Na'imah's Breastfeeding Journey
I was and still am a student mom, and I had my son in the middle of the semester. I was able to exclusively breastfeed him for a month and a half before I had to return to campus for finals. My baby went with Dad and family an hour away with neither of us able to drive, so while I had to be separated from my baby for 2 weeks I pumped religiously so that I could continue our breastfeeding journey once we were reunited. Not having a refrigerator to store my milk until I saw my baby, I was forced to pump and dump, which was extremely discouraging and honestly worsened my depression from being separated from my baby. Then, my professor gave my a refrigerator! This helped me make it through the last week of finals with a bit more enthusiasm just when I was considering cutting back on pumping between class and at night when my dorm-mates might be sleeping.
Once I finished my classes and saw my baby, he wouldn't take anything but my breast and just wanted to be close to me all the time, and the feeling was mutual. I felt like he missed me just as much as I missed him. Living under difficult circumstances, sometimes these moments with him were my only source of joy. Breastfeeding made both of us so happy, and I am so glad I didn't lose hope and kept up my milk supply despite how discouraged I was. Pumping for those difficult two weeks made it so that I was able to breastfeed him for over two years, and it was so worth it.