This is dedicated to Mothering Magazines “Blog about Breastfeeding” event.
Pregnancy is a time for strength. Birth is a time of surrender. Mothering becomes a time to ebb and flow between strength and surrender as if both energies are locked into an infinity symbol.
Strength is needed to care for your body and the baby. Surrender is needed to give yourself completely to a new life with a new being in it. Surrender to letting go of things that once seemed important and strength to adjust to whats is important now.
When you nurse your baby, surrender is necessary, but not the same type of surrender that was needed in labor. This surrender is letting go of all distractions and focusing in on you and your baby and the connection that is growing.
The first few weeks with your baby compares to meditating. When you meditate, you focus in on one sound, and when many thoughts come into your mind, you greet them and then send them on their way and go back to that one sound.
Be with your newborn the same as you sit with your meditation. You may think of a client you forgot to call or a dish that needs washed but to get the most out of this moment it would be best to focus in on the skin to skin contact, the breath being shared between mother and child, how that breath creates a movement between the two of you. Be present with this moment, be fully present. This moment passes so quickly and can never be recaptured. A dish can always be washed, a client can always be called but this moment when a being reaches the earth is a once in a life time moment. Literally. Everything is new for its little baby body, lots of adjusting for both mother and child.
For some mothers it may be overwhelming to care for such an important being. The exhaustion of labor and birth are overwhelming. The body has often maxed out all its reserves in the strength department. It may feel as if your baby is pulling more energy out of your body every time they nurse. More energy than you think you can spare.
When the baby latches on to your nipple to nurse it stimulates oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the uterus to contract. A contracted uterus is a good thing for a mother. It helps to stop the flow of blood coming from the uterus by squeezing the ends of blood vessels that once connected to the placenta. It also helps the uterus go back to it’s original size.
So you see the baby is helping you get your energy back. Think of it like this: The baby’s lips on your breast are like you plugging in your cell phone to recharge the phone. You may think you are the only one giving out the electricity juice but the baby is actually giving lots of juice back to you, contracting your uterus and giving you the ultimate energy, letting you receive all that baby love. No other love is purer than a baby new to this earth bringing all that fresh innocent love into your life.
Once again it all goes back to the infinity sign. The figure eight; one circle being the mother, the other the child. The baby is giving and receiving and the mother is giving and receiving. What a gift.