Can you have psychic boobs? I think so. It’s a question I’ve been grappling with, while breastfeeding my son Forrest. It’s amazing how my milk lets down just before he wakes for a feed – many mothers have this, but I still find it miraculous.Then again – having a baby is an achievement too. As Stephen Levine says, “talk about a fierce teaching. It is easier to sit for three years in a cave than to raise a child from the time he is born to three years old.”
Please note: This article is not for, or against breastfeeding – it’s just an account of what’s worked for me. This world doesn’t need more mother guilt! I acknowledge that many women use bottles, including myself – more on this below. If you need to bottle feed, don’t despair. Food is medicine, and having a kind ‘doctor’ makes all the difference. It’s better to bottle feed with love than to breastfeed with anger and resentment. Babies feel your energy.
The day we brought Forrest home, I looked at him and thought, “wow, I’ve only changed 1-2 nappies ever, and the Universe is trusting me with you! This is beyond crazy.” It’s so rare that we get a chance to start again.
Last year, my partner Kris and I decided to try for a child in our 1 Personal Year, according to numerology (find your personal year). A 1 Year is perfect for beginnings and setting up the next 9 Years. Of course, you can fall pregnant anytime, but I knew this was an important portal.
In my last 1 Year, I changed careers to fundraising, began psychic readings and did intense personal growth. Our efforts paid off – I fell pregnant within 2 months of finishing group therapy for orthorexia and Forrest arrived super healthy via water birth in February 2016. See his 11:11 birth story. Although Forrest latched on seconds after birth, it took me 4-6 weeks to create a pain-free breastfeeding practice. If I hadn’t listened to my intuition, it would have taken much, much longer…
Here are 7 Tips for Spiritual Breastfeeding
1) Claim your space, because the race is won before it’s even begun. When I quit my job and went full-time with palmistry in 2011, it was driven by a desire to create choices for myself. I wanted a lifestyle so I could spend lots of time with my future partner and children. The sacrifices were immense (health, social approval, sanity) but I never gave up.
Being my own boss meant that I could move to Skype readings, attend yogababy classes, cook organic food and sleep in when I was pregnant, which were priceless blessings. As I read in The Collective, “you will never change the world by being just like it.” If you need to make major shifts in your career, relationship etc. it’s best to do them before having a baby. I moved house while six weeks’ pregnant, partly to get into the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Birth Centre.
Consider having a birth plan and assistants. When the going got tough, I relied on my midwife Nicole and Kris to help me stick to a drug-free birth. This boosted my chances of breastfeeding, as Forrest and I weren’t groggy. I also got to hold him skin-to-skin for an hour after he was born, before any weighing or checks. Although I considered hiring a doula or independent midwife, my doula friend Sally Hudson encouraged me not to, as Kris and I had gone to classes and I had a great team of midwives at the Birth Centre. This was the right decision, as it gave Kris and I a chance to grow even closer.
2) Breastfeeding is a skill, which may not come naturally. Seek help and the Universe will answer. Although the act of breastfeeding is mechanics, the mental side takes a while to accept, because it takes six weeks to form a new habit. I worked up to the day before Forrest’s birth, to distract myself from the pre-labour cramping. Going from numerology forecasts to feeding a baby 12 times a day broke my brain. For weeks, I diarised every feed and poop to see if there was a pattern. There wasn’t! I had to just go with the flow. Although I had wonderful midwives , I needed extra help to master breastfeeding. I had barely watched other women nurse (maybe an hour total over a whole lifetime). My parents bottle fed, as did Kris’s mum. My sister breastfed successfully but lives interstate.
After a harrowing day of Forrest screaming, I Googled and found The Discontented Little Baby Book by Dr Pamela Douglas. I then saw Dr Douglas at The Possums Clinic. She released Forrest’s mild tongue-tie, as well as helping us get a good latch (e.g. using the ‘flipple’ technique).
Just as Forrest had his procedure, my counsellor Alison Lee (also an 11 lifepath) randomly walked in, in time to give us a hug (I hated hearing Forrest yell from having his arms held). When I saw Alee, I knew it was a sign I’d made the right decision. Within three days, Forrest started sleeping better and got chubby apple cheeks. On an ongoing basis, I’ve also found regular massage and paediatric chiro treatments helpful.
3) Say No to free advice, unless it resonates with you – this goes for everything in life, not just breastfeeding. As a psychic, I practice energy clearing and protection (here are the meditations I use). So cranky people rarely interfere with me, because my Spirit Guides keep them at bay. That said, I’ve had some amazing tips. My favourite was from a midwife, who taught me to breastfeed laying down (using pillows behind your back and between your legs). This method allows you to nap while baby is feeding – Heaven! I get at least an hour or two more sleep each day just from this one piece of advice.
Swaddling has also been a brilliant way to keep Forrest asleep for hours. We make sure he can still bend his legs, to avoid hip dysplasia or ‘clicky hips’.
However I’ve still received unhelpful comments like:
‘you should make him wait four hours between feeds’ – considering I had anorexia (a starving inner child), I’m not going to starve my outer child. Talk about repeating past mistakes.
‘they grow out of tongue-ties’ (!)
Luckily, I stuck to my guns and found my own truth. Dr Douglas explores many of these ideas in her book, mentioned above.
