6 Things About Breastfeeding That Seem So Much Worse Than They Actually Are
There are so many aspects of breastfeeding that are extremely difficult. Mastitis, clogged ducts, every time you need to trim your baby’s fingernails lest you be scratched to the point that people assume you have a feral cat, biting, milk production. I mean, the list can literally go on and on. However, there are some things about breastfeeding that aren’t as bad as they seem. Granted, every nursing mom’s experience is different and I don’t want to assume I can speak for everyone (I see you, moms who loved every minute of it. I’ve never met any of you but I’m sure there are a couple dozen of you out there). But the stuff that made me nervous about breastfeeding wasn't really the stuff that was actually problematic when it came to my breastfeeding experience. Anyone who asked me what the "worst" part of breastfeeding was, received a wide variety of answers that weren't necessarily accurate and constantly changing and, probably, indicitive of my postpartum hormones.
When you're a new mother trying to do something as taxing and exhausting as motherhood, you can't but think that every bump in the road is catastrophic. Again, many are and there are so many complications that can end a mother's breastfeeding journey (which is, you know, the worst if that mother had different plans). However, there are other, tinier bumps that, well, because of exhaustion and those damn hormones and the unrealistic expectations most new mothers set for themselves, seem much larger than they actually are. Sometimes, the tiny stuff can seem like gigantic stuff and the not-so-bad stuff can seem like the seventh circle of hell.
Hang in there, breastfeeding mom. Honestly, I was you once and I thought the tough parts of breastfeeding were the absolute worst, biggest deals of all the deals that any mother would be ask to deal. They weren't, and yours won't be either, so if you're experiencing these difficulties and they seem like the absolute worst, I promise you, they're not. Probably.
Quick point of clarification: yes, being woken up to feed every two hours (or less) is the worst. Getting out of bed when you're exhausted is the worst. Listening to a baby cry is the worst. However, spending some quiet quality time with your baby while everyone else sleeps? That's definitely not the worst.
Burps And Spit-Up
You'll notice that the baby in this GIF isn't spitting up or burping, as far as we can tell. This represents the fact that burps and spit-ups aren't really a big deal and that babies tend to remain pretty chill despite the fact that their stomach contents are emptying (on you).
Nursing Bras And Nursing Tops
I have a great respect for camisoles, now that I've worn one like 700 days in a row. I'm not saying you should throw out all your cute bras, but I am saying that a couple days (or years) without underwire never really hurt anyone.
Being Required To Sit Down All The Time
I understand some women are heroes who can breastfeed whilst doing things on their feet. But me? I was forced to simply sit still and binge-watch TV shows of questionable quality, if I was go get my kid to latch properly.
When Your Milk Comes In
I remember it being a very short window of discomfort and, well, then that was basically it. For those looking for more information, however, Emily Blunt gave an awesome interview on Ellen after the birth of her first child that you'll probably* enjoy.
The Idea That Your Nipples Need "Toughening"
Good news, all! This is absolute garbage. Your nipples are perfect just the way they are, okay? Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.