There. I said it. It’s out there. I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding. You can all think I’m a big meany with a heart of stone now. I feel bad for being so ungrateful about it too as truth be told it came to me pretty easily. My milk was a bit slow coming in so there were a few days there where I was sitting in my pressure stockings and knickers with a double pump on (oh so glamorous) and that wasn’t much fun. I’d do that for half the day, trying to tempt the milk to burst forth out of my rock hard boobies like it was supposed to and get about half a centimetre of milk dribble in the cup. That was a tad disheartening I will admit. I’d look at that cup and think how am I supposed to sustain a life on a dribble of milk? But we got there in the end.
That was really the extent of our breastfeeding troubles. I didn’t even leak, much to the envy of my breastfeeding friends but that also meant I wasn’t able to spurt it across the room at a moments notice so I think I missed out on some laughs there. So yes, it all went pretty smoothly for me and yet I still didn’t enjoy it. So many people speak of it as a bonding moment. Not for me! My son did not look at me, his dear mummy, once while he was feeding. It was all eyes closed suckling joy. I think for him this was a solo gig. He loved it, it was great, but it was truly a one man show. So for me breastfeeding was a means to an end. I wanted him to have the antibodies that my body could offer him so I was keen to stick at it for 6 months (at that point their own little systems take over that job). I made it to 4 months exclusively breastfeeding and then we started comp feeding (in an effort to improve sleep – it didn’t work)…it started off one bottle a day but it’s a slippery slope after that. I’m here to tell you that some babies do self wean once the bottle is introduced. Mine was one of them. We made it though, to the 6 months, which I was pleased about. I hung on to the night feeds the longest (mainly because I didn’t want to be up preparing bottles in the middle of the night) and we dropped them completely at 7 months when he bit me. That was me done and dusted right there. I have no regrets (except perhaps that I didn’t invest in this pillow). I made the 6 month milestone so even if I didn’t enjoy it, I still reached my goal.
Fortunately breastfeeding isn’t this blah for everyone. This blog over at Love & Life by Audrey shows a completely different breastfeeding experience. It was so nice to read such a positive breastfeeding story. The mummy is so warm in her heart about it. It shines right through in her writing.
I’ll breastfeed again if I have another baby and despite not enjoying it in the past I will strive to do a full 12 months this time. The convenience of always having your child’s meal ready outweighs any inconvenience in my opinion (sterilising bottles is a pain in the rear too). But like anything to do with parenting I will do what works best for me and my baby at the time. Oh until the gorgeous little cherub bites me. Then all bets are off!
What about you? Did you enjoy breastfeeding?