Posted in Opinion

The highs and lows of breastfeeding

breastfeeding2

Breastfeeding. The act of a woman nourishing her child through her body, with no interventions from modern medicine. An age old tradition. The embodiment of motherhood and a crucial element to the bonding experience with one’s baby.

… alright guys, a bit intense?

This was and still to an extent remains my attitude towards breastfeeding. Maybe it’s my age, my personality, or just my general approach to motherhood, but I’ve never really fully ‘got’ the romanticised version of breastfeeding.

Fact: I am glad that I can breastfeed. I am grateful that I can breastfeed and that I have a good supply. I appreciate the convenience of being able to feed my baby whenever, wherever.

That said, breastfeeding is demanding, often exhausting, and sometimes really frustrating, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t talk about that. As I was saying to Peter the other day, just because breastfeeding works for me and I have no problems, doesn’t mean I can’t complain about it. I’m tired of being confronted with a ‘other women have it so much worse than you so be grateful’ kind of attitude.

Fact: Cluster feeding is exhausting. An often hunched back is painful. Not being able to go off for 2 hours alone is frustrating. Being on demand 24/7 is not liberating. Remembering to drink and eat enough to keep up your supply is damn near impossible on tough days.

I often believe that midwives expect us new mothers to be there all day in bed, breasts out, nursing our baby, waxing lyrical about the beauty of motherhood and how wonderful it feels to nourish a tiny human from our bosom. I am not an earth mother. I do not enjoy being called all the time to sit and feed.

That said. I am proud of myself and LG for making a success of this, and it is a satisfying feeling to be able to do this after already going through pregnancy and birth. My body is badass.

This post is a bit rambling, oops. Basically, I feel that it’s okay to either not enjoy breastfeeding all the time, or simply not enjoy breastfeeding at all. There’s lots of discussion of the ‘medical’ difficulties of breastfeeding (latching, mastitis, blocked glands, lack of milk) but not enough discussion of the everyday annoyances, which is a shame!

Okay, rant over!

Mama M x

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