As I find myself on my second breastfeeding journey, after one that didn’t go how I’d hoped, I am reminded why it is so hard and why it continues to be one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life.
Yes, the second time round has been loads easier because I have more confidence and this time I’m free from postnatal depression. Yet, in the four weeks since Mila’s birth, there have been loads of times I’ve wanted to give up.
So why have I continued? Because I promised myself that this time, I’d make it work. This time, I want to experience the bonding with my baby through breastfeeding, I want to see myself through the challenge.
But, the cons of breastfeeding still linger. I’m not afraid to admit the things I hate about breastfeeding.
10 things I hate about breastfeeding
Sometimes it can be a downright mess if I’m not quick. Breast pads are a must.
The milk factory feeling
I sometimes just can’t help but feel like a bit of a cow when I’m expressing. It’s the whole attaching the breast pump, the sound of the breast pump and the squirting that reminds me of the time I went on a school excursion to a dairy farm and watched the cows being milked.
Luckily Mila has been draining my breasts well and so I haven’t had to experience this too often, but when it does happen there’s no better relief than when Mila attaches and takes away the pain. I definitely do not like feeling as though I’ve had rockmelons for boobs.
The bra wearing
I’m only four weeks in as I write this and I absolutely long to go bra free. But, if I do, I have the leakage problem to contend with. I’m completely over the itchiness of the bra, the fact that my hormones are still changing after the birth and I’m sweating like a pig…wearing a bra doesn’t help that whatsoever.
The cluster feeding
Some may say I shouldn’t worry about being stuck on the couch in a constant feeding cycle and just do what needs to be done. But honestly, cluster feeding drives me bonkers. As someone who already finds it hard to sit still and do nothing, just imagine what I’m like sitting in one spot for hours on end with a baby that wants to constantly feed. I guess one of the good things that have come out of cluster feeding is catching up on The Bold and the Beautiful.
The nipple fluttering
I have to say this is the most uncomfortable thing ever, it makes my toes curl! You know, when they twiddle your nipple about like it’s some sort of lollypop in their mouth? I know it’s a baby’s way to get the milk flowing, but geeze, get it over with!
The issue of being ‘stuck’
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve sat down to feed only to need my water bottle, to go to the toilet or to watch my phone battery slowly die. The toilet issue is by far the worst though given my very fragile pelvic floor. There’s certainly been a lot of muscle bracing happening.
The influx of breastfeeding experts
I’ve received some great advice from friends and family, but woah, doesn’t everyone become the expert when it comes to breastfeeding? As much as I appreciate that people trying to help, sometimes advice can come thick and fast even if you don’t ask for it. I’ve learnt that it’s best to ask the professionals and to go with my gut because let’s face it, every woman’s breastfeeding experience is different and I’d like to think that Mila and I know my boobs better than anyone.
The breastfeeding vs. formula feeding debate
I’m not even going to go into detail on this one because it gets enough air time, but as a mum who has done both, all I can say is that when it comes to parenting, we simply need to do what is best for us and our child and mind our own business. It has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else how I raise my children, nor is it any of my business how someone else feeds their child. As long as they are happy and healthy, that’s the crux of it.
The issue of breastfeeding in public
Another issue that I don’t think will be put to bed anytime soon is the whole breastfeeding in public debate. What I’ve never been able to understand is why people are so uncomfortable with it and why, if they are, they just don’t simply look the other way. Why do they even make it their problem?
It seems to me that some people have this problem because they see breasts sexually instead of for their main purpose, to feed. It’s a shame really and just a little disturbing. When it comes to breastfeeding in public I’d have to say I’m pretty modest, I cover up where I can and I do that for myself. But, if I’m honest, I do feel that some women go a little too far and bare more than is really necessary. I’m talking about flopping everything out. Really, do they need to do that? I personally think that sometimes this is more for the attention and to prove a point that for feeding their baby.
But enough of the negative, I want to share what I LOVE about breastfeeding so far..
Big Boobs – As a regular owner of a B cup, I’m loving my C cup babies!
Bonding – The closeness between Mila and I has certainly been growing over the past month and it’s something really special. I love the fact that she seeks me for comfort and a cuddle and love her little eyes looking up at me as if to say, “Mummy, you’re my everything.”
Responsibility – There’s a particular feeling I get knowing that it’s completely up to me to sustain the life of my baby through my milk. The elated feeling I’ve had when Mila has put on weight has also made the tough breastfeeding journey well worth it.
How do you feel about breastfeeding? What do you love and hate about it?