By: Kristy Kemp
Obviously breastfeeding is wonderful, amazing, nutritional, and can be a beautiful experience at times, but lets face it, it's not always rainbows and butterflies. It's important that moms feel comfortable about opening up, about their not so fun experiences with breastfeeding.
Mamas need to know that it's okay to not love everything and everyday of their breastfeeding journey. They need to know that struggling with breastfeeding and not loving every second doesn't mean they are, "broken" or doing it wrong.
It's okay to not love being trapped at home because you're the only one that can feed baby. It's okay to cringe sometimes as soon as baby latches because your nipples feel like the burning ring of fire. It's okay to not love that your whole wardrobe consists of milk stained, stretched out shirts. It's okay that you got absolutely nothing accomplished that day because baby needed to be attached to your boob all day long. It's okay to wanna be done with breastfeeding, even though your baby will not even fathom the thought. It's okay to want your boobs back to yourself.
Some moms feel a strong bond through breastfeeding and some don't feel connected at all. The important thing I try to make breastfeeding moms understand is, no one breastfeeding journey will be the same as another. We all feel differently and face a different set of struggles. Some moms are fortunate enough to not face any struggles, but breastfeeding isn't a competition and it's important to keep that in mind. There is no one way or right way to breastfeed. So the fact that mom in your mommy group, is always boasting about how easy , fun, and happy breastfeeding is for her, don't feel like you failed or you're doing something wrong because you feel the opposite that day.
One big part of breastfeeding that many moms struggle with is breastfeeding in public. With all the breastfeeding discrimination happening, mean comments, dirty looks, it can start to take it's toll on a person. Although, many moms couldn't care less about any confrontation that may come their way and they dare someone, anyone to say something to them, not all breastfeeding mamas feel that way, and that , is also , okay! Some moms have more confidence than others and that doesn't mean they are "better" breastfeeders because of it.
It's okay to dread pumping every few hours. It's okay if you pumped an hour straight, but you only managed to get out a few ounces. It's okay to be jealous of the mom who pumps an eight ounce bottle of milk, that took her a whole 20 minutes to pump out. It's okay that you felt like you wanted to die after accidentally spilling that few ounces of milk, that took every ounce of your sanity to pump out. It's okay to be frustrated when you spent so much time pumping that milk that your baby refuses to drink from a bottle. It's okay to feel like you wanna give up because it seems like the solution at the time.
All I can say, is some days won't all be rainbows and butterflies and that's okay! That is when you make small goals. Day by day , hour by hour, minute by minute. It's okay to push yourself just a little bit harder because that's what you do as a mom. It's okay to feel overwhelmed and frustrated that you feel like you have to push yourself because you're a mom. It's okay to know your limits and call it quits because you're tired of being in pain and miserable. It's not okay to base your worth as a mom on how you feed your baby. It's not okay to judge another mom for how she feeds her baby. Breastfeeding isn't all or nothing , so take pride in the fact, that every drop of breastmilk you gave or are giving is a gift. If you're struggling, it's okay to talk about it because you're not alone and sometimes all you need to hear is that it's okay to not love every second of breastfeeding...