This article is going to be a little different than normal. In this article I'm going to list things that may not be so enjoyable during your breastfeeding journey. Truth is, you may not love every second of breastfeeding and that's okay! No one said breastfeeding was meant to be fun or easy. Mamas need to feel comfortable opening up about the not so fun things they endure or sacrifice to breastfeed.
Time to stock up on some Nipple Nuture Balm ! Whoever said breastfeeding doesn't hurt lives in an alternate universe. Sure, many moms do go through their whole breastfeeding journey without an ounce of pain, but the truth is, many moms do experience pain and it's a real thing and definitely not fun. Either from sore, dry, cracked nipples, plugged ducts, mastitis, or engorgement, the pain exists and it definitely is not fun to experience, but sooner or later the pain subsides and it makes you feel extra badass like for fighting through it.
2.) Leaky boobs.
An obvious sign you're a milk making machine is those leaky boobs. They leak , and leak, and leak some more. You wish you had some magic cork to stop the leaking until baby is actually latched on. They also make for some embarrassing encounters when you unknowingly leak through your shirt as you're walking through the store. It's definitely a good idea to throw in some reusable nursing pads and I'd definitely invest in some comfortable ones. I love the Softies from Fairhaven Health! They are contoured to fit in comfortably. OR if your someone like me who leaks like a faucet when baby is nursing you should definitely invest in a Milk Saver! Why not save all that liquid gold and feed it to your baby or donate to other babies?!
3.) Fight Club.
You hear stories and see pictures of beautiful breastfeeding moments. Laying peacefully in the still of the night, nursing your still baby to sleep. Yeah, sure, that works for a fiction novel , but in this reality babies & toddlers need something to do when they are feeding and sometimes that distraction involves pulling out hair, scratching, hitting, pinching, picking of noses, foot in face , and the wiggles. I'm lucky to make it out of nursing sessions without a black eye & a bloody nose! Ever since I started wearing a Nursing/teething necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop , it's given baby something other than beating me up for them to focus on and play with and if you use the code BFMTQ116 at checkout you will get 15% off! Thank you Jen & Mel for creating those magical necklaces and saving my sanity.
4.) Hunger Pains more like Hangry!
Pregnancy cravings have nothing on breastfeeding cravings! I crave more food than I did when I was pregnant. Luckily, breastfeeding burns up to 500 calories a day or I would need to get a whole zip code for my ass alone.
5.) Milk Supply paranoia.
While I love being able to be the only thing that provides nourishment for my baby it does leave me questioning myself if I'm making enough, is my milk good enough. The worries and doubts I can definitely do without. Not being able to physically see what is going into my baby's stomach sometimes sets me in a panic. Sometimes it just gives me a good excuse to order a bunch of Bessie's Best: Lactation Cookies, you know because making milk is important so what can hurt to scarf down a few dozen of the most delicious milk making cookies around? I get peace of mind and a tasty treat all in one!
6.) Alone time, what's that again?
Exclusively breastfeeding definitely has it's perks, but you soon realize some things you definitely took for granted. Like peeing alone and be able to take a bath without a baby latched. Not to mention I haven't been able to enjoy a meal hot since I took baby home from the hospital. It's as if he smells my food and suddenly has the desire to nurse right then and there, and waiting is not an option because he got onset starvation.
7.) Breastfeeding Discrimination.
One of my biggest fears in the beginning was breastfeeding in public. I mean just google, "Breastfeeding Discrimination" and the thousands of results that pop up is not only heartbreaking, but terrifying for a new breastfeeding mom. The thought of someone having a problem with you for doing the most basic thing a mom is SUPPOSED to do for her baby can be nerve wracking. Luckily, I'm aware of the law which specifically states that I can breastfeed wherever I was otherwise authorized to be. Meaning, if I was allowed to be in a public place before I started to breastfeed then kicking me out because I'm breastfeeding is illegal. Being confident in your right to breastfeed definitely helps calm the nerves.
8.) Letdown from hell!
Making lots of milk is definitely a good thing, but drowning my baby with my milk is not the goal here. Strong letdowns can definitely suck the fun right out of breastfeeding, no pun intended. Once we got down a rhythm it wasn't so bad. Sometimes if I laid down it helped the milk from exploding, like champagne, out of a newly uncorked bottle.
9.) Whoever said you shouldn't cry over spilled milk definitely didn't take hours pumping it out!
I'm sure this is something every single breastfeeding mom can empathize with, even if they have never spilled milk themselves. Seeing all your precious liquid gold splattered all over the floor can make a mama feel defeated and even depressed. For some moms, it takes a lot of work and effort to even get a few ounces to come out. Times like those it's definitely best you take a few moments to remember exactly why you go through this. Accidents happen and you will make more I promise!
10.) Nip Slips.
For a breastfeeding mom and even those around breastfeeding moms a lot are used to the occasional nipple here or there, but the first time you open your front door and the UPS guy catches a glimpse of the nip because you're so used to walking around with a nip or or two out it can make for a quite awkward encounter. That's when you calmly thank him and close the door as fast as you can, hide in your closet, & scream in a pillow or just calmly laugh it off. You're a new sleep deprived mom! Cut yourself some slack!
11.) Lopsided Boobs.
Sometimes baby likes to nurse from one side which leaves your other boob feeling a bit neglected . It definitely gives you a good reminder which breast baby should nurse from though! It also gives you some reassurance that your boobs are definitely producing milk, you know, in case you had any doubts!