I knew I had to say something in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, but it took me a little while to figure out exactly what I wanted to say. This post isn't something that I spent days working on and perfecting, trying to figure out what you guys want to read. This is something that I really felt like I needed to say.
I've seen a lot of posts on the benefits of breastfeeding, why you should breastfeed, and nursing in public. I have seen many people say that breastfeeding is hard, but worth it. It's time for me to share my experience.
Breastfeeding wasn't hard for me. It really wasn't. It's a natural thing. It just came out of me. I knew what to do, my daughter knew what to do, and it just clicked. She never once had to have a bottle of formula, though I did like to pump and give myself a break for a while. Did we have hurdles? Yes! That's a part of parenting. I had nights where my daughter would wake up hungry, but I was tired and just wanted to sleep. I fed her anyway. It wasn't breastfeeding that was hard, it was parenting.
Never once did it cross my mind to stop nursing. I did deal with painful nipples for a day or two in the beginning. I did deal with uterine contractions. I did deal with sleep deprevation and confusion and pain all while taking care of a newborn all by myself as a single mother. Life during the first few months was HARD. But breastfeeding was not. It was easy. Maybe breastfeeding was easy for me because I was lucky. But I doubt that. I think breastfeeding was easy for me because I wanted it to be. I knew it was natural. I knew my body was meant to breastfeed and my daughter was born to breastfeed. I think it was easy for me because I knew that it wasn't nursing that was causing me to be sore and tired and even depressed sometimes. What was hard was being a new mother.
I'm not writing this to say that mothers who say nursing is hard are lying, because they aren't. Telling mothers that nursing is hard but worth it is a a great message! It tells new mothers that what they might be feeling is normal. But, it isn't always true. Breastfeeding isn't always hard! It can be easy. If you are a mother-to-be, don't give up on the idea of nursing because you have been told it might be hard. It's true, it might be hard. But it might not be.