In the last two weeks, I’ve had two separate people contact me about breastfeeding. Running The Rahma Diaries has meant that I’m able to share my experiences instantly, especially on Facebook. This in turn means lots of people who I haven’t seen in years have been kept abreast (I couldn’t resist) events surrounding motherhood and all it entails. I was flattered when someone I knew from school contacted me to ask my advice about breastfeeding and how to make it work. She obviously never saw me crying on my bed, clasping a sore nipple and wondering if my baby was trying to kill me through my nipples.
But after the second correspondence, I thought, how did I make breastfeeding work? Was I some kind of natural when it came to the intricate dance of mother-daughter bonding? My Facebook statuses after the birth of Rahma certainly suggest otherwise. Was I just blessed with a baby with no tongue-tie or latch issues? Hardly. (There was no tongue-tie, Alhamdullilah, but latching was…interesting). Did it just happen for me? No, it most certainly did not. There was blood, sweat, tears and more tears; sometimes I was convinced I had cried tears of blood. But it worked and we are still going strong over a year later. Alhamdullilah, it worked. But how?
Here it is. I do hope you’re ready for this, because it’s epic and may change your whole outlook on breasts and breastfeeding. You’ll never look at your breasts the same way again. I hope you’re sitting down.
How to make breastfeeding work:
1. Marry a good man.
2. That is all. See above.
Without being obtuse, I genuinely think that’s what helped it work for me. There were obviously other factors, but ultimately, those would not have been successful, or in some cases, never have transpired had I not married a good man. I will elaborate on those other factors in a post soon, but looking back, the single most constant that made breastfeeding work for me was Abu Rahma, Rahma’s Dad.
Preganancy, labour, birth, postnatal bleeding, breastfeeding: these are all things associated with motherhood, but sometimes, there are a few good men who partake in all of this, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us in the battlefield. This post is dedicated to them: the unsung heroes in the trenches, not always on the front lines, but bringing up the rear, omnipresent, dependable, constant. We forget they were there sometimes, that they were present at all the battles, but we should remember them. Those unsung heroes, those who soldiered on with us, alongside us, behind us.
At the end of the war, after all the small battles have been conquered, we need to remind ourselves of these few good men; remind ourselves, lest we forget.