Okay, I know. I go against the typical breastfeeding mother who usually goes on about how rosy the whole experience is. The thing is, I am all about keeping it real when it comes to parenting, and the current image of breastfeeding that is being portrayed in the media; i.e: “a beautiful supermodel serenely breastfeeding her baby” is just not reality.
Breastfeeding is tough. It involves huge sacrifices and for some mothers it is not even an option. I have had the benefit of seeing both sides of the coin since I did not manage to breastfeed my first-born past 6 weeks and here I am still breastfeeding my 17 -month old son.
I must admit, I have a love- hate relationship with breastfeeding. I love many things about it but there are some things that make it really tough too. Here are the top 10 things I hate about breastfeeding:
- I can’t delegate. I can’t detach my boob and give it my husband – or my mum – or babysitter- and use the time to sleep or maybe drink a cocktail instead.
- I can’t drink as much as I’d like to. Whilst we are on the subject of cocktails, sometimes I wish I could just drink to my heart’s content without worrying that I will poison my child. “One day”. I keep telling myself. “One day”.
- I can’t wear what I want. Breastfeeding mums will understand what I am talking about here. High neck dress? Unless it has a detachable cup then forget it. Actually i don’t wear dresses at all because I hate the prospect of having to expose my whole boob if my son throws a screaming fit in some public area. So “separates” it is. Tops and trousers or tops and skirts-that has been my wardrobe for the past 17 months.
- Limited mobility. It is hard to multitask whilst breastfeeding. In this day and age at least we have smart phones which help us get things done whilst feeding our babies. But when it comes to something physical like cooking or cleaning up – well, when your baby wants milk, everything else must wait.
- The duration of kid-less outings is limited. Refer to point 1. (Enough said)
- I haven’t slept a full night in more than a year and a half. Again-refer to point 1. Yes i know I can pump but that is adding even more work and it just does not fit into my schedule. I tried every other type of milk too..it won’t work. I must point out here that I have some very lucky friends whose breastfed babies sleep the whole night, so all hope is not lost I guess.
- The judgemental looks. I never had any problems with breastfeeding in public. No one ever stopped me. I have done it everywhere from the playground, to restaurants, museums, the polyclinic, parties and more. But some judgemental comments and looks are inevitable (I just ignore them).
- I dread the day I will stop. I know. This is a contradiction. I just know it will inevitably be really really really hard to stop, for both of us.
- Nursing bras. One word. Horrible.
- The pain. This goes away fairly quickly. But for the first few weeks (for some, even months) the pain is awful. Some are luckier and don’t find the experience painful at all (I am clearly not one of them).
Having said all this, even though I look forward to going on a weekend break with hubby, drinking lots of cocktails whilst wearing my favourite high neck dress and having a FULL-NIGHT of blissful sleep, i would do it again 10 times over because it is one of the most beautiful experiences i have ever been through. Plus there are some pros to it too. Click here to read about the 12 things I love about breastfeeding :).
Published on 15/07/16