Personally, I didn't love every single second of breastfeeding. Nursing a tiny, needy human being is hard, and taxing, and sometimes painful. That doesn't mean it wasn't an experience to remember, though, or document so that I could look back on it years later. In fact, I'd argue that there are more than a few photos every nursing mom should take during that first week of breastfeeding, if only to remind herself (and others!) that what she is doing is work. Hard, rewarding, incredible work.
Hell, if I'm being honest I have to admit that I took a ton of pictures with my daughter during the first week of her life. Everything was so new and exciting and terrifying and every single moment felt monumental. I took significantly less pictures five years later, when my son was born, though. It wasn't that he was less important, it's just that I had been there, done that, so to speak. I wish I had taken more pictures, though, because breastfeeding was an entirely different experience the second time around. I struggled to breastfeed my daughter, but my son was relatively easy to nurse by comparison and our breastfeeding journey, albeit short, was a very pleasant one. It would've been nice to document that experience, too.
Still, whether I took a few pictures or arguably far too many, I'm thrilled to be able to look back on that first week of nursing life with my kids and remember all the hard work I put into breastfeeding. So while I know it can be hard to whip out the camera or your phone at a moment's notice, here are just a few breastfeeding pictures I think every nursing mom should take during her baby's first week of life:
A Picture Of Your First Successful Attempt
It's a big deal when you finally get that hungry baby to latch. My daughter didn't catch on immediately, and even after I had the help of a lactation consultant, so when she finally mastered the art of the perfect latch I knew I had to document it. Plus, that picture comes in handy when you feel like you're not doing a damn thing right as a new mom.
A Picture Of Your Milk-Drunk Baby
There's nothing better, or more adorable, than a milk-drunk baby passed out in your arms after a great meal. I'd spend every single day holding a full, sleeping baby if I could.
A Picture Of All The Milk Fails
Breastfeeding is messy, my friends, and if you can't learn to laugh at the mess you're going to have a difficult time coming to terms with the milk shooting out of your body. So why not just document it? And celebrate it? And maybe take way too many pictures of your new super power: shooting milk from across the room?
A Picture Of An Exhausting Late-Night Feed
If you're exclusively breastfeeding then you're probably the only person who can feed your child, which means every late-night feeding is your responsibility. That's exhausting, my friends, but it also provides you with more than a few quiet, serene moments with just you and your little one. Cherish those, even when they're cumbersome, because they'll be over before you know it (and you'll finally get to sleep!).
A Picture Taken By Your Partner Without Your Knowledge
There are so many tender, small moments you'll likely share with your baby while nursing, and a selfie doesn't really do those moments justice. So I say you tell your partner to keep their phone at the ready so they can snap a picture whenever they see you sweetly nursing your little one. These candid photos will be invaluable.
A Picture Of An Epic Breastfeeding Fail
You're going to experience a lot of breastfeeding mishaps during that first week of your baby's life, and while it's hardly highlighted on social media I think these moments are worth celebrating, too. This is how you learn, new mom! This is literally you and your little one getting to know one another. It's annoying and difficult and frustrating and it can be heartbreaking at times, but it's part of your journey and it's worth documenting.
These mishaps and perceived failures are going to make those successes all the more sweeter, I promise.