When my daughter was born, she wouldn't latch. No matter what I did, or how many times the lactation consultant came by, I couldn't get her to latch. As a result, our breastfeeding relationship didn't "go the distance." My son, however, latched on pretty much right away, and I quickly succumbed to the breastfeeding mom stereotypes that are undoubtably legit. And even though my son latched on right away, our breastfeeding relationship wasn't without its obstacles. My son had a slight tongue-tie, jaundice, and an insatiable appetite. Feeding him was an on-demand affair, so I was convinced my nipples were going to fall off.
After several weeks, though, I was (thankfully) able to finally breastfeed pain-free. Then I absolutely fell in love with breastfeeding. In fact, three years later, I am wistful for the times when I was able to alleviate my child with a simple feed, calm him by holding his little body against mine, and feed him whenever I needed to. I miss the closeness we had, and I miss the bond that breastfeeding provided.
I don't, however, miss everything extra that came with breastfeeding. I don't miss the sleepless nights, the milk-stained shirts, or the achy breasts. I don't miss scheduling my life around breastfeeding, and I definitely don't miss pumping. But still, at the end of the day, it was all worth it. Breastfeeding was one of the best things I have ever done as a mom, and it taught me perseverance and made me grow as a woman. Breastfeeding make me feel empowered and, well, that is the one stereotype I am totally unashamed of.
You're A Total Multitasker
I could breastfeed, eat dinner, check social media, and enjoy Netflix like it was my job. I could have a full-blown conversation, read a book, and make plans for next weekend, all while nourishing my child. I could fold laundry while having a baby attached to my breast. That is a superpower, frankly.
You Own Every Nipple Cream On The Market
When I was first starting my breastfeeding journey, I have never felt such incredible pain as I did with each latch. As a result, I began my search for the best nipple cream on the market. After talking with moms who had similar experiences, I would buy a cream. After searching online reviews, I would buy another cream. And after reviewing countless threads in breastfeeding groups on social media, I would purchase all the creams. I had creams in every crevice of my house, diaper bag, car, and drawer.
You Own Every Pump Accessory Available
Breastfeeding is great, but pumping is the worst. I exclusively pumped my firstborn for eight months and, well, those months sucked. (Pun totally intended.) So, to make pumping as hassle-free as I could, I owned every accessory on the market.
You Live By A Breastfeeding Schedule
There's definitely a schedule that comes along with breastfeeding. In the beginning, I fed my child on demand. I don't eat on a schedule, I eat when I'm hungry, so why would I force my newborn to keep to a schedule and wait to eat?
Finally, after a week or so, he put himself on a schedule and I was stuck feeding him every two to three hours. It was great, until I had to have plans.
You Preach "Breast Is Best"
I know, I know, this isn't cool of me to say. And of course, every mom has to find her own way to feed her baby, and that is going to look differently for different moms. While there are breastfeeding moms out there who try to pressure every other mother into nursing, the majority of us simply want to support moms in their mission to feed their babies, regardless.
Still, I loved breastfeeding and I know that breast milk is amazing for babies. Fed is best, to be sure, but when we say "breast is best" we simply mean that breast milk is magic.
You Breastfeed Everywhere
I didn't care where I was or what event I was at, I breastfed my kid if he was hungry. I didn't have a single care in the world about who may be offended by my bare skin, I just did what I had to do to satisfy my kid's hunger. I remember being pleasantly surprised that no one ever said anything to me.
There's Usually A Baby On Your Boob
You can almost always find a breastfeeding mom, well, breastfeeding. It seemed like my kid was permanently attached to me all day, every day. But guess what? Time is fleeting and my breastfeeding relationship with my newborn was one of the best parts of motherhood.
You Own Every Lactation Product On The Market
Those lactation cookies, though.