Breastfeeding is a hugely controversial subject, which is ridiculous really. But this post isn’t about whether you should or shouldn’t breast or bottle your sprog.
I decided to write a post on the reality of breastfeeding as all the advice I got before and during was crap. It tries to make it out to be wonderful and lovely to encourage people to do it, when in reality all it does is make people so surprised by how hard it is they stop.
So here is how I REALLY found breastfeeding :
– The very first time a child sucks your tit is WIERD and also feels a bit wrong.
– After labour, spending hours sat on your arse feeding is NOT comfortable. Try lying down to do it.
– There is a huge effect on your sex life for lots of reasons, two being that hormones suppress your libido, and you don’t really want hubster going anywhere near your baps when your baby wants to suck on them.
– Sleep. You won’t get any. Until you stop feeding. It’s not just for the newborn stage. It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on. And they may never become good sleepers.
– Your tits are fucked forever. They don’t bounce back after feeding. They will always be droopy and just a bit wierd.
– When they get teeth, start to cry.
– You can become touched out. Once the novelty of feeding wears off it can become very tiresome constantly being needed and touched / holding a baby. You desire space and no contact by anyone.
– Leaking tits are annoying but occasionally hilarious. Some people don’t leak at all. Others gush like niagra at the most inappropriate moments.
– You will become more hormonal than you ever thought possible.
– Breastfeeding can feel very lonely, particularly in the middle of the night. All feeding is down to you 24/7. You can’t share night feeds and can’t easily leave baby in the day. Some babies combine feed well but I never managed it.
– Expressing feeds is time consuming, potentially pointless if baby won’t take a bottle and stressful. And some people simply can’t express.
– It can be extremely painful especially at first. Your poor nips were one minute happily bobbing along when the next they have a newborn who won’t let go and has the suction of a thousand Dysons. No wonder the poor fuckers crack and bleed.
I do feel (don’t get all trolly and shouty it’s just my opinion) that breast is best BUT I also found feeding extremely hard physically and emotionally.
The advice is generally awful so people don’t stick with it. If you are considering feeding, know what you are getting yourself in for. Find an honest friend or breastfeeding group who will give it to you how it is. Know the reality. And when you start don’t be afraid to get help in the first few days to check the latch etc. Preventing a problem is easier than fixing it (like falling off nipples like my friend had).
If it starts to affect your mental wellbeing however, I think bottle feeding is good enough and overall more beneficial than a crazy mummy.
And if you simply don’t want to breastfeed, good for you. There are alter and they allow much more freedom for you and baby. Just make sure whatever you choose is what you want not what others want.