months. As with my first, I have transitioned to formula with some at different points when I could no longer breastfeed. I also simply supplemented a meal for the luxury of having a break due to exhaustion. (Sometimes my teething babies would prefer to stay latched on for hours to comfort there growing mouths) As with every aspect of your mothering, do not allow people to shame you for however you choose to feed your child. I strongly recommend joining a Le Leche League support group in your neighborhood. You can attend during your pregnancy to build friendships and a support system before you give birth. This was one of my favorite experiences as a mother! I will always treasure the time I spent with other breastfeeding mammas, It was that awesome! Breastfeeding rocks! Go for it! #teenmom #pleasingabba