The woman behind Breastfeeding Place and the author of Intoxicated on Life wrote a post recently that got a lot of flack. Trisha’s article on The Humble Homemaker, 4 Disadvantages of Breastfeeding, stirred up quite a lot of chatter. Luckily the comments the original post are fairly tame and pleasant to read through.
Though Trisha has her own medically sound reasons one might not want to face the challenges that come with breastfeeding, it got me thinking about the things I dislike the most. Let’s face it: breastfeeding isn’t always rainbows and unicorn farts. So I’ve decided to compile my least favorite things about breastfeeding. And I wanted to challenge you to encourage other moms through some of the many disadvantages of breastfeeding.
I Feel Like I Can’t Go Anywhere.
This is probably more psychological than anything, but I feel completely tide down. I know Anders will need to nurse and I hate having to come home knowing my baby has refused to settle without me. I have a freezer stash, but part of doesn’t want to pump anymore and I hate to see it dwindle. Sometimes he won’t even let me leave him while he sleeps. It’s hard to ask for even a few hours of peace ever day.
But let’s be honest, they don’t stay babies forever. I think that this can easily be turned around by reminding myself that these are just precious moments of his existence I won’t get back. I love the look of content I see when he’s snuggled up next to me and the way he snuggles my breasts. These first few years go by so fast. I need to be in the now and enjoy it while it lasts.
I Miss Cheese.
I posted before about Anders’ dairy intolerance and how I wasn’t strong enough to go completely dairy free. I have stuck with the cheating whenever the urge is too strong. And I get really bored in the kitchen / overwhelmed because the substitutions sometimes get tricky. I wasn’t really a cheese fan to tell you the truth, but it did get really hard without it. The vegan cheese is horrible!
Luckily it’s an intolerance I can deal with and he is no longer having intense reactions. A green diaper every now and then is okay for us. Knowing how to tell the difference between an intolerance and an allergy is nice to know. Learning the different reactions my baby has to certain foods helps me to discover new things about my own health. It can b really fun at times, and I will one day have cheese again.
I Have to Wear a New Bra or Tank Top Every Day.
I get milk leaks every day. Sometimes the baby spits up hen he falls asleep right after nursing. Once he spit milk of from his nose. And he often dribbles. All of these combined means that I can’t rock the same bra all week anymore. I don’t feel supported in my per-pregnancy bras so I’m in nursing tanks most of the day. Thy get soiled pretty frequently and if it weren’t for having a tank for each day of the week I’d be so uncomfortable.
Getting re-sized for a bra that fits helps immensely. You’ll most likely going to have to go through some steps to figure it all out, but once you find something that actually fits your new body you’ll feel brand new! Sometimes the extra support from a well-fitting bra can help to decrease the amount of leakage. I admit I still have issues overnight, but then I guess that is what those tanks are for!
I Don’t Feel Sexy.
Most people tell you this theory about how you’ll get thin while nursing your baby. I’m sorry, but for all of us that isn’t always true. I personally don’t lose weight until after I wean. So for the years following the birth of my children I will carry the extra luggage around on my thighs, midsection, and hips up until it’s time to start nursing. Then the weight will melt away. Until then, I live in plus-sized clothing. Eh.
Also, not to bombard you with too much information, but sexy time is almost non-existent for us. Someone explained it to me perfectly once: Because you’re breastfeeding a small child your body doesn’t want you to get pregnant. Pregnancy dries up milk to start producing for the new baby. In order to combat this process, the sex drive of a nursing mother often drops. And vaginal dryness? Well it’s just a physiological response to ensure that you won’t be making any new babies any time soon.
But do I want another baby anytime soon? Nah. I have thought about it, but in reality I’m happy with the five-year difference my children have and I want to soak up all the lovely moments of Anders’ developing early years before starting over again. I’m alright with not rushing along our family. Luckily I have a supportive, understanding partner by my side to make me feel normal in the midst of all this chaos.
Long story short, if breastfeeding seems overwhelming then you’re not alone. There are many challenges and issues that can arise and not all of them are evidence based. Sometimes breastfeeding is just plain exhausting, annoying, or frustrating! And that’s okay. The benefits of breastfeeding your baby outweigh any negatives and I’ve created this post to let all moms know that they aren’t alone.
I invite you to use this as a prompt on your own blog to encourage mothers through your own challenges, big or small. The linky below is open until the end of 2013, but if you happen upon this post and decide to write your own, please leave your blog post URL in the comments section.