A Tale of Two Boobs: Why Breastfeeding is Never Easy
I have a baby that latches but breastfeeding still isn't easy. I have a great supply of milk and a baby that doesn't need to supplement but breastfeeding still isn't easy. Breastfeeding is my super power but breastfeeding is also my kryptonite. I struggle emotionally when the Fox Cub just wants to hang on my boobs and cluster feed. I feel the weight of the daily chore that is pumping and I stress out when I feel like I'm not getting *enough* when I pump. Don't even get me started on the stress of being the ONLY person that can feed my baby. I can't eat onions because it gives baby gas and it's been hard for me to want to be intimate with my husband because at the end of the day I am just Touched. Out. I feel as if my body doesn't belong to me and I have worn a bra almost 24/7 for the last 5 months because I'm a leaker! Yay!
Breastfeeding is never easy. It's the number one thing that my clients worry about, talk about, spend hours Googling about. Every boob is unique which makes every breastfeeding journey unique. From first latch to last latch, with a baby that latches right away to one that needs a bit of learning, from late night feeding sessions to pumping in bathrooms at work (pumping...don't even get me started! That's a whole other post!!) one thing remains - it's hard for any mama.
Clumsy first latch, classic cradle hold, and side lie position - any way to get the job done
So I just want to tell the mamas that have had an "easy" journey breastfeeding that it's ok to complain because breastfeeding is never easy. To the mamas whose path has been much harder - tongue ties, lip ties, not latching, painful nipples, and a myriad of other issues - I'm here for you, as a friend, as a fellow breastfeeding mama, as simply a woman with boobs, I'm here. For the mamas that feed formula, I'm here for you too. Just because you use formula doesn't make your journey any easier. As a mother, it's stressful feeding your child no matter how you do it. Fed is best but fed doesn't always come easy.
One day, I know I will long to be able to feed my child with my body. I know I will mourn a very important apron string that the Fox Cub will choose to cut. I know I will miss the connection, miss the bond, miss my super power. Today is not that day though and when the struggle gets real, I remember that I am not alone. I send good vibes to my fellow mamas feeding their babies by any means possible, by boob, by bottle, always with love.
Do you find breastfeeding challenging? What is the hardest part for you?