Well, I’ve officially been breastfeeding 16 weeks. It’s crazy how fast time flies by. I’ve had someone attached to my nip 2-4 hours out of every day for almost a third of a year. SAY WHAT! While my experience is short in comparison to some others, I have still learned so much. So, here it is. Some of the good, the bad & the ugly I’ve come to know to be breastfeeding.
- It really is a bonding experience.
Now, that doesn’t mean it’s always wonderful. But there are moments when you look down & you realize that you are all he needs. YOU! This spit up covered, stinky breath, sleep deprived, hair tied, chilling with no make up on mama are able to provide every little thing your baby could ever need in this moment. If that doesn’t get you all emotional (on top of the hormone issues you’re already dealing with) I don’t know what will!
- Cut the kid’s nails!
We were petrified to cut E’s nails after a traumatizing experience during our first attempt, but do it, damnit! For whatever reason, they like to hold on to something as they nurse. So, if you’re shirtless like I am 95% of my day, that means your chest is being grabbed. I seriously have had battle wounds that look like I was mauled by a ferocious beast from when I’ve waited too long to trim.
- He’ll fall asleep, & that’s okay.
I battled with this one for a while. I read way too many articles about the bad habit I was creating by letting my baby nurse to sleep. Whatever man, if he wants to sleep eat, let him sleep eat! Plus, I don’t mind the excuse to binge watch Gilmore Girls.
- It’s not supposed to hurt, but it might.
I’ve been super lucky in this area. But when we were still working on our latch for the first week it got ugly. Poor nips had it rough. But I would rub some breast milk on ’em after every session & let ’em air dry and they were healed in no time! Don’t give up, time heals all. 😉
- You might look like a porn star.
Biggest boobs I’ve ever had. I tell you what, I was looking goooood when my milk came in. I’ve always wanted cleavage & I have loved having them. Hubs definitely wasn’t complaining either. Won’t love it as much when they’re saggy, but I’ll deal.
- Sometimes they hate it.
From “HURRY UP! I’m starved, 30 seconds is too long to wait” to “OMG, NOT THAT FAST, WOMAN!” my little one is the most impatient nurser out there. There was a time I could only nurse him upright, belly to belly because he just wasn’t having it any other way.
- They are leaky faucets.
I’ll never forget one night the first month, hubs & I were cuddling on the couch watching Netflix. Well, I must’ve had just a little too much pressure on my boob, because when I sat up half of my shirt was soaked! AND this was only like an hour after nursing. Thankfully, it has toned down some, but I’m still liable to leak through a pad from time to time. Oh, & if he’s screaming?! *cue the waterworks* #momlife
- You’ll get at least one hickey.
They pop off & pop right back on in a hurry. Except they’re not on. Sometimes, they’re not even close. But they’re convinced they’ll get some of the boob juice if they suck hard enough. You’ll realize MUCH quicker than they do. Don’t tell your hubs tho, he might get jealy.
- It’s the fail safe.
The quick, cure-all to a fussy baby. They’re dry, burped, played with, cuddled & just ate 30 minutes ago but still aren’t having it? Pop ’em on & they’ll shut up real quick lol. Sometimes ya just gotta have your mom, #amiright?!
- People will judge you.
No matter what. “You exclusively breastfeed?! You’ll never go anywhere alone again.” “You give supplementary bottles?! He’ll get nipple confusion for sure.” “You nurse in public without a cover?!” “You nurse in public WITH a cover?!” “She’s a year old and you’re still nursing?!” “You stopped nursing at three months?!” It is outrageous, but #hatersgonhate SO BUMP ‘EM. Keep doing you, mama.
- You might be a play toy from time to time.
Or a paci. Or whatever. But who cares? This time is so short. If he just wants a little snack & then wants to look up at you smiling & chatting with the nip still in his mouth (yeah, my kid’s a weirdo), embrace it & chat back! I honestly love it. It is so sweet to have that moment, where he is so content, just wanting to be close. He looks at me with such love, I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
- They’re going to see your nip.
It’s bound to happen. Whether they rip your cover off as you’re trying to latch or they pop off fussing because of a bubble. At some point or another, someone, somewhere (that you probs never thought in a million years would) will get a show. Some will be embarrassed, others will scorn. Either way give them a big ol’ “oh well” smile & carry on.
- “Breastfed babies don’t burp.”
Oh, this one is grand. They definitely still find a way to swallow air. E’s a pro. He gets over excited & starts chugging like he’s doing a beer bong and it’s just a matter of time before he belches louder than hubs, spits up all over me & then pops right back on to finish the deal.
- You’ll be lopsided.
Sometimes they only eat on one side, leaving the other nice & perky while this one is flopping around. Sometimes they’re like my crazy child & prefer one nip over the other. Especially at night. So my left boob is much bigger than the right. Pretty much all the time. I work hard during the day to get my lagger one to catch up. Wish me luck.
- THEIR SH*T DON’T STINK!
This might be the best part–God sure was looking out for us. Obviously, it is detectable to the trained nose, but for the most part you can barely tell. HALLELUJAH! I’m definitely savoring these last couple of months I have left before solids start messing up my mojo.
With all that being said–all the good, the bad & the ugly snidbits of my breastfeeding experience so far, I am so amazed by my body. Not only did I create this tiny human, but I’m equip with super weapon boobs to care for him. & let me tell ya, these bad boys are no joke!
I know I’m not the only one with a list like this. I’d love to hear some of your good, bad, & ugly stories from your breastfeeding journey!