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The mom Diary

Updated on October 10, 2017

Breastfeeding Blues

The Mom Diaries


Let's be raw. As raw as the area around your nipples may get from endless suckling, scratching, pinching, poking and of course; those most cherished full bites of all nipple. Let's be raw. Breastfeeding is not a job but a position. A position in which you have no power or control, no real authority and honestly no clue of even how or why it simply works… Without question; without practice, every time. Whether you're pumping or exclusively breastfeeding; experienced or still just getting the hang of it, nursing is exhausting. Nursing can cause great stress and at times pose as a barrier in itself. So let's be raw; naturally to breast feed, isn’t always as joyful and loving as it's portrayed.

I know, believe me I am fully aware that breastfeeding is an empowering and fulfilling experience. And I know that our littles ones are made of some of the most beautifully blinding light in all of existence. But can we go back to the first night we brought our infants home? After spending hours and hours in crucifying pain trying to make sense of how ten months of someone growing inside of you led to this moment. This moment where finally after the meds from the hospital have worn off and your level of pain has gone from overwhelmingly intense to horribly intense; you crawl into your bed to drift into your first real sleep since giving birth and leaving the hospital. This moment where your infant (whose only opened his eyes twice may I mention, since entering this world) awakes screaming at 3:45 in the morning and with one movement was every mother snapped awake and managing to find the strength to scoop up those babies and silently be inducted into what no one had expected to adhere to only a mere one and a half hour later and so on and so on for many months to come.

Don't get me wrong; I exclusively breastfed for seventeen months and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Personally, I'd take the stiff and blistered nipples, areolas drenched in oil and milk blisters over having formula fed any day and as my son and I managed to both find a pace, position and a great deal of healing in nursing we've also seen a good amount of impatience, uncomfort and anxiety as well. There are days that I’d sit at the breast pump for hours; the suction funnels latched to my most sensitive areas. Here I will sit in preparation for work or school trying to squeeze any amount of milk out so that my son can consume from a bottle in my absence just to end up with nothing but empty bottles and head stress. Not to mention now I’m either running late or taking the day off. And then the nights where he refuses to sleep anywhere but in between your right lung and left lung. His head rested on your chest; his swollen gums, teeth penetrating through, latched to the nipple all night for comfort. This forcing you to experience indescribable sensitivities throughout the body and anxieties throughout the rest of the day.

And I will admit that there are days that I feel like a superhero as I fold up a stroller, baby latched to my breast and board the bus as if I haven't a worry in the world. Smiling because I am joyed by feeding in public but brought back to my discomfort when the random grandmother that could comes to stroke my sons hair as he suckles louder than the outside traffic. And we cannot avoid a plethora of biased suggestions and illogical questions as everyone who observes you breastfeed also happens to be an expert on the topic. Telling you that you're feeding them too much and spoiling them and needing to feed them more; "he's obviously tired;" all at the same time. No one realizing that all the while your patience is only slowly growing as you’ve heard it all before and frankly, don’t quite care as you know well enough what is best for your child. Although I don’t have to tell breastfeeding mothers that. And even with our friends and families breathing down our necks whispering “look at those jugs!” we still love breastfeeding, that's always been the consensus but let's stay raw about the subject, because in my opinion, as beautiful as our "one year" feeding photoshoots come out is as literally beautiful as it gets and the matter of nursing babies and toddlers; in general is completely underestimated.

© 2017 Christa Canady

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