Tuesday, May 21, 2013

{What nobody tells you about breastfeeding...}

So I'm the type of person who likes to expect the worst, and hope for the best.  But I feel like I got the pep talk version of breast feeding and went into it all wrong.  I read up a lot online and talked my husband into going to the class with me.  They talked all about how if you have a good latch, it won't be painful and how it is so good for your baby, and how you lose weight faster, and how you get a better connection with your baby doing it.

{my little milk drunk}

Most of that was true, but they didn't tell the whole truth.  Now, I hope I'm not going to discourage anyone from breastfeeding, but I also don't want to make it into a cakewalk.  I'm going to just try to share the information that I wish I knew before I started.

I went into it thinking I'd definitely nurse a year and that it would be mostly nursing, not pumping since I am at home.  I would save money and not have to worry about changing formulas and hey, it's better for the baby. Plus, the lady at the class said children who are breastfed have higher IQs.  Also, my Mom did it and said it was a breeze.

...Well I hate to tell ya, but it is a commitment.  No, you don't have to wash bottles (or at least I didn't have to until my baby was diagnosed with severe reflux and I had to pump), but you are the sole provider.  If you're tired or busy, guess who has to stop and go feed.  I'm not trying to sound selfish, but it is a commitment.  They also don't tell you how your nipples will feel like they have rug burn for the first 2 weeks, no matter if your baby has a good latch or not.  Makes sense, but I had no clue!  They don't tell you that they blow up like balloons (engorgement) until they get regulated and randomly even still.  They don't tell you that if your nipples aren't kept dry (you will leak a lot at first, so this is no small task), you may get thrush.  They don't tell you about clogged milk ducts that cause lumps in your boob and are painful until they pass.  And they certainly don't tell you about mastitis, which is basically an infection in effect of clogged ducts.  And it would have been nice to know that having one boob produce 80% of your milk supply is normal.

These ta-tas are complicated things, I tell you!

They don't tell you that no matter how bad you want to quit, you may be emotional about it.  You may feel guilty or even sentimental.

My son will be 5 months tomorrow and I'm definitely at a cross roads right now.  Sometimes I want to quit so bad (especially now that I have mastitis), but then I can't get the nerve up to do it.  I purely pump because of his reflux and having to add rice, which only complicates the matter.  I truly believe breastmilk is better.  I mean, all of the formula boxes say "closer than ever to breastmilk."  All I'm saying is get your mind right.  And if you want to do it, go into it knowing it won't be easy at times and that it's a major commitment.  Give yourself a goal of how long you'd like to do it (3 mos, 6 mos, a year) and try to stick with it.  But if you don't feel like you're up to it, I'm not judging you.  Breastfeeding is no walk in the park.

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