Tough Stuff: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is probably high on your list of worries when it comes to postpartum. Breastfeeding is natural and women have been doing it since the beginning of time, but that doesn’t mean that it feels natural or is easy. The experience is vastly different for each mom. A few lucky ones have no problem at all, but for most, breastfeeding is hard. And it’s something that is hard to prepare for if you’re a first-time mom.

“It will feel unnatural at first,”

shares Janelle R from our Super Moms Facebook group. You really won’t know how breastfeeding feels until you experience it for yourself. Many women experience pain at first as well as breast tenderness. It’s important to stay extra hydrated while breastfeeding.

What’s something no one told you about breastfeeding, we asked new mom, Susie L? “Oh my… so many things! That it is HARD! And you spend a LOT of time with that baby fixed to you.”

What no one tells you about breastfeeding

It’s ok to ask for help.

As with all things related to pregnancy and motherhood, it’s always ok to ask for help. “It’s ok to ask for help on the different methods and positions to breastfeed in order for baby to latch correctly,” says Kim C.

Many hospitals have lactation consultants on staff that can provide support before you leave the hospital. You can also visit the International Lactation Consultant Association to locate a consultant near you.

There are a variety of resources out there on the interwebs. Just remember that each experience is unique and you should never compare yourself to other women.

Here are a few resources we love:

It’s ok to just be done.

Yes, there are many benefits to breastfeeding over formula (including lowering yours and baby’s risks for asthma, infections, and certain cancers). However, none of the benefits outweigh you feeling miserable.  Your mental health is important to your baby’s wellbeing too. In an article on Motherly, Jessica Alba shares why she quit breastfeeding her son, despite having breastfed her two older daughters:

There are certain things that get less challenging with each child you have—like changing diapers or figuring out how to tie a Moby wrap—but breastfeeding just isn’t one of them. Breastfeeding is different for every woman, and it can even be different for the same woman at different times in her life.”

Your second or third breastfeeding experience may be harder or easier than your first. Each time is different for each woman.

You may become an advocate (one way or another).

“You may become a more passionate advocate than you ever dreamed possible,” says Macy H. Actually going through the experience of breastfeeding might turn you into a passionate spokesperson for or against breastfeeding. We encourage you to share your experience and advice – whatever it may be – because let’s face it, there’s not enough information out there!

Are you nervous about breastfeeding or do you have advice that you want to share? Please share with our community by leaving a comment.