I seemed like a crunchy mama. I exclusively breastfed all three of my babies.
I did the extended breastfeeding thing past a year for all of them.
Because my first two are so close in age, I even breastfed through a pregnancy and then tandem nursed.
I know the benefits and never mind sharing tips with moms who have questions about breastfeeding(though only if asked- otherwise, I have a your boobs, your business philosophy when it comes to breastfeeding).
But there were times, as a new mom, when I thought that maybe I was making the wrong choice. When I felt like I hated breastfeeding.
My oldest’s style of feeding was described in some breastfeeding book I read as a piranha. He ate viciously. He was also a snacker, which meant I was feeding him more often.
There were days when I felt like all I did was nurse him.
And while some of it was sweet(ah, look, my little darling is getting so big, all from nourishment from my body- what a miracle)… there were days when I just wanted a break.
All that cuddling was special… until I felt like I was all touched out and omg, can I just have a second to myself???
Those middle of the night feedings were always mine because I had the milk. And while bottles were a possibility, one of my boys hated them and for the others, I’d end up having to pump later anyway- and I’d rather just feed them than have to pump. Plus it would have taken more effort to wake Hubs up to have him feed one of the babies than for me to nurse.
While I did love the ease of always having their food with me when we were out and about(I used to joke that I breastfed because I was too lazy to deal with bottles), if I were out without them, I had to worry about if they had enough milk for whoever was watching them and if I’d need to find a place to pump.
And then there was the odd difference in flow/supply between my left side and my right. Right was always an easy flow while left was slow. My oldest took exception to this and starting at about 3 months, refused to nurse from my left side at all: he’d scream and cry and fight until he got on the other side. And while I was able to feed him with just one side(if moms of twins can nurse two babies with two boobs, I could feed my one with one), I then had a 2 cup+ difference between the two sides and had to wear a chicken cutlet in my left side so it wasn’t so obvious. But like I wasn’t already self-conscious enough about my new-mom body. While I fixed this issue with my other two by always having them start on my weaker side at every feeding, it still sticks out as a bad memory.
Whenever anyone would make a comment about how great it was that I was breastfeeding or think that because I was a bf mom that I’d join in with their formula-bashing, it made me so uncomfortable. I sometimes looked at formula moms with longing and jealousy. Because I didn’t love every moment of breastfeeding and I could totally see myself giving it up. Especially if I had to pump for most of the feedings- I know I would have stopped.
I did stick with it for all three of my babies: I had enough supply(even with my weird difference in side issue), I was home with them and didn’t have to pump, and having gone from a two income family to a one income family had me fearing having to pay for formula. And of course I heard the chorus of a million books/websites/doctors/and my mother screaming that breast is best.
But I’d be lying if I said that I loved every second of it: I did in fact, HATE some parts of it. And when one of my sils gave it up, thinking I’d give her a lecture about it, the only words I had for her were “Good for you! Now go have some vodka.”
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