Breastfeeding is physically hard. There’s no surprise there. Lack of sleep, the extra energy needed to make breast milk, cracking nipples, clogged ducts … I mean I could write a whole blog on that (and I might). I never went into breastfeeding thinking it was going to be the magical and natural experience. I went into breastfeeding with as much knowledge as I could.
I researched a lot. I talked to lactation specialists. I talked to my doctor. I stocked up on breast pads, creams, Advil, and reading material for those late night feeds. I felt that I was 100% ready for this new journey I was about to start.
And while I felt that I was ready, I was not. The only aspect of breastfeeding I was really prepared for was the actual transfer of milk to baby. The physical side. I was not prepared for the emotional side of breastfeeding.
My personal breastfeeding journey has had extreme emotional highs and lows. I think it’s safe to compare breastfeeding to a wild roller coaster ride.When it’s going good, it’s going really good. But when it’s going bad, it’s hard to imagine continuing on this journey. And I cannot help but wonder why this emotional side of breastfeeding isn’t talked about more.
Why didn’t anyone tell me about all the emotional weight to have this new life depend solely on you for nourishment? Why didn’t anyone tell me about the anxiety you feel wondering if your milk is enough? Why didn’t anyone tell me about the loneliness of those 1am, 3am, and 5am feeds? Why didn’t anyone tell me about the guilt felt when my babies were loosing weight and had to be weaned onto formula?
We prepare mothers so well for the physical aspect of breastfeeding. There is so much information out there about the physical side of breastfeeding from a variety of sources. A simple Google search will have your brain flooded with information. Then add in the information collected from doctors and lactation specilists and you feel so prepared.
But then fast-forward to after birth when your body is flooded with hormones and your body is just so emotionally exshaused. You just feel so done. Just emotionally tapped out. You can’t help but wonder why you are struggling so much, and if other mothers struggle in the same way.
We do, and I am right there with you. I’m going through these highs, lows, and everything in between too.
I’m right there with you wondering why no one told us about the emotional side to breastfeeding.