Can I Really Prepare for motherhood?
Coming into parenting I prepared in all the ways I was told to. I bought a crib to furnish my nursery, I registered for baby-proofing equipment to make my house safe, and I took a prenatal class that taught me about birth (and not much beyond). I never questioned that I would breastfeed- even though my canned response was that I would “try, and we’ll see what happens.”
What I wasn’t prepared for was the reality of breastfeeding – babies nurse HOW many times a day?! – and for the challenges that I would face: a crash cesarean section that delayed my milk coming in, and oral tethers that made latching painful and difficult. In the early days, I would cry through night feedings as I wondered what I was doing wrong, and how on earth I would get through the next day.
I was lucky though. I had the opportunity to work with a caring midwife, incredibly knowledgeable lactation consultants, and a supportive group of peers through La Leche League Canada. Day by day, I settled into the natural routine of nursing my baby. Breastfeeding became the best part of my day. My enthusiasm grew as I found my way into the ever-growing community of nursing parents, a community I found to be incredibly loving and supportive.
Long conversations over shared struggles and triumphs led me to a local shop, where a mum was seeking to fill the need for nursing accessible fashion. I was excited to discover that my bras didn’t have to look like someone’s grandmother’s, and I didn’t have to live my whole life in button-up flannels.
My parenting style is best described as “busy” (whose isn’t?) and most days I’m running from playgroups to coffee dates, to dinners out. I don’t have the time to hide in my car to breastfeed, and as much as I embrace my Mom Bod, I don’t always want to have my stomach fully exposed in the mall food court. Dresses and sweaters with concealed zippers or flaps allow me to feed my son on the go, while also enjoying fashion trends and staying true to my personal sense of style.
I am so excited for the future of feeding friendly fashion as breastfeeding becomes more mainstream. I remain hopeful that this push towards natural infant nutrition will lead to easily accessible resources for new parents, so that everyone who chooses nursing can know the joy it brings from day one.
By Katryna Uren