CLC Scholarship Winner
In 2005, only one year after graduating high school I gave birth to my first child. She was warm, she was beautiful and she was all mines. I knew from the moment I found out I was expecting that I was going to breastfeed. At nineteen I had never seen anyone breastfeed but I was determined. My mother, although slightly disappointed that I didn’t wait a little longer to have a child was amazingly supportive. When I told her that I wanted to breastfeed she said that I should find a book on breastfeeding so that I could be more prepared. She told me that she had never breastfeed me, and didn’t know much about it, but would support me if that’s what I wanted to do. I never looked for that book, but apparently she did. Within minutes after giving birth, my baby was ready to eat. She started squirming and licking and turning her head, and I heard my mother say from the corner of the room, “You wanted to breastfeed, so go on and feed that baby” Mariah latched right on. The nurses in the room were shocked. No one had even bothered to ask me how I planned on feeding my baby. Bottles of formula had already been brought into the room. The next day I started having some doubts about my feeding choice. I started thinking about what my life would look like as teen mother with a baby demanding to be feed all of the time. The night before had been rough, getting up throughout the night feeding Mariah, while still trying to recover from giving birth, but my mother was there. She never forced me to continue but she quietly encouraged me. She told me that I was giving my baby the best, she said that she wished that she had the courage to be different and breastfeed me. She rubbed my back when I was falling asleep while nursing and called in the nurse anytime I had a questing about breastfeeding that she couldn’t answered herself. Mariah is twelve now. My husband and I have four beautiful children that have all been breastfeed for at least 18 months each. I now work as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor encouraging mothers like myself to breastfeed.