4) Believe in free will AND destiny. Although I believe that we choose our babies and vice versa, only some things are set in stone (like our lifepath). The rest of it is negotiated as we go along. When it came to breastfeeding, I talked to Forrest about working together. I knew that if I tried my best, and he was meant to breastfeed, it would work. Conversely, if it didn’t, it just meant we were meant to have a different experience. I have the same views on birthing (e.g. natural vs caesarean – see this post). They each have pro and cons. We come to Earth to ‘add to our spiritual resume’ – who am I to judge someone else’s choices?
5) Your body is awesome. So is your baby. Trust them. While pregnant, I said to Kris ‘lucky my body is creating this baby, because I’m such a perfectionist, I’d barely have finished making his arm and leg in 9 months!’ If your body can make a baby, your body can feed it. Over three months of breastfeeding, I’ve rarely run low on milk. When things slow down, I don’t panic. I just take a warm shower, drink more water, have a nap* and/ or meal, and my milk comes back. Or I do skin-to-skin contact, eat some of my placenta pills (thanks Emma Nolan) or try fennel tea.
*Sleep is so important – when I’m tired my pain threshold is lower and breastfeeding is more likely to hurt. It’s great if you can find someone to mind the baby while you have a snooze, or get an electronic baby rocker. Taking baby outside for a walk can help – sometimes they are hungry for stimulation rather than milk. After talking to my sister, I bought a Medela Swing double breast pump so Kris could bottle feed Forrest every now and then. It’s been worth it – Forrest is much closer to his father now. We use paced bottle feeding to allow baby to feed more naturally.
6) Meditate, AFTER you’ve figured out the latch. I made the error of meditating when I started breastfeeding. Having used visualisation for pain relief during labour, I continued my practice. At other times I also surfed the net on my phone. Big mistake! By not paying attention, I put up with unnecessary discomfort and got Forrest used to an awkward position. Now I know that ‘pain during birth helps the baby come out – constant pain during breastfeeding means something is wrong!’
Although it takes time for your breasts to get used to baby suckling, it shouldn’t make you cringe. At one stage, I hated breastfeeding so much I’d hide in the kitchen or toilet when Forrest started crying. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t listened to the people who said: ‘breastfeeding hurts, you just have to put up with it’. Being a mother doesn’t mean I have to be a martyr – see tip 3 about ‘free advice’. Years ago when I had period pain, I took up bellydancing instead of resigning myself to a life of Nurofen. It really worked. I do meditate now while breastfeeding (breathing in for 4, hold for 2, breathe out for 4, hold for 2), often to music.
Or I imagine a waterfall or river flowing – that helps with milk volume (as does the affirmation ‘it comes through me, not from me’. I focus on how Forrest feels in my arms, which brings happy tears to my eyes.
7) Love is a fountain, that passes from generation to generation. You can only give what you’ve got. Could I have breastfed this long without a supportive midwife, doctor, partner, family, baby and flexible lifestyle? No. I can see why women who have their boss, husbands or in-laws breathing down their necks have trouble with lactation. It’s hard to let go when you’re stressed. I had to change my attitude to master breastfeeding – seeing it as a positive thing not a chore. Babies are pulling Universal love through our bodies when they breastfeed – it’s the most amazing healing you could ask for.
If someone kept asking me when I was going back to work*, expected me to cook and clean for them 24/7 or made fun of my post-baby boobs and body, I’d have no energy. Even with support, I still overdid the chores after birth and tore my stitches. *Hint: motherhood is work! How much would your boss have to pay you to be on call 24/7, without a holiday for 18 years…a lot, right? While on maternity leave, I’ve been saying that I’ve switched careers, rather than given up work.
I’m glad I waited to have children until I was 35 and met the right Soulmate, because Kris has made life, and motherhood, so much easier. Not only does he make sure I am well fed, he gives me the sacred space to nurture Forrest. Plus he’s cool with me breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding slows you down and makes you less able to rescue others. So you may have to defend your choice around people who want your attention. One of the reasons my son’s name is Forrest is I had him ‘for rest’ and to buy myself private time. Since giving birth, I’ve found a monthly massage essential, because you can get a sore neck looking down at baby all day.
In numerology, every word can be reduced to a number (see the system)
Based on this, BREASTFEEDING = 61/7, the same vibration as BOTTLEFEEDING! So they both heal the: 6th chakra (Third eye/ opening your mind), 1st chakra (Root/ safety) and 7th chakra (Crown/ trust in Spirit). The Universe doesn’t care what you do, but why you do it…love is love, whatever the delivery method.
Imagine that your child is your heart. How often do people say ‘follow your heart’ but do the complete opposite? Next time someone tells you you are spoiling your child or breastfeeding wrong, look at whether they are a happy person or not. I’m betting it’s the latter. I’m glad I have a 100% faith in my instincts, because it’s helped me to be a calmer mother. Doing psychic work has also helped me see the big picture with Forrest.
Heal the mother in you, heal the baby outside you!
Conscious Parenting Resources
21 Amazing Benefits of Breastfeeding – Healing for Mums and Babies
10 Ways Making Breastmilk is Like Making Money
The Medical Stigmata in Palmistry aka Why Having a Baby is a (Working) Holiday
Breastfeeding as a Spiritual Practice by Molly Remer
Breastfeeding: The Bigger Picture by Marianne Littlejohn
The Discontented Little Baby Book by Dr Pamela Douglas