Limestone Professor Has Essay Published In Magazine
Limestone College English Professor Erin Pushman had an essay published in the September issue of Breastfeeding Today, the official magazine of La Leche League International. The essay narrates Pushman's own breastfeeding challenges during her early weeks of motherhood.
“My early days of breastfeeding were quite difficult,” Pushman said. “There were many moments when I felt like a failure as a mother and as a woman. That feeling could not have been farther from the truth, and in a relatively short time, the baby and I became a successful nursing duo.”
That is exactly the point Pushman makes to her readers in the essay.
In July, Pushman earned her accreditation as a La Leche League Leader. “It is a significant time commitment,” Pushman said, "but I feel serving the community as a Leader is one of the most important things I can do.”
The La Leche League International is a nonprofit organization founded in 1956 that has a presence in 68 countries. The group’s mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
The Leader accreditation process was comprehensive and Pushman spent one year completing it. Near the end of the process, she decided to submit to the magazine.
“Typically, I publish essays in literary journals, but I wanted to reach a wider readership,” Pushman noted. As she prepared to begin helping other mothers through their own nursing struggles, Pushman thought about the kind of story that would have helped her when she was a new mom. “I remember feeling so alone,” she explained. “I felt like I was the only mom in the world to go through something like this.” Pushman said that is why she wrote the essay.
The essay closes with these thoughts: “If I went back and lived those supply-building days again, I wouldn't change a thing, except I'd lose the grief. While I was working so hard to make more milk, I wasn't failing as a mother… I was feeding my baby.”