5 Things That Nobody Will Tell You About Breastfeeding:
First of all, as a pediatric nurse, I was gung-ho into the breastfeeding thing. Notice I said ‘was’. Until we had unanticipated problems early on. Yes, I gave up. And that story will have it’s time to be told. But for now, even though I did enjoy the time I was breastfeeding, there are still things that no one ever told me before hand. So I hope to forewarn you, if you don’t have someone to tell you what it’s all about.
1) It HURTS. Ok, not FOREVER. But those first 2-3 weeks were miserable for me. Get that nipple butter crap and smear the snot out of the girls. You’ll thank me later.
2) It’s awkward. Maybe I’m the only one who thought it was a little weird. It was hard to get used to someone sucking on them (for nutrition purposes, that is). After awhile, once you get pretty good at it, you can read a book and forget about it.
3) You need like 4 extra sets of hands. Once again, this was initially. It DOES get better. But it’s like learning how to ride a bike. It’s hard at first. It’s hard to figure out how to do it in the first place. It’s hard to learn what position works best for you and the baby. It’s hard because the baby will be indecisive and one day prefers one boob over the other. C was super good about helping when A was in the NICU. And that part wasn’t awkward. He was looking at it as we needed to feed our child, and he was trying to help as much as possible, in a nonsexual way. He knew that store down South was shut down indefinitely, so I guess he figured why not try to help?
4) It can be frustrating. A had jaundice, like REALLY bad when she was born. SO much so that she was readmitted to the hospital for it. The thing about jaundice is this: it makes babies super tired. And they fall asleep in the middle of feedings, in the middle of diaper changes, in the middle of the middle. You get my drift. So after it took me 45 minutes to wake her up, change her diaper, and another 15 minutes to try and get her to latch on right, after feeding for 5 minutes she would fall asleep. And we’d have to do the WHOLE. THING. OVER. After the jaundice had subsided somewhat (we learned she had a rare genetic disorder that caused prolonged jaundice) we finally got it down to a science. But I am not lying when I tell you it took me almost 6 weeks to get to a point where she didn’t fall asleep 5 minutes into it. It was frustrating.
5) At the end of the day, it is rewarding. After all of the frustrations, heartbreak, blood, sweat and tears, it was worth it. Some people might look at it as being an anchor, when you can’t go anywhere without your baby, because you never know when she will want to feed. But I’m on the opposite team. It was so rewarding knowing that it was ME who she wanted the most. It was ME and only me that could make food for her. It was all on ME. And that was cool with me. Even now at a young 11 months old, she doesn’t need JUST ME anymore, and instead is happy with her dad or her nana instead of me. And although I know I am a favorite, I am not the ONLY one she wants anymore.
Cherish it if you do choose to breastfeed. The time will seem like it stops in the beginning, but after it is done you will look back and wish you had more of that time. Best of luck!