If you’re about to give birth, and you plan on breastfeeding, you may want to cover your ears for this next part: the first month of my child’s life, and subsequently, the first month of breastfeeding, were way harder than I expected them to be. I’d heard breastfeeding could be a challenge, but I (naively) tried to remain optimistic about the entire process and my ability to navigate it. However, this totally backfired when I had my fair share of challenges that humbled and frustrated and, basically, wrecked me both physically and emotionally for the first month of my baby's life and my breastfeeding experience.
To be fair, I’m not sure it’s possible to be completely "ready" for breastfeeding, and any challenges that may arise, before actually trying to breastfeed, but still. If I could go back and shake my own shoulders like people do to each other in movies, I totally would.
That said, a fair amount of knowledge came from those challenges; Knowledge that I get to carry around with me and use when and/or if I ever find myself breastfeeding again; Knowledge that I'm more than happy to impart on new mothers because, well, the whole going back in time and shaking your own shoulders is not a viable option. I’m not a breastfeeding expert or medical professional, by any means, but I am a mom who’s been there, so I’m hopeful that my struggles make things a little easier for the next person. So, just in case there are challenges for you, too, for the love of all things baby-related, know that you’re not alone. You're not alone, and if you follow these rules, you'll survive breastfeeding just fine.