Mayra Buitron and Flor (22 months)
Breastfeeding takes a duo. Thus, in 2009, our journey began.
I became a mother when I had my son, Germán Iván, at the tender age of seventeen. As soon as his little body was in my arms, my offering of the breast to him came instinctively. His latching on to it with no difficulty signaled hope for the strongest of bonds.
Unfortunately, our bond was disrupted due to him developing a severe form of jaundice. I left the hospital while he stayed to receive phototherapy treatment. Not only did my heart hurt, but also my breasts which had milk coming in. I visited him for the next couple of days, attempting to pump every bit of milk I had and leaving it to him. I was led to believe it wasn’t enough.
I started supplementing with formula and fed him from the breast when I visited. I felt it was almost expected from medical staff that young moms don’t even bother to try breastfeeding, so they don’t bother to encourage you. Therefore, my milk supply suffered.
When he finally came home, I found it within myself to get my supply back for the sake of my son. At two months old I was still supplementing. I started a job and leaned on pumping to feed my baby while I was away.
Eventually we said goodbye to the formula and it was blissful nursing from then on, except for being looked down upon for being a young mom and the looks we received until the very end of or journey, 2.5 years, unnecessary to a few.
Our journey ended when he could utter the words “no more”. However, the byproduct remains, an unconditional bond that provided more than just nutrients. It provided love, comfort and calm that will forever stay within this human being I have the pleasure of calling son. It is because of him I learned that mothering, like breastfeeding, come so naturally when you do it from the heart.
In 2013 came a long a little lady, Flor Milena. Besides a case of mastitis and a few episodes of cracked nipples, our journey has being rather joyful. She will be turning two in June and we have no stopping date on the horizon. Our image portrays that profound mutual look we share every time she’s nursing. I look at it and see beyond my postpartum body to reveal my biggest lesson: breastfeeding can be a magical experience.
As a single working mother (reporter, blogger) I emphasize on our journeys being the works of a duo. My children have always been the inspiration of my life, even during this precious period. However, I am also thankful for the support from my family. Sometimes mommy’s milk in a bottle is a also a way to nurture baby’s bond with other people such as grandma.
Five years of breastfeeding has led me to believe that nursing is the synonym of empowerment. Both child and mother grow through this experience and it truly is what you make of it. I’ve learned that the heart truly does overcome and is capable of all. So on I will go with my mantra, “keep nurturing from the heart”, in other words, feeding from the breast.