Breastfeeding is …..

I saw part of a programme yesterday on the Home Channel of all channels.  I did not catch the beginning but I got the sense it was interviewing women who just had babies or were about to have babies.  Judging by their accents it was a New Zealand based show.  My favourite insert was when they went around to various women who had babies and asked them to finish the sentence “breastfeeding is…”

I thought I was fitting with my rant yesterday and I decided to quickly compile my own list inspired by these women.  Breastfeeding is ….

… bleeding nipples.

…. wet spots on shirts while you are out for dinner away from your baby.

…. when your breasts no longer become your property and you hand them over to baby and caregivers alike.

…. exhausting.

…. all about waking up in wet pyjama shirts.

….. smelling like slightly old milk for the majority of the day.

…. wearing very unattractive bras with strange “quick release” clips.

…. always wearing shirts with easy access to your nipples – a bit like a vegas showgirl I would imagine.

…. not feeling so concerned about flashing your boob in public now that you have a dependent suckling.

…. watching your baby suckle so hard that she looks like she is going to choke.

…. being worried your baby is not getting enough milk in as you can’t see the measuring thingy on the bottle.

…. having to listen to hours of misguided advice by women who breastfed 25 years ago, and do not realise that the information we have now is probably more than thier doctor had back then.

…. having wonderful caring friends buy you miracle healing nipple cream because you feel your nipple has been scored with a scalpel.

….. convenient so I do not have to measure formula out in the middle of the cold night.

….. wonderful as I can cuddle with my baby and provide something no one else can.

….. incredible as your new born baby is latched on to you while you are in the delivery/operating room – it really is incredible and very memorable.

….. the thing you will miss when you can’t do it anymore!

Contrary to popular belief I actually enjoy breastfeeding, it is uncomfortable and forces you to sit still while you feed when you have 10 other things you need to do.  But it is quite magical when you look down at your baby’s face and see the absolute bliss on her face while she is gorging herself …. the fact that you are losing a few calories in the bargain doesn’t hurt either!

I love this image

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5 Comments

  1. Nicky

     /  September 11, 2009

    I agree with you both…you should do what makes you comfortable and happy. I also had a C-Section (the horror) so now apparently, according to someone I know, I am not a “real” mother. Like having the baby surgically removed, in a MAJOR operation wipes out the fact that I carried said child for 37 weeks.
    I dont know why some people cant rather keep their opinions to themselves when dealing with very fragile new moms- It’s great to have an opinion, just not at someone else’s expense.

    Anyway, next time I want to try both of these things, but sadly, part of the reason I want to do it is cos of these perceptions about childbirth and breastfeeding. Which really shouldnt be the case.

    Reply
  2. The friend that made you do this..

     /  September 11, 2009

    Well, my feelings about the whole breastfeeding thing have been made public to just about every person who knew me when my now pre-pubescent children were babies. I cried through every feed, questioned my worthiness as a parent and generally fell apart over the whole thing. What struck me at the time is how little information is available to those of us who either cannot breastfeed or who choose not to. I have grown tired of having to defend my decision to those out there who believe that they know better than me about what is good for me and my children. Yes, the quality of breast milk is better than formula but nothing that is done without love is worth giving your children. My son had 6 weeks of breastfeeding and my daughter had a whole 2 days – he has every allergy known to man whilst she has not ONE! The judging by almost everyone I came into contact with drove me to the outer limits of mental health. I was in such a state that I was not even capable of making the decision to stop feeding Matt. I chose not to do it again when I had another baby. When I look back now, even though my second had colic and screamed day and night, I coped far better than with my angelic first born. (He was the sweet, sleepy one that convinced Celeste and Ken that maybe babies weren’t such a scary thought!) The lesson for me in this, do what works for YOU. So what if your kids are bottlefed, sleep in your bed, aren’t potty trained by 3 and suck dummies – I don’t know one 18 year old that stilll does any of those things. Everything passes, the aim should be to get through the whole thing with as little trauma as possible. I also believe that as women we are our own worst enemies. We judge other women far more harshly than any man we know. What is it with us?

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  September 11, 2009

      Anita, you are such a wise Oby-one-kenoby (spelling) – such sage advise. I don’t know what it is and why we HAVE to beat ourselves up about everything. I am still going to write a blog about all the things I feel guilty about – or things that never happened, but I still feel guilty about!!

      Thanks for the comments!!

      Reply
  3. Nicky

     /  September 10, 2009

    I wouldve like to breastfeed…kind of. When I was pregnant, my bf begged me not to, cos of the effect it has on the boobs afterwards(I know I know, shouldnt always listen to them) I agreed with him cos I didnt want to either, but when baby was born I did for a short time. Then I had bleedy nipples, and I sort of just quit. Terrible, I know, one more thing to feel guilty about. Next time I want to give it a proper try tho.Maybe.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  September 10, 2009

      Yes, definitely one more thing to add to the never ending queue of things to feel guilty about. I also love those studies about whether a person’s adult behaviour was influenced by whether he or she was breastfed – I think we are reaching a little here. I think breastfeeding is great, but I think a happy stable mother is maybe a bit more important!!

      It is important that we have choices and also the freedom to decide which we are comfortable with and then pursuing those with confidence. Don’t persecute yourself about your decisions – at the time that is what made sense to you and felt comfortable with you. I appreciate your comments on the subject and I am sure other women will relate to you.

      Keep well.

      Reply

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