I’m really glad to have been a part of this conversation with Aaminah Shakur and company for the The Toast and also just for all the support and healing I have had through such convos. Check it out:
“…It took years for me to figure out that a lot of my struggles as a new mother were directly related to my history as a sexual assault survivor.
One of the unanticipated difficulties was breastfeeding. Eighteen years ago, when my son was born, breastfeeding was not quite as supported in my city as it is now. Just this year an ordinance was passed in support of public breastfeeding, so you can imagine the atmosphere nearly two decades ago!
…How sexual trauma can come back to us during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum varies. Our reactions are not uniform, and there are many possible reactions a survivor might have that are not readily seen as related to a history of trauma. We often live with shame, guilt, and isolation because we do not realize trauma is the root of our issues. When we struggle to breastfeed but cannot articulate why, it is also difficult to get the appropriate support. Lactation consultants, postpartum doulas, and other support providers should be better educated in sexual trauma and prepared to help parents with such history recognize if that may be what is causing difficulties.”
Thanks Aaminah and all, read the rest here.