This and That

Wonder Wednesday: Breastfeeding Sucks

Posted on: September 14, 2011

My good friend just had a baby and thus started breastfeeding, and I am reminded when talking to her how much breastfeeding SUCKS!

Before and during pregnancy, I was lied to about breastfeeding. I was told how easy it would be, how it’s nature’s way and as such we (the baby and I) naturally know how to do it, and how convenient it is.

Lies, lies, lies!

It is not easy, in fact trying to breastfeed my boys was the hardest thing I ever did, included labor! It may be nature’s way but that doesn’t mean I automatically know how to get my baby to suck and it surly doesn’t mean my baby instinctively latches on correctly. And it is not convenient to discreetly whip out your boob in public places, to keep your breast covered so you don’t give the person next to you a cheap thrill, to tuck your baby under the cover (again trying not to flash people), and to get baby to latch on. That is not convenient or easy. That is a recipe for a heart attack and nervous breakdown!

I think what SUCKS the most about breastfeeding is society’s pressure on woman to do it. Even though I tried my hardest to get my first son to breastfeed he wouldn’t. Pretty much refused to do it. So hubby and I decided it was best for him to have formula, you know to make sure he was actually eating something. It was the best decision we made for him and me because by that point I was a stress case and completely freaking out every time it was time to feed. For him and for my sanity it was best. And yet I still felt so much guilt for not doing it. I felt like other moms looked at me in judgement when I pulled out the formula bottle from my bag. I felt my girlfriends didn’t think I was a great mom because I was feeding him poison (a term a person I know uses).

With my second son I was determined to give breastfeeding another shot but this time not to beat myself up if it didn’t work out. He ended up breastfeeding well and I was so happy to avoid judgement and get to really experience the “greatness” of breastfeeding. If you didn’t know, the “greatness” of breastfeeding includes: bloody and sore nipples, Mastitis, clogged milk ducts, ruined shirts from leaking, the joys of pumping, and the constant worry that baby wasn’t eating enough. Looking back I think I should have stuck with the judgement.

Now don’t miss understanding me, I am not judging breastfeeding moms. If you can and want to breastfeed I am all for it and salute you for doing something I couldn’t get the hang of well, even when I was able to do it with my second son. I just don’t understand: Why is there so much judgment about this? Why do moms criticize other moms for not breastfeeding? Why does society dictate to us what is best for our babies?

I believe 99% of moms love their babies and are doing to best they can. We as moms need to give each other grace, understand and love. We need to be united in the love for our babies, not segregated based on if we breastfeed or whether we use pacifiers or whether we co-sleep.

So join with me. Don’t judge your mommy friend because she does it differently than you. Love her for doing what is best for her baby and herself!

Oh and please don’t leave comments about how breast milk is healthier for the baby. My oldest son was a completely formula baby and NEVER gets sick…EVER! My other son is two years younger than his brother and has been sick twice as much. In my book there is no correlation between breast milk and healthier babies!

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3 Responses to "Wonder Wednesday: Breastfeeding Sucks"

Another great blog. I like that you brought it back to the most important aspect – don’t judge, period. What is right/good for one does not mean it is right/good for another and this goes through our whole life. Like you I did formula for my first and breast fed my second. Both are great, healthy, smart, fantastic adults (had nothing to do with how they were fed).

I am a breastfeeding advocate. I love it, I’m doing it right now! Just kidding. I hung up my nursing bra about 5 months ago, and I loved everything about it. Don’t beat yourself up. We all have different experiences with breastfeeding. My mom only gave me formula from the day I was born, and stuck me in daycare all day everyday, and I’m as healthy as a horse. Hey, as long as your kid is still alive, healthy, and thriving that’s all that matters.

No judgment here! You are an amazing mother, there are so many great mom’s out there who choose what is best for them and their babies and their families. I realize more and more every day (especially being a parent to more than one child)…there are just too many things to “worry” about, to have anxiety about, to stress over. I just try not to do that. Lets just not stress so much. I think that includes staying out of other peoples business. If I were to spend time criticizing and judging others I would be a total stress case. Lets make my business, my business, and yours can stay yours. Its much more fun that way. Love you J. Your boys are so adorable and getting so big. Hope to see you soon!

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