I’m about to embark on a whole new breastfeeding journey here in the next few months and it got me thinking about truths and reality of breastfeeding a baby. While it is an amazing and wonderful time of bonding, full of quiet special moments, it also comes with many unique challenges. Here are some of the things you may not know about breastfeeding.
1. It Can Hurt
It doesn’t matter what they say, breastfeeding hurts. While there is a certain amount of pain level that you shouldn’t be experiencing if done correctly, it does still hurt. It’s painful when your breasts get engorged and full of milk, it hurts when you have to stretch out a pumping session a little too long, it hurts as your nipples get used to having someone latch onto them.
2. It Takes Dedication
If you haven’t figured out from the long list of discomforts I listed above, breastfeeding takes dedication. Especially in those early days. There are many times you may feel like it would be easier to give up then press on.
3. Any Breastmilk Is Good For Your Baby
Whether is one week or one year, any breast milk at all is good for your baby. Keep telling yourself that, because there is no pressure to feed longer then what works for you and your baby.
4. It’s Ok To Be Happy/Sad When It Ends
I was so over breastfeeding by the time by little one turned one and I assumed that meant I was a terrible mother. Not at all. I breastfed a baby every 1-2 hours for an entire year! It was totally ok that I did a happy dance and enjoyed my newfound boobie freedom once she was weaned. Equally, it’s absolutely ok to feel emotional about your journey coming to an end. The most important thing is to remember all the moments you got to share along the way.
5. Others Opinions Don’t Matter
Seriously. Re-read that again if you need to. However and wherever you choose to breastfeed, the only thing that matters is you and your babe. Other people will always have opinions on what your breastfeeding journey should look like, but
6. It Makes You Feel Like A Bad Ass
There is something so incredibly empowering about breastfeeding. The ability to keep your child alive by simply doing what your body was created to do. There isn’t anything much more satisfying then knowing you can whip out a boob and solve the world’s problems. Well, maybe just sooth a crying baby, but that can feel like a huge accomplishment in itself. 😉
7. It’s Hard Work
If you haven’t caught on that between the pain and dedication it takes to maintain a breastfeeding relationship, it’s a whole lot of hard work.
8. It’s A Privilege
So many women are not able to breastfeed, so each and every feeding is honestly a privilege. One I hold onto closely when times are hard, and remember to be thankful I am able to do it at all.