5 Things No One Told Me About Breastfeeding

If you read my 8 Things No One Told Me About Postpartum blog post, I mentioned breastfeeding,  and the fact that it is the most trying thing I have ever done. No exaggeration. I think there is so much emphasis on the benefits of breastfeeding your baby that no one really covers the reasons why you might stop, or not want to try it to begin with!

When I was pregnant I couldn't understand why mums chose not to breastfeed. In my eyes the benefits far outweighed the non existent negatives. I mean, burning 500 calories a day without even lifting a proverbial finger? YES PLEASE! Well, here are my thoughts so far.

01. No matter what your midwife tells you, you have to wind a breastfed baby. Of course you do! I swear they only say that you don't to make the whole experience more appealing. Obviously they take on a little less air than a bottle fed baby, but they still need to burp!

02. It hurts. A lot. At the beginning it is the worst. My nipples blistered, cracked etc. etc. All that disgusting stuff. Do not listen to anyone who says 'if it hurts it means your latch is wrong' - they are talking absolute bubbles. The latch does matter, don't get me wrong, but when you have a newborn dangling from your nipple for hours at a time it is bound to hurt! Fortunately, your nipples take on a kind of kevlar state if you can push through the first couple of weeks. Bonus!

03. It's demanding. It puts a strain on everything. Your sleep deprived body, (see the first point for disgusting nipples too) your mental health, the housework, and even relationships. If your not comfortable breastfeeding in front of people you will find yourself cooped up in another room for up to an hour whilst your guests wait 'patiently' in another. Date nights are also a thing of the past. Netflix and chill all the way, that's if you can stay awake long enough.

04. The fear of the unknown. You have all these questions; is my baby getting enough food, is she full, how much milk am I producing, and so on. I think you just have to remember that as long as your baby is gaining weight and filling their nappy you are doing a pretty good job -insert thumbs up emoji here-

05. Express yourself. Or don't, but it's your only key to freedom. It may sound harsh, but freedom will be all you crave after about 2 weeks. Expressing then becomes a whole new ballgame. You have to time it right between feeds, try not to be too stressed out, and don't worry if it's not a lot to begin with. Admittedly, I still haven't gotten the hang of this completely. One day I will express over 3oz's in one sitting, and others I will only manage over 1.

Despite all this I am going to carry on breastfeeding till at least 3 months then reevaluate. It's kind of funny, the horror on my face when someone suggests formula feeding even though I'm not having the most positive of experiences!