When I was preparing to breastfeed my first baby, I was warned the process could be difficult. It was like every mom I knew had endured some sort of breastfeeding struggle and, as a result, wanted me to be fully aware of what I was getting myself into. I was thankful, yes, but I missed out on a super-important message in the process. I never heard that, despite the challenges, there are more than a few things that make breastfeeding feel totally worth it. I mean, yes, technically there are plenty of facts available about the nutritional and health benefits for baby and mom, the lowered cost, and the added convenience. But I’m talking about the more subtle side effects that we, as new breastfeeding moms, get to experience.
These are the things that don’t always show up in the parenting books, but still play a major role in how the struggle to breastfeed eventually is worth it (at least, it was for me). In those early weeks of postpartum life, I dealt with some significant nursing issues and saw practically zero hope at the end of the tunnel. Each breastfeeding challenge was in danger of convincing me that nursing would never work out or feel comfortable.
Spoiler alert: it totally did work out, and eventually it did feel very comfortable, and here are a few things that definitely helped me get to that wondrous, glorious, enjoyable point: