The Truth About Breastfeeding

When The Honest Company reached out to me about a campaign they were doing, I knew I wanted to jump on board.  They are looking to encourage positive conversation about one of the most intimate and important experiences of family life: feeding a newborn baby.  Sharing this intimate experience is a great way to encourage positive conversation about nourishing children. Honest presents judgment-free feeding stories on its blog covering moms from every walk of life -- check them out!

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After 4 months of nursing my baby boy, I feel as though I've now had enough experience to make the argument that being a nursing momma is not for the frail & feeble.  It requires dedication, persistence, & selflessness -- and any momma who's even so much as tried it, I applaud you.  Don't get me wrong, breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience, but it's also challenging.

While I was pregnant, after lots of reading, researching, and learning about the benefits of breastfeeding, Zac & I made the decision that our baby would be breastfed for the first year of his or her life -- or at least that was our intention.

The media gave me preconceived notions of breastfeeding; in my mind, I expected the act of nursing my future child to be a totally euphoric, bonding experience that I would enjoy, savor, & cherish (just search #breastfeeding on Instagram -- you'll see what I mean).

It would be a piece of cake, I thought...

Well, I'm 4 months into our breastfeeding journey, and I'm here to tell you that it's not all roses and unicorns, at least in my experience this far... 
Nobody warned me about (or I failed to consider) the not so pleasant "side-affects" of breastfeeding, like:
- bad, painful latches
- how breast engorgement can last for days when your milk first comes in & it's very painful
- raw, sore, tender, & cracked nipples
- dealing with leaky breasts
- that you may have to alter your diet (no spicy food, no dairy, etc.) depending on your baby's needs
- the feeling of panic/embarrassment/self-consciousness when you have to nurse in public
- that you can not go longer than 3-4 hours without needing to breastfeed or pump
- when you return to work & must pump -- good luck finding time!
- the extra time it takes to wash & sanitize pumps parts, bag & freeze milk, etc.
- when your supply suddenly drops & you worry about your baby not getting enough
   (I've heard good things about Lactation Plus, but haven't actually needed to use it yet)
- that you will likely need to drink a gallon of water a day to maintain your supply
- that your appetite will be ferocious!
- when your baby gets older and starts biting, tugging, twisting, & pulling on your nipple during a feeding... ouch!
- the struggle to find cute (and affordable), nursing-friendly clothing

And those are just a few reasons why breastfeeding is not the most fun thing to do in the entire world...

So why do I keep doing it?  

Well for one, my momma didn't raise a quitter!  No, but seriously-- I set a goal to do this for one year, and I'm already a quarter of the way there.  I can't quit now!  And for two... it's not all bad.  You do get to stare & cuddle with your baby an awful lot.  Also, to know that you are providing excellent nourishment to their little growing bodies is sure a great feeling. And most of all, just when you're feeling like you wanna quit, your baby looks up at you and their eyes say, "thank you for doing this for me momma".  THAT, makes it alllllll worth it.




Truthfully, I don't care how you choose to feed your baby. Whether you formula feed, breastfeed, exclusively pump, or do a mixture of all three -- I am not here to judge.  A fed baby, is a happy baby. I just wanted to share my experience; to let other mommies out there know that not everyone who breastfeeds, loves to do it.  And don't ever let the media make you feel bad for however you decide to nourish your baby.

I am glad though, that I've committed to sticking with it.  Like everything that comes along with having a baby -- it does get easier.  You know, I still find myself thinking, 'nobody warned me about this' multiple times throughout my journey of motherhood thus far.  From things that happen during pregnancy, to the craziness of labor and delivery, to caring for an infant -- some things you just need to learn on your own.  In my opinion, no amount of preparation can prepare you for becoming a parent.  However, don't say that I didn't warn you that breastfeeding isn't always glamorous.
DO hear me say, it IS worth it.


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