Oh yeah! I said it, breastfeeding. I can honestly say breastfeeding is like eating anchovies for moms. Either you LOVE it or you HATE it. Very rarely, like almost never, do you meet someone who is like “sure anchovies are okay”. Usually people really like them or have a strong dislike for them. From my experience, moms are the same way. I have met moms who love breastfeeding and others who have absolutely disliked it.
With both of my girls, I have had a good go at it. I am one of the moms who love it, present tense because I am still breastfeeding my second. I am slightly biased though because I was lucky enough to never experience a lot of the pain that many other mothers speak about. Of course there was the uncomfortable sensitivity in the beginning that took a solid week to overcome! Then there is pumping, which is not my favorite at all. I can’t tell you how many bathrooms I have had to pump in…gross isn’t even the word!
Whether you love breastfeeding or not, it definitely has its ups and downs. There have been moments when I was working or unavailable and it was really difficult for my hubby to soothe her. Not to mention the constant middle of the night feedings! Those are the moments when I wished someone else had the midas touch but the more often the baby fed helped to keep my milk supply high. I remember I was working for two days out of town. My oldest was around 5 months old and she would barely take a bottle or eat while I was away. When I returned home she wouldn’t let me go. It was sweet but as a working mom, it can be exhausting managing both work and baby care. I learned with my second child to introduce a bottle of breast milk around two months instead of waiting too long. This way she was skilled at breastfeeding but the bottle wasn’t foreign to her, in case I was unable to feed.
Then there were those times when I felt like the world was crashing down around me, I couldn’t physically keep my eyes open for one more minute and my baby looked into my eyes and all she wanted to do was be close to me. Those precious moments of breastfeeding will eventually be so far and few in between then gone forever. Those are the times I have truly felt so connected to my girls.
Once again, breastfeeding is not for everyone and every circumstance is different. Sometimes breastfeeding is not an option and bottle feeding is best. If you have a choice, I encourage every woman to give breastfeeding a try and see if it is for you. It may be difficult in the beginning but try to stick with it. Check out your local La Leche League for support and amazing tips! Also, find a list of breastfeeding benefits here. As mothers we quickly learn, there is no right or wrong way. Motherhood didn’t come with a handbook so we do our best. I try to remember it’s a process and motherhood is the ultimate journey!