Sunday, August 4, 2013

World Breastfeeding Week: Nursing Isn't Always Hard!

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.

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