Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mama Bean thanks the other Mamas for the happy afternoon

We went to a breastfeeding clinic today, which is a terribly clinic-al name for it. The public health nurses host them every week in a few communities around the city. A PHN called me shortly after Bean's birth and sent me info about them, but I didn't really prioritize it. Mostly because, in the beginning, while breastfeeding was in fact a struggle, it was so much so that the idea of trundling him out and being around other humans felt impossible. And then, when we got a handle on the feeding, I didn't think I needed a clinic. See, it's a terrible name!

What really happens is a bunch of mom and babies hang out and chat. Babies get weighed, we sit in a circle, each mom introduces herself and her creature, and answers some theme-question from the PHN, and can ask any questions she's having (about breastfeeding, or otherwise), and everyone else puts in their two cents worth. It's very Friendly and Community and Enlightening. I am not the only one who wonders about the razor-nails! Lots of moms have one superboob which produces more milk than the other! Mastitis is wicked painful - thank goodness we haven't dealt with that particular battle yet!

I was pretty nervous about going. I'm not the best with new social situations, especially one centred around this mom-world in which I am still such a total n00b. I was scared of being judged. It was silly.

It was actually very interesting to see all the different moms. I was invited by a Big Momma (thanks, L!*) and this name has nothing to do with their physical size. These Mommas are all about big smiles, and big hearts. They are community minders - they Initiate. Initiate introductions, and conversations, and helping. This group has several Big Mommas, and they also have some of the older babies (6 months, and up) so they have lots of good experience and advice. Then there are mama-citas, little moms of little babies (seven weeks old!) and they look just as I imagine I would have looked like if I had braved such a meeting with seven week old Bean. I just wanted to smile and reassure them. Hug them. I needed hugs, during those Delirious Early Days. Some of the moms seemed like they're from California, tall and tan with smiling cherubim. I covet their jeans (and genes, the skinny ones!)

In all, a successful outing. And good advice for ditching the nipple shield, adding another feeding to help weight gain, and using chunky necklaces to distract from the clawing hands of razor-nicking.

*I didn't go to the group in my community, because I knew at this group, I would already know somebody. That was very good. I don't mind the extra drive.

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