Breastfeeding… what a roller coaster.
I’m one of those (few??) women that never really enjoyed breastfeeding. I hated that I didn’t enjoy it because it was always a priority for me when I got pregnant.
Here are some things that I didn’t expect during my breastfeeding journey, and a few things that made it easier.
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BREASTFEEDING CLASSES HELP
Did you know there are classes taught by certified lactation consultants??
Before I got pregnant, I had never heard of the fact that there were people out there who came equipped to make feeding my baby easier on me.
And goodness, was I thankful that I had taken a class when I started breastfeeding.
You never expect it to be so hard, and everyone’s experience is different. But a breastfeeding class can teach you all the things you never even would have thought about.
This Milkology Ultimate Breastfeeding Class is taught by Stacey Stewart, a certified lactation consultant, and let me tell you, she knows her stuff! She is a breastfeeding guru, and even has classes on Exclusive Pumping, Back To Work Pumping, and increasing your milk supply.
I took a breastfeeding class and I loved learning about such a natural act and all its crazy amazing benefits. I imagined my little one and I bonding over such an intimate act even more.
IT IS MENTALLY DRAINING
I never expected after my body being taken over by this little human for 9 months, I would feel like my body was yet again, not my own.
I never realized the mental and emotional toll it would take on me. I always knew it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows, but I didn’t expect this.
I felt selfish for feeling like this. I constantly battled with myself over these feelings. I felt bad that so many women desperately wished they could have the issues that come with breastfeeding and here I was, blessed enough to never have any major problems with our experience, at least none that weren’t fixed with time and practice.
Shouldn’t I be grateful to provide for my baby? Shouldn’t I love this bonding experience with him?
The reality is there are so many aspects of motherhood that are just plain hard. No two mother-baby experiences are the same.
I had issues with my milk supply at one point and it was really discouraging. These Milkmakers Lactation Cookies helped so much though and I highly recommend them!
Honestly, I eventually did start getting used to breastfeeding, and then even enjoying it. It took time.
THE BOND MAKES IT WORTH IT
I do love seeing his eyes stare up at me. I do love listening to him try to talk and nurse at the same time or stop for quick smile at his mama. I am proud of how great of an eater he is.
And regardless of how I felt, I will always be grateful for how blessed we are for our experience with breastfeeding.
So many moms want to breastfeed so bad and never could, and although that doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard, it does make me so grateful for the experience we’ve had so far.
I love my son more than anything and I believe breastfeeding really helped us create an amazing bond.
FORMULA IS NOT EVIL
Maybe I could have just stopped and formula fed for my own mental health and I would most definitely not have been any less of a mother for doing so.
This is one I was looking into, called Earth’s Best Organic Formula. It is said to be closest to breastmilk and is certified organic by the USDA!
If it had gotten to a really serious point where I just couldn’t take it, I would have. A healthy and happy mother is much more important than forcing breastfeeding if it just wasn’t working.
And if you’re here reading this and thinking, that’s great but I really think I need to stop, then stop mama. This is me telling you that your baby will be fine either way and no one will ever know or care how your baby was fed.
And if you want to push through, you absolutely can. Breastfeeding isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and that’s alright.
I was determined to push through because it was still a priority of mine, and I’m so proud of both my son and I for doing so.
YOU CAN DO IT
For those who are struggling but want to keep going, make little goals and celebrate like crazy when you meet them. Take a breastfeeding class if you can, ask other moms about their experiences. Be as prepared as you can, but know that your experience is special and unique.
To those who made it a week, a month, 6 months, 2 years… to those who just weren’t able to no matter how hard they tried, and to those who just didn’t want to, be proud in your journey.
To those who love nursing, who have loved it from the beginning and intend to nurse for as long as they can, I am so happy for you. Keep going and soak up every minute!
Every mom who makes a decision to be a happy mom, to have a fed baby, is a wonderful mother. No decision as a mother is easy. We’re all just trying to do our best to raise happy, healthy babies, making sacrifice after sacrifice. At some point, you have to take care of yourself too.
No matter how you decide to do that, I’m proud of you. And you should be proud of you too.