It’s World Breastfeeding Week and I LOVE breastfeeding. I really and truly do. I advocate for it, I hope to see it normalized and it has been a huge part of my life for nearly 30 months (and counting) spread across my two children. Honestly, it’s a parenting strategy when it comes to raising younger babies. Crying? Here’s a boob. Scared? Here’s a boob. Hungry? Here’s a boob.
True story: my daughter’s first words were momma, dada, boob. It’s written in the baby book folks.
I could write an entire post about how much I love breastfeeding. Oh wait, I did just that! Check out my post for the Oklahoma City Moms Blog both about how much I valued nursing my daughter and how interesting it was to nurse her past the age of one in today’s culture. But you can read that post there.
As for here, let’s talk about the REALITY of breastfeeding shall we?
Disclaimer – again, I’m a huge supporter! I don’t want to scare you away and I would drop everything to help you figure out baby’s latch and brainstorm supply issues. You can find countless helpful blogs about breastfeeding. My favorite resources are Kellymom, the La Leche League and this super informative post from Kara Carrero.
A few days after my daughter was born, I was writhing in pain nursing her, screaming that I would rather give birth again (granted I had a medicated birth, but still). I don’t feel like people truly prepare you for the pain of those first few weeks. Once you’ve damaged the goods, it’s so hard for them to heal with a nursling demanding their attention every 2-3 hours. I’m fairly certain I walked around the house topless the first few weeks. Another reason The Man Foster is pro-breastfeeding.
Willfully placing an incredibly sensitive organ into the mouth of a teething baby? Who does that? That feels like a crazy person’s idea. I mean, what do I THINK is going to happen? It’s trusting a tiny, selfish dinosaur to not bite – moronic. The Boy Foster is the WORST about this. He’ll give me this playful grin and I know it’s coming next. My screams and yelps have done nothing to deter him. He is persistent.
Listen. Have you ever watched milk shoot several feet out of a grown woman’s body? Or sprayed your children in the midst of a letdown with so much force that you were concerned you could possibly drown them? How about when this happens in public? Sweet little baby unlatches while you’re left drowning in a milky mess.
Or here’s another highlight for me. Have you ever opened the door for a mailman only to realize you didn’t actually tuck your boob back into your shirt after nursing the baby? No? Just me?
You’ve heard it. “Pooping is natural, but you don’t see me doing it in public.” Oh man…that one burns me every single time. The judgment is almost too much sometimes. Because trying to wrangle my toddler, keep my littlest under the cover he HATES and then listening to your ignorance? Well, that’s just my equation for a good time.
No one prepared me for this. Why my educated brain didn’t expect this to happen is BEYOND me. Nursing moms know the struggle. You feel a let-down coming on in public, and BAM, all of a sudden you’re sporting Madonna-like circles around your ta-tas. Is there anything more humbling? (Side Note, they make something for that!)
In all the ridiculous chaos of breastfeeding my children, I would choose to do it over and over again. No one else has the privilege of being the sole source of nutrition for my babies’ first year of life. What an amazing thing to know that I grew these babies inside of me, then God provided me with perfect nutrition for them after.
I hope it’s normalized one day. I hope conversations that compare the natural and beautiful experience of breastfeeding to things like pooping or “whipping it out” will stop. I don’t have the most hope in that happening, but I will be able to gracefully say that I did my part.
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, tell a nursing mother you know how proud you are of them. Let them know their efforts are valued and you appreciate the hard work they go through to care for their children. We’re all in this together!