Love and Nourishment are One – a poem of healing for mothers with low milk supply

Love and Nourishment are One – a poem of healing for mothers with low milk supply

I still need to hold you near

and feel your dear mouth close

about that tender part of me

where no milk flows.

This sacred thing that should have been,

this rite of every mother,

will not now, nor ever be

a bond, one to the other.

Yet though I feel this utter loss,

a nagging emptiness,

I also smell your warm skin close,

know you don’t need me less.

Song and smile, touch and glance,

we dance our dance until –

scent and hand, hold and clasp,

it’s clear: I love you still.

If love and nourishment are one,

and I love you just the same,

then let me give you love, my love,

that does not bend to shame.

If love and nourishment are one,

perhaps that’s all we need:

to trust our bond is ever here,

regardless how we feed.

Hilary Jacobson, 2004

Writing the book “Healing Breastfeeding Grief”

Writing the book “Healing Breastfeeding Grief”

For ten years, I listened each day to mothers as they vented their profound feelings of loss, grief and failure–feelings I also had with my first baby when I could not build a milk supply. 

I wished with all my heart that I could do more than just commiserate. I wanted to actually discover a way to help mothers heal from what we came to call “breastfeeding grief”: mourning the loss of the breastfeeding relationship and the breastfeeding experience we had expected and planned to have.

Where was the therapy that would help? I did not know.

In 2013, a school for hypnotherapy opened in the town where I lived, and I thought it would be an interesting way to spend the summer. I did not plan to practice as a hypnotherapist. As I had practiced meditation form, I was curious to understand what this other kind of “trance work” was all about. One day though, much as had happened with Mother Food, I realized I was learning a skill set that might actually enable me to transition mothers out of their negative emotions, their sense of loss and failure, and help them re-connect with their positive sense of self as a mother, while building their joy and confidence.

I felt as though my prayers were answered. I was certified in a potent therapy form that would help mothers.

I remember returning home after the ten-week intensive course in a kind of daze. I immediately began to give sessions to mothers with breastfeeding grief, and soon was seeing beautiful turn-arounds with most every mother.

Click here for a professional review of Healing Breastfeeding Grief.

In 2015, I decided to write a book about what I had learned. I wanted to crystalize my experiences so that mothers but also doulas, midwives, lactation consultants and therapists could learn from them.

I also wanted to write a book that in itself could serve as a kind therapy, a book that would let mothers know they are understood and are not alone.

I worked hard at word-crafting sentences so they would flow and resonate with compassion. As one reviewer says, “The healing starts on the very first page.”

I was very fortunate as in a local writers group that met weekly, the mentor of the group, Ruth Wire, had worked as a nurse decades earlier, and all the members were parents. They enthusiastically supported my writing and gave great suggestions. I would like to thank especially Madeleine Sklar for holding my hand and spending hours chiseling with me at sentences and paragraphs during those times when I felt I just could not get a section right.

 

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