What's Breastfeeding Really About?
So, I decided very early on that I wanted to breastfeed, I hoped that I wouldn't have an issue with milk, that he would latch well and those were my only worries. I couldn't understand why anyone would choose not to breastfeed. As we all hear over & over again, breast is best and I wanted the best for Archie and I also wanted the bonding that comes alongside breastfeeding.
Looking back now, I didn't do alot of research into the positives and negatives of breastfeeding and in turn I don't think I had enough knowledge of the subject to know how it was going to be and what to expect.
No one told me that breastfeeding was hard, I mean, really difficult. No one told me that some days I wouldn't be able to move because my son would want to constantly feed, I couldn't eat, shower, sleep. No one warned me of how painful it could be at first and I wish I'd been told.
All medical professionals advocate breastfeeding, but no one mentions the down side and if they had I might've prepared myself better and I might've ended up breastfeeding for longer. I wish I'd been given more information about what to expect.
As it is, I exclusively breastfed Archie for 6 weeks, and I combined fed for 6 weeks before weaning him to formula full-time. I'm extremely proud of myself for those weeks as there were many times I wanted to quit, but when I eventually did, I regretted it, and unfortunately it was too late to build my supply back up.
- The only way I got any sleep in those first few weeks was being able to co-sleep with Archie (something I originally completely disagreed with, but I'll talk about that in another post) to feed him.
- Of course, I love and adore my son regardless, but I felt a beautiful bond when breastfeeding him. The cuddles alone make it worth it.
- Breast is best - as we all have drummed into us.
- No periods!
- Somedays I could not do anything. Archie would feed for hours and hours a day. I didn't have time to shower, to eat, to sleep. It could be extremely overwhelming not having a second to myself.
- Not being able to hand the baby over to Daddy for night feeds; I was up more in the night and getting less sleep because Dad couldn't take on the night shifts.
- My freaking nipples, ouch! It seriously hurt at first but this went away for me relatively quickly with the help of Lanolin.
- Mammoth breasts that hurt like hell until emptied. I also found pumping a complete pain in the ass.
I will say the benefits 100% outweigh the downside of breastfeeding and I would highly recommend that every mother tries their hardest to stick at it. They say that when you think about quitting, go another week, then see how you feel and if I'd followed this I may still be breastfeeding now. Next time, I'll try much harder to stretch to exclusively breastfeeding for at least 6 months to a year.