Top 5 Things I learned While Breastfeeding
To continue my celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2014 I am publishing 7 days of breastfeeding posts.
logo from http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
If you have been following along, you know that I breastfed my daughter for 27 months. She decided to wean last month while we are on vacation. I am trying to `find ways to commemorate our time and also to reflect on the experience. Here is a list of the top 5 things I learned in my 27 months of breastfeeding.
1. Everyone has an opinion on breastfeeding.
Face it people, we are in a judgeymcjudgerson society.
If you tell someone you are breastfeeding, they have an opinion and they are going to share it with you. Whether you want to hear it or not. You will get some weird advice- toughen up your nipples with sand paper. (OMG WTF?) Breastfeeding will ruin your marriage. If you don’t supplement with a bottle your baby will starve.
One piece of advice I did not get- toughen up cupcake, everyone is going to have an opinion on breastfeeding.
2. Breastfeeding is hard, but also easy
I was fortunate to have an incredible birth team and a great lactation consultant who also happened to be my Doula. We took all the classes and we were very well informed. We had a hard time at first, but once we got the hang of it, say, after a year or so, it was easier.
I think the frequency of feeding was rigorous to say the least (every 2-4 hours), but the actual act was not hard once established. We did it 27 months, it was barely a thing once she started sleeping. It was MUCH easier than bottles. It is not easy or hard for everyone.
3. People don’t always want to know you breastfeed and certainly don’t want to see it
Most of the people that don’t want to see or hear about this don’t have kids or are not around kids and don’t like kids. Others just don’t want to see it. No matter. It will occur. If you need to do it, do it.
4. I was not a big public nurser, and had no desire to
I didn’t nurse in public more than a few times (other than my breastfeeding support group). And those times were pretty much still not public. I am sure no one was around. I pumped and brought milk, and I scheduled trips around feeds. I fed my daughter in cars and fitting rooms and it was ok. I never fed her in a bathroom stall. She was never denied what she needed, but I just never wanted to deal with the drama that I read about online.
5. You DO need support to breastfeed
After having a baby you are depleted, emotionally and physically. Hormones turn you into someone you don’t even know anymore. If you decide to breastfeed, and you get all the classes and training, you still need support at home.
If someone is pushing you to supplement, you may be tempted.
If you are having a hard time getting going, you will be tempted.
You sometimes need to hear that someone else went through this, or you may even need a medical intervention like to repair a tongue tie or lip tie.
There are people out there to help- sometimes online in support groups, sometimes in the form of solid research like http://kellymom.com/ sometimes a live support group, sometimes a mate or friend.
Get that support, however you can if you want to keep going. It is out there, and can be 100% free. But don’t give up!
Those are the top 5 things I learned while breastfeeding- what are yours?