Whenever I envisioned my life as a mom prior to getting pregnant I always assumed I wouldn’t breastfeed. This was simply due to the fact that I was uninformed about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby. Another contributing factor to my outlook was the fact that my mother had chosen not to breastfeed me and my siblings and I thought we all turned out just fine.
Everything changed the moment I became pregnant and started learning what was best for my baby. As soon as I became aware and educated, I knew that I would be a breastfeeding mama. That didn’t mean I wasn’t anxious. I had done enough research and polled enough friends to know that nursing was not only challenging but also painful. One friend likened the feeling of breastfeeding to shards of glass shooting out of her nipples. Needless to say I was terrified.
I remain forever thankful to my girlfriend who described that worse-case scenario because it managed my expectations and I went into my breastfeeding journey expecting and prepared for the worst pain imaginable. When I finally started nursing my baby, I was relieved. Yes it was uncomfortable and difficult, but it was bearable (for me).
Many friends have told me that they wished they had known to expect that kind of pain and difficulty in the initial stages of breastfeeding. So I am here to tell you that nursing a baby will probably be one of the most challenging things you do in your first few months of motherhood. Many things worth doing in life aren’t easy but the rewards are immeasurable. Providing breastmilk for your child is one of the best gifts you can give him. So if you are physically able to breastfeed, please persevere. It will get easier. In my opinion, I would say it can take up to 8 weeks to really get the hang of breastfeeding. But you will get there.
For some women, breastfeeding doesn't come naturally. It is a good idea to do your research about breastfeeding or talk to a lactation expert. You may hit bumps in the road when baby is just fussing for days and you wonder if you can make it through. Find someone to talk to who can support you. Or pump your milk and let Dad take over. Trust me he will enjoy the bonding moment with his baby and you can rest your weary self for a few precious minutes.
I nursed my first son for 15 months and only stopped on doctor’s advice because we started trying for baby #2. When I weaned my son I was a little heartbroken. It is an exquisite bond that I can’t really articulate into words. I am now enjoying my breastfeeding experience with my second son! You can do it mommies!