When I decided to breastfeed my son, I knew that it was the right choice for me. Although I knew it may not be easy, I planned on giving it my all in order to pass on all the health benefits that “they” say breastfeeding can. Thank goodness I was able to do that! But I really didn’t fully know what I was getting into. People will TELL you about the hardships of breastfeeding, but most of that is about the physical aspects of actually feeding. But there is so much more to it that people don’t really talk about. Don’t get me wrong. I am blessed I am able to breastfeed my son, but I will tell you that it certainly isn’t always the easiest choice.
Let’s first talk about the obvious…the physical pain that sometimes occurs. Whether it be the sucking, the pulling, the biting, and scratching…over the months your baby certainly gives you some battle scars. How about the constant filling and emptying that stretches and deflates your boobs? Or the engorged feeling you get if you miss a feeding? Another joy? Waking up in the middle of the night soaking wet because your kid finally slept longer than usual. At that point I am torn between the utter joy that he slept, and the annoyance that I then have to change my pajamas due to the wetness.
Food glorious food! I am ravenous now that I am breast feeding. I actually eat more now that I did when I was pregnant. As a matter of fact, today I took down a whole foot long sub from Subway, when in the past I could barely finish a six inch. The Captain makes fun of me regularly about this. Luckily, one of the joys of breastfeeding is that I burn a ton of calories just breathing. But along with all of the things I can and do eat, comes a bunch of things that I still can’t. Can you believe I haven’t drank a diet Coke in over a year? Same goes with a regular Coke. Why? The caffeine and the chemicals. Not good for baby. I am exhausted daily and would love to pour coffee into my veins, but I can’t because it can directly affect the baby. I stick to one cup a day, but boy would I love it to be more!
Oh where oh where is the wine!? Don’t get me wrong…I still enjoy a glass regularly, but sometimes a girl would like to get a little tipsey. To be honest, most of the time it isn’t worth pumping and dumping that liquid gold. I almost shed a tear watching it go down the drain. But every sip I take I have my son on the brain. That doesn’t always make for a relaxing wine experience…
Medicine? No go! I have been lucky and haven’t really needed any, but sometimes I’d like something more than a Tylenol for a headache, or Tums for a stomach ache. When I had Mastitis (ouch!) I was very limited to what I could take.
The bottom line is that as a breastfeeding mom you share what is inside you with your child. Most of the time it’s great because you are passing nutrients, and a healthy immune system. But that also means you can pass on the bad. You are on call 24/7, you sacrifice a lot (that isn’t reserved just for breastfeeding moms), and sometimes it just physically hurts. That just comes with the territory. But with all that comes the knowledge that I believe I am doing the best I can for my son, and I would NEVER trade the moments that we share while he eats. When he pulls off and smiles I know I am the luckiest woman in the world. When it gets hard that’s the vision I allow to pop into my head, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.