Breastfeeding is hard – What they don’t tell you about it?

Breastfeeding is Hard - Mother breastfeeds her Infant

photo credit: Jomphong via freedigitalphotos.net

Let me get straight to the point. Breast feeding is hard. It’s fucking hard. Nobody really tells you straight up how difficult it is going to be. IT IS DIFFICULT.  There I have said it ! Infact, it is the mother of all parenting decisions that you will take right after undergoing the grossest experience ever –labor! Labor while grotesque and painful lasts for about 20-30 hours (thankfully!). Breastfeeding on the other hand is for the long haul. For me, five months of breastfeeding exclusively and then continuing to breastfeed my daughter till 9 months was the long haul.

Now let me be clear, I am a staunch advocate of “Breast is best”However in the battle of breast vs. bottle, I find that we do not arm new mothers with adequate information that they need to decide what is best for them. Often the bottle triumphs because new moms weren’t aware that breastfeeding is hard. So hard!

So here is what they don’t tell you about breastfeeding –

1. Nursing is not AUTOMATIC

Contrary to common belief, breastfeeding is not naturally established immediately after birth.  It isn’t a tap that can be just turned on! Your milk just doesn’t flow magically. Infact it does not flow at all! Latching comes with practice. It is an art that needs to be mastered and requires patience. Unfortunately dealing with a wailing infant right after an arduous labor and realizing that you aren’t really sprouting milk can make you an emotional wreck. Worse if you don’t ask for advise from your nurse or lactation consultant you can be totally flummoxed and most likely to give up on breastfeeding altogether. Continue reading