It almost feels like I have spent the past two years in isolation. I’ve been consistently trying to navigate my artistic practice through intense waves of grief over the loss of my mum, infertility/miscarriage, and a fear of dying. Things have shifted in the last 4 months, with added postpartum anxieties, healing associated with childbirth, obsessive tracking of my baby’s feeds, breastfeeding struggles and COVID 19. With the COVID pandemic, there were increased anxieties surrounding my newborns health. Will my baby be okay? What if my baby gets sick? What about check-ups? Am I feeding my baby enough? what if my milk dries up and I can’t feed my baby? What if I get sick and can't feed my baby? Am I spending adequate time with my oldest child?
As a way to ease my anxieties, I started pumping breast milk. I would pump at 5:00 every morning after our first feed. I began writing thoughts or worries along with the date on each bag of breastmilk. I would then photograph the bags of breastmilk as a way to document life postpartum, anxieties about mumhood and life in COVID19. The act of pumping breastmilk and freezing was a ritualistic and meditative way for me to cope and eased anxieties around getting sick and not being able to feed my baby.
Postpartum anxieties are exacerbated by the times we are living in.
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