World BreastFeeding Week is upon us. My social media has been full of beautiful photos of mama’s breastfeeding their babies in hopes to normalize breastfeeding. I agree 100% breast Feeding is natural, real, and a privilege that not all mothers are blessed with. I was blessed with the ability to breastfeed both my babies. Unfortunately, I hated it! It wasn’t for me!
In an earlier post about PPD, I talked about my lack of enjoyment of breastfeeding. Ava and I stopped at 6 months when I began taking anti-depressants for my PPD. This second time around with Zoe, I wanted to try to hold out a little bit longer. I made it to 9 months, I will admit, it was a sigh of relief when I stopped!
I felt terrible because I disliked breastfeeding and I felt terrible because I felt like I shouldn’t hate it! I was blessed with an ability that not all mothers have. I was not able to enjoy it as many woman do. Again, I cannot stress enough that I 100% agree with normalizing breastfeeding and that more support is not only needed but required for mothers. I think maybe much of my displeasure towards breastfeeding was because I never felt comfortable with it!
I felt that bond, I knew that I was needed, I knew I had responsibility and I knew that I could/ should be able to do it in public. All of those things that I knew were the same weight that sat on my shoulder making me feel anxiety, sadness, and angst. How can you do something so beautiful and feel so angry? Every question, every doubt and every mother that I knew that had struggled with breastfeeding would hate me because I could do it, and I hated it! This weighed me down and made me feel like not only a terrible mother, but a terrible female, a terrible person!
I hated myself for hating it! I hated the dread I felt knowing that feeding time was coming! I hated that I knew I was blessed, I hated that I couldn’t appreciate it! I hated that I couldn’t talk about how I felt. There were mothers that I knew that worked their butts off to breastfeed their babes. and for the moms that worked their butts off and just couldn’t for whatever reason. I could do it and I hated it!
I think that in normalizing breastfeeding, we should be normalizing our feelings as well. Being a mother is hard, comes with a burden of many negative feelings that are unnecessary and can be very detrimental to our health. Furthermore, feeding your baby is feeding your baby however you choose to do it! Breastfeeding is normal and so incredibly amazing! I think the more we see it, the more we talk about it, the more educated we will become. Breastfeeding is not all glamour and bonding moments, it’s tears and frustration. It is many late nights feeling lonely, sometimes it will feel like the responsibility of world is sitting on your shoulders.
Be honest about it, don’t paint the prettiest pictures every single time if it’s not infact just that. Admit the hard times, own the frustration, admit the times you wanted to give up! Some other mom who is feeling the exact same way will thank you. I know that I would have! #normalizebreastfeeding