Thursday, 13 September 2012
Are you Stressing about Re-lactation?
On my many hours reading websites, forums and personal blogs that other women have written about their experiences, feelings and hopes on ANR, the subject of lactation (or re-lactation) has come up so often that I feel I need to throw my thoughts into the ring. Let's be clear - we're all different and we all have very different expectations of ANR, so whatever I say, I don't mean to offend anyone, nor am I passing judgements or criticisms.
Re-lactation is a complicated subject, and I am definitely not an expert. All I can say is that re-lactation involves psychological, emotional and physiological issues, and that gets all very complicated.
Like everything in life, some things come easy to some women, and others struggle for years. Whether its finding a partner, having a baby or getting a job, it just feels like some women have it all and others never seem to get it right. And so it is with lactation and re-lactation. Some of us will have milky breasts right from go, and others will take a concotion of hormones and medicines, will pump and massage regularly only to be disappointed over and over.
What I'd like to say to all women out there, and to their partners, is to remember that ANR is a journey of a lifetime, to be enjoyed and cherished. I believe the whole goal of ANR is to bring a husband and wife (or partner) even closer, both physically and emotionally, to build a bridge of intimacy that the stresses of everyday life cannot destroy. The nature of adult breastfeeding, the act of holding your husband to your bare breast, of feeding him your nipple, of submitting yourself to his desires and to your desires - each day, every day, sometimes three times or four times a day - is the journey. Whether your breasts produce milk right away or whether it takes weeks, months or even years for the first drops to flow is irrelevant. It's not the milk that bonds, but the act of nursing. And to those who are struggling to produce milk, all I can say is don't start filling your body with medicines, hormones - take care of your health and your body, eat well, drink lots, exercise often; but also take care of your mind - don't stress, don't panic, just relax - and enjoy.
Here's a quote that speaks to me - I hope it brings all women who are in an ANR some peace.
Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.