All we need is One Tit, One hour: My experience of being robbed of the breast crawl

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When all is said and done I luckily and wholeheartedly enjoyed the 15 months of my breastfeeding experience, especially that I did it past the recommended 6 months and truly bonded with my baby. It wasn't all easy in the beginning. I struggled with formula feeding my son from 5 months while still nursing and thought I was a failure for it. I believed I could not make "enough" milk and that the milk I had was not sufficient for his sustenance. No family member had any advice to give me as I was one of the first among my generation to have a baby and the elders who were in close proximity did not have experience with breastfeeding, I was not breastfed. All of this was during the time I returned to my graduate studies and work after taking off one semester, but I was determined to continue nursing at night and throughout the day when I was home.

At the point of separation to continue my education and earn a living to feed my family, I still was grateful that my son was nursing at all though disappoinment that formula had been incorporated existed. It was blissful and, seemingly, a blessing to have made it all the way from my very doubtful initiation upon delivering at the hospital. I was in great doubt then of a guaranteed latch after being, I say this again and will continue to say it, robbed of my one hour skin to skin and breast crawl experience because resident physicians and my assigned physician insisted that my son get cleaned up and needed to be administered vitamin K and eye ointment, the latter I would not consent to though the former was mandated. With no doula, a birth plan and family members who somewhat supported my voice, until the doctor trumped it because of their trust in them, I was too exhausted to fight any more than I already had throughout my labor against being reminded to keep my gown on, having my cervical membrane skipped, without my permission, and being denied the opportunity to squat when pushing. I was through the fighting and defense, my treasure was delivered and I was too tired to demand that I get my skin to skin and I did not even know what the breast crawl was at the time, nonetheless I'd been robbed. Robbed of an otherwise beautiful and natural experience. And I was alone. Surrounded by people, humans, but separated from my baby that I gave birth to and denied the skin to skin that I did request in my birth plan (hyperlink) that I had my physician sign off on during my prenatal visit. With one hour skin to skin the baby naturally makes its way to its mother's breast in order to self latch by crawling from the stomach area where they would be placed and helping the mother deliver her placenta by applying pressure with their brand new feet. I was not given the understanding, patience, or even education about breast crawl.

I want to hear from you. What was your birth experience like? Did you have all the liberty as you wished, well informed or felt restricted? Did you choose to breastfeed. If so upon delivery?

"I am a conduit advocating for women and children empowering them to know their true selves, and identify their purpose by way of education, love, and understanding."

Farahly Ayodele Saint-Louis is a Doula and coordinates programming related to reproductive justice. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the City College of New York and also acquired a Master’s of Science at Hunter College. A native of New York, Ayodele holds strong ties to her Haitian origins. Inspired by a trip to Haiti in September 2009, she is determined to shed light on the taboo subjects of sexual violence and reproductive wellness among women and children through art therapy in Haiti and other developing nations. As a member of Big Apple Playback Theater Ayodele continues to utilize the arts as an outlet for healing and enjoyment supporting others in doing the same. She has a strong passion for, and seeks to contribute to, psycho-social improvement and healing, through the arts, birth work, and programming in developing societies with respect to women and children’s rights. Ayodele believes in the possibility of approaching the political process through a social justice lens and honoring humanity with the hopes of influencing the current state of the system. 


Farahly Ayodele Saint-Louis is a Doula and coordinates programming related to reproductive justice. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the City College of New York and also acquired a Master’s of Science at Hunter College. A native of New York, Ayodele holds strong ties to her Haitian origins. Inspired by a trip to Haiti in September 2009, she is determined to shed light on the taboo subjects of sexual violence and reproductive wellness among women and children through art therapy in Haiti and other developing nations. As a member of Big Apple Playback Theater Ayodele continues to utilize the arts as an outlet for healing and enjoyment supporting others in doing the same. She has a strong passion for, and seeks to contribute to, psycho-social improvement and healing, through the arts, birth work, and programming in developing societies with respect to women and children’s rights. Ayodele believes in the possibility of approaching the political process through a social justice lens and honoring humanity with the hopes of influencing the current state of the system.