Breastfeeding. It’s what’s best for baby, but not always what’s best for Mom. When I talk to other Moms about breastfeeding, most of them absolutely love it. They love the bond they share with their baby. Not me. I bond with my baby in other ways, like when I read her stories, sing her lullabies, or when we fall asleep together on the couch.
I breastfeed simply because “breast is best”. I’d rather not feed Kayleigh formula if I don’t have to. It’s expensive, it smells funny, and it makes for a much more
disgusting interesting diaper change.
I’ve been breastfeeding for over a month now, and I still hate it. That doesn’t mean I’m going to give it up any time soon though. I plan to breastfeed for 8-10 months, or possibly a year. We’ll see how that goes. It’s just one more sacrifice I will make for my daughter because I love her and want the very best for her. I didn’t love feeling every single contraction, and pushing for 2.5 hours during her 24 hour natural birthing process, but, I did that for her too. Because I love her.
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7 Things I Hate About Breastfeeding
1. It Can Be Painful – Breastfeeding can be quite painful sometimes, especially in those first few days when your milk hasn’t come in yet, and you don’t really know what the hell you’re doing. Your nipples get all dry, cracked and blistered, and even slathering them in Lansinoh doesn’t completely heal them.
My nurses and midwives told me that breastfeeding should not hurt, and if it does, then the baby is not latching properly. Well, Kayleigh’s got her latch under control, but sometimes it still hurts. Like when she breastfeeds all.day.long. Or when her Daddy makes a loud noise while I’m feeding her, startling her, and she pulls on my nipple really hard. Ouch!
There’s also engorgement. That’s when you haven’t had a chance to breastfeed or pump for a while and your boobs get so full that they feel like they’ll explode if you don’t express some of that milk out of them. Fun times.
2. I Have No Time to Myself – Babies digest breast milk much more quickly than they do formula, so breastfed babies need to be fed more often than formula fed babies. Like every 2-3 hours. Did I mention that’s every 2-3 hours from the time you start breastfeeding, not from the time you stop? So, if Kayleigh takes an hour to eat, which she does a lot of times, then I have to feed her again in an hour. And no, I don’t have time to myself during that hour in between. That hour is spent burping her, changing her diaper, bathing her, trying to settle her down, the list goes on and on… And on days when she’s going through a growth spurt, she never wants to stop feeding.
3. I Miss Out on All the Fun – Yesterday, John and I took Kayleigh to my parents’ house for a Father’s Day gathering. One of my sisters was also there, along with my grandmother, her sister, and some friends that were visiting from Florida, who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Well, right in the middle of all of the fun, Kayleigh got fussy and needed to eat. So, I had to leave everyone, head on down to the bedroom, and listen to the laughter coming from the livingroom, while I spent nearly an hour feeding Kayleigh, all by lonesome self while everyone else was having a great time catching up with each other.
4. It’s Very Inconvenient – It’s a huge chore to get out of the house and travel anywhere when you breastfeed. I’m not one of those Moms that are comfortable pulling my boob out in front of everyone to feed Kayleigh. I only do that in private. So, I can only be out in public with her for short bursts of time when she’s not hungry (usually no more than an hour or two). It makes it really hard to get out of the house, and impossible to get out of the house alone.
On Saturday, John and I went into the city to run some errands. We had to go get my engagement ring cleaned and inspected, pick up Kayleigh’s 2 week pictures from JC Penney, get gas, and stop somewhere for lunch. We had intended to go grocery shopping together as well, but halfway through our lunch, Kayleigh started fussing and needed to eat. So, we scarfed down our lunch (the first restaurant outing we have had in over a month!) and rushed home so I could feed Kayleigh. John ended up going grocery shopping by himself, again.
5. It’s Exhausting – When you breastfeed, it’s extremely difficult to just pass your baby off to someone else to feed her, so you never get a break. The only way you can do so, is if you are able to pump a bottle of milk ahead of time, but I have not been able to master that yet. You know all those late night feedings? Well, that’s all on ME too. John can’t feed her, so there’s really no point in him getting up to help me. So, I’m the one with all the sleep deprivation, every single night. Yay me!
6. It’s Messy – I can’t tell you how many times my boobs have leaked all over my nursing bras, shirts, pants, the couch, Kayleigh… Sometimes when she pulls off early, it’s still squirting out and goes all over the place. I feel like I am constantly covered in breast milk, and that stuff is sticky!
7. I Have to Give Up Things I Love – I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage in over 10 months! I’m not an alcoholic by any means, but geez, I’d love to be able to have even just one drink once in a while. I also have to limit myself to only ONE cup of coffee per day. Ugh. John will drink 5-6 cups of coffee some days, and I am so jealous. I’m the one with all the sleep deprivation, yet I can’t drink enough caffeine to actually help me get through it. Yesterday, at my parents’ house, my Dad cooked up some onions and peppers in oil to go with our bbq dinner. Normally, I would jump at the chance to eat those, but now that I’m breasfeeding, I can’t, because they’ll make Kayleigh gassy. I can’t eat spicy foods, anything acidic, and select fruits and vegetables. I just want to be able to eat and drink what I want, when I want!
I feel like a bad Mom sometimes because I hate everything about breastfeeding. It makes me feel really guilty. I wish I loved it, but I just don’t. I’m honestly counting down the days (of which there are many!) until I can stop, get my body back and just enjoy life again.
Did you, or do you, breastfeed? Do you love it or hate it?