Breastfeeding: Not Everything is Rose Colored
There are many aspects of pregnancy and motherhood that have been idealized for years. Breastfeeding is one of them. It is only recently that women have dared to speak out about things that are not so rosy without feeling guilty.
Lactation is perhaps one of the most fascinating life miracles that can exist after conception and pregnancy. That the body of a mother is capable of producing a liquid so perfect, so powerful, so nutritious that no laboratory could copy it even with advanced technologies, that is definitely fascinating and should be enough to understand the importance of breastfeeding our babies.
The effects of breast milk cover a large list of aspects of child development, including:
- Strengthening the immune development of the baby
- Breastfed babies have greater intellectual coherence
- Breastfed babies show a better emotional range
- Avoid additional family expenses
- Simplifies initial care by not requiring washing and sterilizing bottles and equipment.
We could list the wonders and advantages of breastfeeding here, however it is not what we are dealing with now, but the difficult aspects of which little is said.
Breastfeeding may hurt a bit
Certainly, some women start breastfeeding with a little pain, especially at the beginning, maybe the first month. If this is the case for you, you should know that there are many other women like you, but you should also know that this stage happens and the pain disappears.
You just need to stay focused, optimistic and confident of the wonderful decision you made regarding the feeding of your baby.
Avoid listening to scary stories of breastfeeding experiences that did not reach a happy ending. That does not have to be your case.
Breastfeeding becomes tiresome
Certainly, milk production is an important energy expenditure for your body. It is no coincidence that many women lose considerable weight while breastfeeding.
Take care of yourself, take time to rest, sleep enough, everything else can wait and the development of your baby is well worth it.
Breastfeeding takes time
The time that a mother should devote to each instance of breastfeeding her baby is considerable, and depending on the flow of milk can be up to 45 minutes, plus what you need to change the baby and burp them. This time is usually more precious if you do not have help at home or if you already have other children who also need you.
It is a challenge to stay organized in order to comply with all the tasks of the home in the best way, besides taking care of your baby, running errands, receiving visitors, taking care of yourself…
There is a great reality: you will not be able to do everything, it is true. However, it is nothing that with astuteness, organization and setting priorities you cannot achieve.
Relax, be flexible with yourself, lower the standards of perfection and allow yourself to leave dishes unwashed until nighttime or accumulate more clothes to wash, ask a friend or someone in the family to help you with errands. Surely you will find many alternatives, provided that you can delegate.
Breastfeeding controls your activities
Definitely, while you are breastfeeding your baby you will not be able to get away for many hours from home unless you can take them with you. The baby needs you every 3 or 4 hours and you will also need to get the milk out of your body.
So there is no other option but to become a more agile and capable person, organize your errands and foresee the schedules in which your baby will want to eat and the places where you will feel most comfortable doing it.
Do not let yourself be intimidated by outdated concepts, give your baby sustenance where necessary. There are some blankets that help you cover yourself better, also flannels and shirts with special openings that provide discretion.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful act, and you should feel proud. Do it with discretion so as not to offend others, but do not think less of it. You can also stay in your car and breastfeed there. However you prefer, not as others prefer.
Breastfeeding on the street is the only way you can commit to certain activities and start to control your time.
Breastfeeding sometimes soils your clothes
Yes, sometimes the milk goes out of control and although you have protectors it is transferred and wets your shirt. It’s okay, since you’re going out with a diaper bag, include two or three changes there for you … that’s it!
You have the right to feel bad
At times you will feel overwhelmed, tired of the pain in your breasts or of being able to accomplish all that you used to do before 5pm. It is normal, allow yourself, you can cry, protest and say what you think. That does not make you a bad mother or a person unable to care for a baby; it only makes you a normal person. When those moments pass, you will find yourself stronger. You can do it all, you are a mom!
To enjoy breastfeeding you must take care of yourself, respect and accept without complexes that not everything in breastfeeding is rose-colored.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Brahm, P., & Valdés, V. (2017). Beneficios de la lactancia materna y riesgos de no amamantar. Revista chilena de pediatría, 88(1), 07-14.
- Prieto-Gómez, R., & Baeza-Weinmann, B. (2013). Lactancia materna: Prevalencia de grietas y dolor en mujeres que amamantan, región de la araucanía, Temuco, Chile. 2010-2011. Revista Colombiana de Obstetricia y Ginecología, 64(3), 229-233.