As my due date quickly approaches, I am preparing last minute details for the arrival of our son. My breast pump can’t be ordered until Monday, but I already have a few spare parts purchased. I also have a manual pump (that I found on sale which makes it much more valuable to me) in case my electric pump were to breakdown for some reason.
I have read many articles, blog posts, books and thread after thread of mommy commentary on breastfeeding. I have searched out the pros and cons to both pumping and feeding straight from the tap (ahem, the boobs). I have read all about the different holds and even read about laid back breastfeeding (Google it, or go here to learn more because it seems pretty legit to me). I scoured Ina May’s Guide To Breastfeeding like it might hold the most valuable nugget of wisdom ever shared to breastfeeding mothers everywhere.
The approaches are endless, but the goal is the same–to have breast milk as your baby’s sole source of milk.
There are many drawbacks and many rewards to breastfeeding as a whole; so I wasn’t expecting glorious tales of mommy nirvana, exactly. I was expecting to find some general truths that rang true for every breastfeeding mother out there. Some tidbits of wisdom that would fortify me as I begin my own journey in breastfeeding would have been perfect. Boy, I was disappointed.
I have discovered, instead, that breastfeeding is a lot like childbirth–it is completely different for everyone. Breastfeeding is even different with each subsequent child, for crying out loud!
The universal truth seems lost to me. Many moms stress that the first six weeks of breastfeeding is the most exhausting, most painful experience any woman will ever endure. One mom told me to be prepared to treat the first six weeks like a never-ending marathon in which only your boobs are participating. But, then, another mom completely disagrees with such thoughts of awful.
She stated that it was the most natural thing in the world for her and her daughter, and that it didn’t hurt for more than a few seconds at the beginning of each feeding. She went so far as to reassure me that she wasn’t up at night any more than if she had formula fed (as she had with her first child).
The cynic in me thinks that possibly the second mom was just trying to alleviate my anxiety about breastfeeding, but then I saw her breastfeed. She didn’t flinch. She didn’t even pause in our conversation. She also looked well-rested, and her baby was only eight weeks old.
So, now, I want to stop every breastfeeding mom I see when out and about. I want to take a person-to-person poll, to see if there is a commonality among the moms that dread every breastfeeding session. I want to hear about the experiences of the moms that think it just couldn’t be more natural and easy. Breast is best is the mantra for many, but man, that just doesn’t do it for me.
I think I will stick to analyzing such things from afar (i.e. in a blog post).
What about you, breastfeeding mom? Got any wisdom to share?