When I was pregnant, the biggest mistake I ever made was assuming I would breastfeed. All the baby books told me my body was essentially “made for this” and I'd magically “know” what to do. I mean, how hard is putting your kid's mouth to your breast, right? Obviously I was in for a rude awakening, and I’m not the only mom to struggle with this “natural” experience, either. In fact, it was almost too easy to get moms to reveal the hardest thing about breastfeeding, which is actually pretty great. The more we're open and honest about this experience, the better.
While latch was never a problem with my son and I, the biggest difficulty we endured was my inability to produce enough breast milk to keep my baby full and happy. The odds were already stacked against us, too. My son was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unite (NICU) after birth, so we started our breastfeeding journey with a significant disadvantage. I was extremely stressed out because my son was sick, which helped nothing, and I was taking pain and anxiety medications thanks to my severe birth injuries and the trauma I had just experienced nearly losing my second baby. Again, not really conducive to an "easy" breastfeeding start.
So no matter how hard I tried to pump regularly and put my son to my breast, it just wasn’t working. I gave up after four months, and after trying everything I could possibly think of, with no regrets. But my story is just one of many stories that highlight how hard breastfeeding can be. This is what other moms had to say about it: