Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How My Breasts Saved the World

Much can be gathered from the fact that the only book I've been able to sit down and read consistently is about a woman's 'misadventures' in nursing.  Lisa Wood Shapiro wrote her memoir detailing the immersive nature of breastfeeding throughout her daughter's first year, and I absolutely love her for it.  I feel like her story is my story.  
Ok, not exactly, but it doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties inherent with attaching a starving, living wet vac to your chest for several hours a day.  She details how naive many new moms are about the trials of breastfeeding, the opinions she faced from her family, and her own preconceptions of nursing.   Unlike this other book I read, though, Shapiro focuses on the nursing victories and community she developed.  
Ultimately, isn't that the only thing that gets us through the early weeks of parenthood?  Forget about the milestones like your baby lifting his head during tummy time and holding a rattle for the first time with his own hand; it's, as Shapiro notes, when you realize that you can nurse your baby without a fortress of pillows supporting you, and walking with your baby in a stroller by yourself around the block.  It's finding another new mom who is just discovering this new identity, and wandering down the path of nursing and motherhood together.  Being a first-time parent to a small baby can be a strangely isolating experience, and knowing someone else, even an unknown author, has gone through it and survived, is a reassuring thing.  

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