Any mother, or would-be mother who spends any amount of time on the internet has read plenty of opinions about breastfeeding. The prevailing attitude seems to be along the lines of, “OMG BREASTFEED YOUR BABY OR YOU ARE THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD AND YOUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE.” This general point is stated so pervasively and so, um, passionately, that it’s creating somewhat of a reflexive backlash. Now, very few people are challenging the “breast is best” idea because, science. Instead, what’s happening is that women who can’t or don’t breastfeed for whatever reason, or even women who haven’t yet given birth, are feeling attacked.
Now think about what happens when you’re fighting with your significant other: You feel attacked. You get defensive. You look for anything you can to tear down the other person’s argument. In the case of breastfeeding, there are enough horror stories floating around that just about any pro-breastfeeding argument can be dismissed with two words: cracked nipples.
If it’s not cracked nipples, it’s not enough milk production, or mastitis, or no sleep, or any number of unpleasant side effects that make the idea of shaking up some formula seem more and more appealing. Hell, even people who do manage to successfully breastfeed often have to deal with physical pain and other yuckiness. All of this is compounded by the fact that very few women are actually properly educated about breastfeeding before having a child. What? A lack of female reproductive health education in America? You don’t say!
So, I know that breastfeeding can be a controversial issue, and I’m not here to preach. The decision to breastfeed is a personal one, and I would never judge a woman for choosing not to breastfeed. That is HER choice. And I know that some women don’t even get a chance to make that choice, they just aren’t able to. I am thankful that I have been able to successfully breastfeed both of my children, but there have definitely been some ups and downs. That’s what this post is about. So, here it goes…
The thing about breastfeeding is that your boobs are “on call” ALL THE TIME. That’s right, 24 hours a day, your baby has access to the girls and all they have to offer. This seems a little unfair, considering that same baby just took over your body for the last nine months, but, that’s what you sign up for when you decide to breastfeed.