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 off and on since my teens, I was curious to understand what this other kind of “trance work” was all about.
One day, much as had happened with Mother Food, I realized I was learning a set of skills 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 while building their joy and confidence as a mother.
I felt as though my prayers were answered. I had stumbled into being certified in a therapy form that could help mothers.
I remember returning home after the ten-week intensive course–I was in a kind of daze. This had really happened, and now I had to act on it. I began giving sessions to mothers with breastfeeding grief, practicing and deepening my skills. Soon, I 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, a work of compassion.
I spent hours word-crafting sentences so they would flow and resonate. As one reviewer says, “The healing starts on the very first page.”
I was very fortunate as I belonged to a local writers group that met weekly. The groups director had worked as a nurse decades earlier, and all of the members were parents, and they shared my passion for this topic, supporting my writing with enthusiasm and suggestions. I would like to especially thank Madeleine Sklar who sat next to me many hours, chiseling away at sentences and paragraphs during times when I felt I just could not get a section right.