Last week I attended the much anticipated, Lactation Counselor training through Healthy Children’s Project. I grew up in a household where breastfeeding was the norm. Being the youngest I never witnessed my mom breastfeed in person, but thanks to the hundreds of home-movies taken during my infancy, and early toddler years, I have seen the effortlessness that breastfeeding was for my mom.
I never thought much about these glimpses I had into breastfeeding, until I took the CLC training. In the training I realized, not necessarily for the first time, how lucky I am to have seen breastfeeding, not only through home-movies, but also in person, via my moms many friends- some of whom she met at La Leche League. These women openly fed their babies in front of all the children, their own and their friends kin. I realize now, again not for the first time that many children, boys and girls never see breastfeeding, either because their moms, and moms friends didn’t breastfeed, or because breastfeeding was done behind closed doors. Seeing my mom and her friends’ breastfeed normalized breastfeeding for all of us older children. But, what it didn’t do was prepare me for the difficulties so many women face when they decide to breastfeed.
The video that comes to mind is of my first birthday. My mom is on the floor and I’m crawling around, and then I’m on her lap, where I simply reach up, and with little adjustment on my moms part, begin to breastfeed. There is no change on her expression; she continues to talk to her friends. This is what I saw, and without the CLC training I wouldn’t know that breastfeeding can be hard, and that women can face a myriad of challenges.
…Now I just have to wait 8 long weeks to find out if I passed the CLC exam.