When I became a mother at 23 I really invested all of my time into trying to be the perfect mother. I wanted to do everything right and to prove that I was fully capable of the responsibility that motherhood brings. I followed every single book and doctors suggestion when it came to breast feeding and more.
When it came to breastfeeding Amirah I was extremely stressed out and overwhelmed the majority of the time. Mostly because I wanted to have this huge stash of breast milk and to make sure I was pumping every 2-3 hours. It didn't matter if the baby was sleeping, or eating, I was pumping on schedule. When the baby didn't eat I would get so frustrated and worry about getting backed up that I would pump anyway instead of just waiting on her.
This time around I promised myself I would be different. The first week of Azarah being earth side I started hand pumping on a tight schedule. Then suddenly I remembered how much of a task it was and just stopped. Now keep in mind I work from home and I'm able to have my child 24/7. If you are going back to work you will eventually need to pump and have some back up milk. As of right now I am able to pretty much create my schedule around my own needs. I even work for a company where I travel, but I'm able to bring my family along. With that being said I've fallen in love with breastfeeding. Now that I've thrown away the need to be perfect and pump on a tight schedule, I feel so liberated. I honestly believe that this is what breastfeeding should be like. A bond between mother and child, something that doesn't cause stress and burden in your life. Azarah naturally eats every 3-4 hours, five times a day. No matter where we are I take a deep breath, find somewhere to sit and feed her directly from my breast. It has become a time for me to relax and just browse on my phone while she eats. She sleeps through the night and eats exactly what she needs. She won't take any milk from a bottle so I just stopped pumping extra. I really enjoy this method far more than a strict regime. Sometimes she eats a lot, sometimes she eats a little. I don't stress because she is healthy and gaining weight.
It's also time for me to introduce actual foods into her diet. She hasn't been to excited about eating anything other than breast milk. I know that my milk has all the nutrients she needs. I also know in other countries breast milk is the primary food until most children are around 1 years old. I am just using my natural motherly intuition and just allowing Azarah to lead the way. If I felt something was wrong I would ask her pediatrician. She is in the 60 percentile of weight and height so I'm positive she is growing just fine.
Modern Motherhood for me is about knowing yourself as a woman and mother. Trusting that you are doing what is best and not allowing all of the outside noise to dictate your worth as a parent. When you relax and follow your own path in life, things become much more peaceful. I trust doctors and believe that they honestly tell you what they think is best based off of information they have learned in school. It's always good to consult with them when you are in doubt or concerned about your child's mental or physical health. It's also good to do your own research and to implement methods that work for your child specifically. Azarah chews on her fingers to sooth her gums, so I know she can chew. When she is ready to eat actual food she will let me know. As of now her pushing it out her mouth and wanting breast milk lets me know she isn't interested in anything else.
Trust your child, trust your intuition when it comes to their needs and wants, every baby is different.