Guest Post by Laura Grafton-Adams, Part 1
The first thing I discovered about breastfeeding was that it is one major roller coaster ride. It is messy at times, stressful and fun. One moment it can be painful, and the next leave you wondering how a moment could be so perfect. As I began my own personal breastfeeding journey, I very quickly found that it is a journey one cannot travel alone.
I count myself as of the fortunate ones, born into a family where breastfeeding is the tradition. I was breastfed long enough that I have memories of tandem feeding with my little brother and remember watching my mom breastfeed my little sister. I was also fortunate that my mother was able to take the first weeks off after I had my son to help hold my hand through the rapid ups and downs, especially during the first week.
So the real bumps in my journey didn’t start until later on. When they came I was unfortunate to have a problem that our society doesn’t see as being a problem at all: I discovered that I had what is referred to as OverActive Milk (OAM) issues.
We live in a social climate where breastfeeding is not the norm. Generally, the only issue you hear about is undersupply. This makes my problem seem trivial, perhaps like the child who goes into the kitchen wanting a cookie and says there is nothing to eat because the only things they see are vegetables. But in my case, the issue had real consequences to my life: overactive letdown that would literally spray the person eating at the table next to me at an EnRoute stop; coupled with an oversupply which meant I could likely feed a set of quadruplets.
The trouble with overactive milk issues is finding support so you don’t feel like you’re standing alone on an island with rescue ships refusing to land as you don’t ‘really have a proWho’s along for the ride? The roller coaster of early motherhood.blem.’ Like many other realities of being a parent, it’s about finding the village of people around you who are willing to see the problem and are able to help you with it.
I found this sense of community when I discovered Maria and her team at The Birthing Space and was introduced to the Gentle Guidance KWC Facebook group. I found a sea of women who were like me. I hope my story of turning too much into just right and other bumps on the parenthood roller coaster will help you to find your village and discover the support you need to make it a smoother ride.
Laura is the mother of one rambunctious little boy, who writes from Kitchener, ON. She has worked through OAM and other breastfeeding problems by leaning on her village and now wants to share her solutions in the best way she knows how, by writing them down. She loves to write, especially in the moments of peace that nap times provide. Stay tuned for Parts 2& 3!