I have a feeling I’m going to get some flack for this post. But you know what, that’s OK. Because in this space, I’m all about being real. And a lot of times in the hardships of parenthood, or really life in general, we tend to think we are alone. Alone in our feelings, alone in the struggles. But we aren’t. And if we could all just be real and open and honest and even, raw, then maybe others would feel not so alone. Maybe, just maybe, by being open with each other we can push the clouds apart to let the sunshine through.
So here it goes. I’ll say it.
I just don’t really like breastfeeding.
My mom used to always tell me how wonderful breastfeeding was. She would talk about how I would look up at her as a baby and how it was incredibly bonding. She loved every minute of it. So I knew long before children were ever even on my radar that I would breastfeed.
I don’t think I did a lot of research on breastfeeding before giving birth. I did take one breastfeeding class that the hospital offered. I learned a lot, and it seemed pretty straightforward. My only worry was which position I’d use.
Even in the hospital after giving birth, breastfeeding seemed fine. The lactation consultants watched as baby latched and said in the happiest voice, “You look great! Oh, she’s doing so well.” But two days later, we went home. And things went down hill from there.
I wrote about my breastfeeding journey before, so I’ll spare the painful details. But basically, breastfeeding was not all it’s cracked up to be. It hurt. And it was hard. And I hated it. I dreaded nursing.
But I stuck it out. I fought hard to keep going. And eventually, it didn’t hurt. Eventually it did get better.
But you know what, I never started loving it. I bond with my baby when she sleeps on my chest or now that she’s older, when she laughs at my silliness. I have bonded with her just fine and I don’t think it had anything to do with nursing.
Reasons I Don’t Like Breastfeeding
One of the biggest reasons I don’t like breastfeeding is because it makes me feel trapped. I feel like I am on a leash. My baby won’t take a bottle — and believe me, we have tried whatever it is you are about to recommend. She just refuses it. And because of that, I can’t ever be away from her for more than three hours. Yes, three hours is enough time to do many things. I get that. But there are things I’ve wanted to do that I just can’t. Or it makes them very difficult or I just worry the whole time that she might be hungry.
Making plans becomes a complete hassle. This includes plans where the baby is coming with me. That’s because I do not nurse in public. I can’t use a cover. I don’t know how people make it look so easy, but covers make it even more difficult for me and my little one. I am not one to whip my boob out for the whole world. If you do, power to ya! But it’s not for me. That means when we go places, I have to feed her in the car. And as she is getting bigger, that is becoming more and more difficult. So overall, going places and doing things is a hassle. Thus, I end up staying home. A lot.
When we visit family or friends, I have to go into another room to nurse her. This means I miss out on conversations and quality time with people I have driven over four hours to see. It frustrates me.
For the longest time, I also didn’t like it because I couldn’t sleep comfortably. I like to sleep on my side/stomach. My breasts were too tender/sore to sleep on them, which meant I had to sleep on my back. It wasn’t as comfortable for me, and I already wasn’t getting enough sleep due to, you know, living with a baby. Thankfully, now at six months postpartum I’ve been able to sleep in any position.
There are just a lot of things about breastfeeding I don’t like. I don’t like leaking through my clothes. I don’t like trying to figure out what to wear every day because it needs to be nursing friendly. I don’t like dealing with problems like milk blebs and constantly worrying if my supply is low or if my flow is too fast. It’s a lot of pressure to know I’m my daughter’s only source of nutrition and thus, survival.
And you might be thinking how selfish I am. And that’s OK because you know what, I definitely feel selfish sometimes. I rarely complain about breastfeeding — except to my husband. I realize there are benefits to it, and that’s why despite the fact that I don’t enjoy it, I’m still doing it. I used to hate it, but now I just don’t like it. And I know I’m never going to be one of those women who love it.
And in case there is anyone out there who also just doesn’t enjoy breastfeeding, I didn’t want you to think you are the only mama out there feeling that way. Because I know for certain I feel like I’m the only one!
So there. I said it. I don’t like breastfeeding.
Are there parts of breastfeeding you don’t like?
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