Not like it needs to be said again, but I'll repeat it anyways — breastfeeding is hard After growing and birthing a human with nothing but your body, you're now expected to feed it using the same. It's amazing, but equally exhausting. And, like with pregnancy or any aspect of life for that matter, with a bit of support it becomes 100 times easier. Without it though, it can be hell. In fact, there are many little things that make breastfeeding harder than it should be Most of which can be easily remedied.
I've gone through many ups and downs in my time breastfeeding my two daughters. In the first weeks, when life is such a strange blur of love and utter exhaustion, I was ready to call it quits. Every day I faced issues with latch, fears of nursing in public, and obsessions over how my breasts would look afterwards. But after more than two years, I'm completely confident in my ability to nurse my babies, it wasn't always that way.
I don't think I'm alone in feeling inadequate, or like breastfeeding is simply just too much work. Although it's a shame that so many moms experience these little things in their time breastfeeding, it's up to the rest of us to make it as easy on them as possible. And one way to do that is to educate women on all the little things that make breastfeeding much more difficult, and offer ways to remedy them.
1You Don't Get Skin-To-Skin Time After Birth
Though many hospitals are becoming more aware of the benefits of skin-to-skin time for mama and baby immediately after birth, some whisk the baby away to do weight checks and all of the post-birth things, without taking into account that this may make breastfeeding very difficult afterwards. Not only does skin-to-skin time boost bonding between mother and baby, according to Todays Parents, but it helps the baby learn to feed on his own and allows for a smoother nursing experience.
2You Have An Unsupportive Partner
Having a partner who isn't supportive, makes breastfeeding incredibly difficult. Although the mother is the one who nurses the baby, if both partners aren't actively supportive, the chances of it being successful are slim.
3You Feel Over Sexualized
Living in a society that views breasts as purely sexual, doing things like nursing in public is immediately scrutinized and mothers are often shamed for using their breasts for their biological purpose.
4You Feel Pressure
There is a pre-perceived idea of how nursing is supposed to be. And with so many conflicting messages, many moms are tempted to quit altogether.
5You Deal Wtih Stigmas About Nursing In Public
It seems like every week a new horror story surfaces about a mom who was shamed for nursing her baby in public. They're enough to keep a mom from going anywhere, or even nursing at all. After all, no one says anything if you use a bottle in public.
6You Can Only Find Ugly Nursing Bras
Though it's no as oppressing as a death glare, the lack of cute nursing bras. making public breastfeeding (and general breastfeeding) difficult. Although this isn't usually enough to deter moms from nursing, it has certainly made me ditch wearing nursing bras altogether (despite their convenience and comfort). Dear, nursing bra companies, our boobs deserve much better.
7You Have Multiple Kids
After having more than one kid, breastfeeding becomes increasingly difficult. Nursing was a sweet time of cuddling and bonding with my first daughter. And although there was some of that with my second, the majority of our breastfeeding sessions were spend trying to parent my toddler hands-free from across the room.
8You Think You Have To Have It All Together
Though "hot mess" mom stereotype is probably an accurate description of most nursing moms, for some reason there is the notion that they've got to have their ducks in a row a few days (or weeks) after giving birth. I mean, it's just breastfeeding, how hard could it be, right?
9You Dea With Poor Maternity Leave Policies
Although there are more laws protecting new moms than ever before, many find the lack of sufficient maternity leave a good enough reason to make the switch to formula.
10You Get Too Many Freebies From Hospitals
After giving birth, formula companies will bombard you with free samples and trials, almost making the assumption that you'll fail. Though these can be helpful if you plan to use formula, when you're exclusively nursing, they're nothing but a hindrance.
11You Face The Expectation Of Immediate Weight Loss
Similar to the expectation to have it all together, new moms are shown images in the media of moms who somehow have their pre-pregnancy bodies back mere weeks or months after giving birth. This is not only unrealistic, but it places unfair expectations on new moms who, frankly, just want to eat enough to satisfy their appetite.
12You Feel The Pain
Honestly, sometimes breastfeeding just hurts. As natural as it is, it often doesn't come "naturally" to many moms. When poor latch or low supply is a factor, many moms are tempted to call it quits.
13You Are Tired
From nursing around the clock every two hours, to not having control over your own body, nursing is exhausting.