September 30, 2020

Winnipeg
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Intimacy

Kiziak living room / Transcona

Aurora Kiziak doesn't have any use for a bowl, glass or spoon at breakfast. The only utensil the four-month-old baby girl needs is her mom’s nipple.

And, like always, Aurora is hungry.

Cradling her youngest child in her arms, Jenn Kiziak lifts her shirt and waits for the baby to latch on. It doesn't take long until gurgling sounds fill the quiet living room in her suburban home.

"Hi, sweetface," Kiziak whispers.

Jenn Kiziak breastfeeds Aurora.

Jenn Kiziak breastfeeds Aurora.

It wasn’t always this effortless to breastfeed, the mom of two says — and calling it easy now would still be an overstatement.

"I’m thankful that I’ve had a lot of milk. I’ve had no supply issues, but it’s been a really tough go."

"It’s something so basic but it feels like I’m doing something incredible at the same time." –Jenn Kiziak

The persistent mom plans to breastfeed her daughter for at least a year, despite enduring a postpartum period that consisted of weeks of sore, bleeding nipples. She consulted a midwife, private nurse and doctor, and dropped into a city breastfeeding clinic several times for assistance.

"It’s still painful sometimes but I know that despite all that, I would never give it up. It’s still so worth it for us," she says.

"It's a really special bond we have.... It’s something so basic but it feels like I’m doing something incredible at the same time. I look at her and she’s so healthy and growing so well and I know that’s just from me. That’s just my body sustaining hers."

“It’s still painful sometimes but I know that despite all that, I would never give it up. It’s still so worth it for us," says Kiziak.

“It’s still painful sometimes but I know that despite all that, I would never give it up. It’s still so worth it for us," says Kiziak.

Since Aurora won't take a bottle, Kiziak says she's constantly breastfeeding; whether it's on the couch at home or in a grocery-store aisle.

Aurora Kiziak makes faces at the camera.

Aurora Kiziak makes faces at the camera.

She hasn’t encountered any problems when she feeds Aurora in public, other than an occasional stare from a passerby. And she credits her confidence and experience for that. (She breastfed her son Archer, now three, for one year; it was "super, super easy.")

"The more people see it, the more they just accept it," she says. "It’s a boob, it’s there for food. As much as society tells us otherwise, that’s what it’s there for."

— Maggie Macintosh
Photography by Mikaela MacKenzie

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