What Breastfeeding is NOT
Breastfeeding is a journey that you and your infant embark upon. In many cases, it's the road less traveled and you are navigating without a map. It can be scary and stressful, frustrating and painful. But it can also be calming, love-filled and even enjoyable.
There are, however, many things that nursing is not. Here are some of them:
Breastfeeding is NOT easy.
Nope. Not in the least. Not at first anyway. And sometimes, it's never easy. You'd think that with people doing it for thousands of years before us, it would be as simple as breathing.
Breastfeeding is NOT glamorous.
I mean, if you look at Olivia Wilde's Glamour Magazine photoshoot then you'd definitely think it is. But it can be messy. Ever seen milk squirting like a sprinkler that can't be shut off? Yeah, it's that messy.
Breastfeeding is NOT exciting.
In fact, it is often rather sleep inducing. Ever fall asleep and wake up and not know where you are? Yeah, that kind of sleep inducing. It can also take a very long time depending on the baby. Some children are quick eaters and will only need 15 minutes to get a good meal in. Then, there are the other babes that need an hour and a half on one side because they keep falling asleep or they eat so slowly. No matter what though, it is not a thrilling venture.
Breastfeeding is NOT expensive.
You don't have to go to the store to buy your breast milk. That's definitely a benefit. Sure there are items that go along with breastfeeding to make it easier: nursing wear, nursing pillows, lactation cookies etcetera -- but in all, it's a pretty cheap endeavor.
Breastfeeding is NOT freeing.
No, it may even feel more like a ball and chain. You can't go places without bringing your little one to eat or leaving breastmilk for him to drink by bottle. You may even feel like baby owns your body even though you've already given birth.
Breastfeeding is NOT without its rewards too.
The unbreakable bond you develop with baby is incredible. You get to watch her grow and know that she is getting bigger and healthier because of you. The fact that you can comfort her when no one else can, is a remarkable feeling. It may even help you lose some of that pregnancy weight. So at a moment when you're feeling overwhelmed by your nursing journey, remember that there are immense advantages for baby (and for you).