Breastfeeding is the ultimate choice for any mother, it is a hugely satisfying and wonderful journey for both the mom and the baby. Now there are plenty of moms who formula feed their babies and they are perfectly healthy and happy, and we’d like to reinstate here that breastfeeding or formula feeding is a personal choice. We are not advocating breastfeeding; yes it has its own benefits, but you should decide on what works best for you and your family. Though there is no denying the fact that breastfeeding is healthy, free and easily accessible, and that doctors around the world recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months of life, there are some ugly truths attached to breastfeeding and we will be talking about them today.
10 Ugly Facts About Breastfeeding
So we know that breastfeeding is good for the baby – and for you. But it sure isn’t rosy and cute! Sure it has its moments, but those moments, trust us, take some time to come by. So the next time the word generates loads of advices from all around, let us tell you things that no one would tell you about breastfeeding
- It may not be natural: By natural, we mean that the baby would ‘instinctively’ latch on the nipple and start sucking. It generally is not the case. No matter how much you are prepared, how much you read or watch, you and your baby may just not be able to figure this ‘natural thing’ so naturally. Both of you are new and inexperienced at this, so stay calm and give it some time
- It really hurts: Most women you talk to will tell you that breastfeeding is not for the faint hearted. With a hungry chimp sucking your nipple, you will feel sore, dry and may even get cracking and bleeding nipples. You did not expect so much right? But that’s the fact. For some women though, it may never hurt, but some women may get all sorts of infections and discomforts during breastfeeding. This, indeed is a very special body part of yours and the slight hint of discomfort should have you ask your doctor for a remedy. Though the pain should ease itself in a couple of weeks, do not be silent about it and ask for help
- You will be breastfeeding 24/7: You will almost have the baby sucking your breast. That is because newborns need to be fed almost every two hours or so. Plus breast milk gets easily digested unlike formula, which means your baby would feel hungry every now and then. Each feeding session could last well to an hour, atleast 10-12 times in a 24 hour cycle, so that leaves no time for anything else. But as your baby grows, the feeding sessions will become less frequent, less longer and more satisfying
- You will constantly wonder if you are giving your baby enough: You cannot measure how much your baby is drinking, unlike the 2 ounce bottles that can give you an idea of how much your baby has eaten. And then that constant feeling that you are not producing enough for your baby and she seems to be sucking your soul out of those empty breasts. The fact is, most women produce enough milk, and their babies are eating enough
- Everyone will seem like a nursing guru: Just the mention of breastfeeding would be enough to spark a huge debate. People will be judgemental, they will be offering loads of advice, some will be advocating formula, some will swear by the homemade remedies to increase breast milk. The mantra is to focus on the health of the baby and ignore everything else, working towards what you feel is right and best for your little darling
- Sex could be off the mind: With a tiny human tugging at your most sensitive body part, it may just be off the limits for anyone else. Plus the tiredness and fatigue could wash out the last bit of sexual desire in you. Do not worry, you will be back to an active sexual life in some time. Till then, stay calm and talk things out with your husband
- Your breasts would leak and spray: It is not a secret. Every mom battles with leaking and spraying breasts and has a hard time dealing with them. Hear a baby cry? Spray! Miss your baby while at work? Leak! This will continue to happen until your baby’s demand for milk and your supply truly understand each other and end up adjusting. Till then, wear clothes that can camouflage the spots or carry a shawl or a jacket to hide the stains
- You will end up tasting it: So what is there in the breast milk that the baby loves it so much? What does it taste like? If you feel the urge and the curiosity to taste it, go ahead . Why, it is food made by human for a human. And if any woman tells you she hasn’t tasted it, she is lying. Eventually, you will too, and somewhat admit it to yourself that it is sweet
- You will cry when the baby is weaned: After struggling and battling with your body and emotions for a long time, you will end up being sad when those breastfeeding sessions cease. Though you will be in a hurry to wean your baby off, when she finally does not need your cup, you will end up feeling sad. You will mostly be a cry baby for the next few days
- But you are and will remain strong: There will be frustrations. You will wonder why the baby cannot learn to feed itself when food forms the essence of her life. You will have pains and aches and sore nipples. But you will breastfeed. You both will work together as a team, and you both will be tough and stubborn. And then, you both will become pros – thanks to your perseverance. Later, you would not exchange this experience for anything in life, it will be etched in your heart and soul forever
And if you cannot or do not, the world will not come to an end. Your baby will still be healthy and good. And you can relax.