" I had my first child almost 16 years ago. At the time I was young, uneducated, scared; just kind of winging it.
At 20 years old, I was not comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding. It wasn't something that was normalized in my family.Both me and my brother were bottle fed, so that was always my normal.
The OB I had was assigned to me by state insurance and I had no clue I had options. I did not know I didn't have to go with who they assigned and no one mentioned anything different.
My doctor at the time was a naturalist and pro breastfeeding. When she asked if I planned to breast or bottle feed, I told her I planned to bottle feed. I gave her the whole run down; how I was a bottle fed baby.
She immediately demonized my decision and made me feel attacked at an extremely vulnerable time.
She insinuated that I wasn't being a good mother.
Her approach turned me completely off from even trying breastfeeding. I felt like she was putting me and my mother down. She also tricked me into having a natural birth. Again, I was 20 years old and didn't think different, I planned for a medicated birth! She broke my waters without explaining to me what would happen next and turned the anesthesiologist away without consulting with me.
With zero medication, I won't lie, I was screaming my head off!
At one point, during an intense contraction she told me, " Once you're done wasting all that energy we can deliver this baby!"
I was enraged, mortified and everything else you can imagine. I called her everything but a child of God. I even eventually threw a cup at her.
**Side Note: This isn't how I planned my first birthing experience to go. To be honest, I didn't have a clear plan. I didn't understand how important a plan was.
So, skipping to the moment of the birth. I was still screaming and my baby boy came out looking shocked and confused. He was also frowning but we made eye contact...
And she slapped him on my boob. No warning, no consent and clearly against my wishes. It wasn't what either of us expected, but we survived LOL
In the past 2-3 years I have watched my sister evolve into not only one of the greatest parents I have ever met, but what impresses me the most is she has educated me so much on breastfeeding, birth plans and just the choices that women have that I was completely clueless about.
Sometimes I wish I could have one more baby so she could be my Doula.. But I will settle for Best Auntie Ever Status.
**I actually ended up pumping the first month and bottle fed my son. My aunt educated me as much as she could at the time about breast feeding. She was the only person who just sat me down and told me the facts without judgement. Also, the only women I saw growing up who made attempts to breastfeed.
Because of my sister, I am educated and can pass on the facts and support, the way they were passed onto me. "
- Seriena Bennett,
Mother of 3.