Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Breastfeeding is Hard

I wanted to post a quick note to everyone about breastfeeding.  I will have a lot more to say about it over the coming months, but here is where I'm at now...

Breastfeeding is hard, no matter what. 

I should start off by saying that I have been blessed with a baby that loves to eat, that latches well and that got herself to my breast within 30 minutes of her birth.  We have never had any real trouble with it and I am incredibly thankful for that.

There are a lot of moms out there that have a lot of problems with breastfeeding.  It can be hard finding the necessary help to correct whatever the problem may be.  There are a lot of moms in my mommy group that are doing everything they can to breastfeed their little ones, no matter what the cost.  They are very brave and I hope they find success soon.

Even though Sylvie has always been great, breastfeeding can still be a struggle.  No matter how good the breastfeeding relationship, it can still be exhausting, frustrating, painful and overwhelming.  I guess I really wasn't prepared for that.

Breastfed babies digest their food quickly.  I was under the delusion that I would be able to get Sylvie to eat every 4-5 or 6 hours eventually. My new reality is that such a long period of sleep will probably never happen and I have to learn to be okay with that.  The truth is that when I feed Sylvie on demand, she needs food every 2 hours.  That can be exhausting.  Every two hours all night, all day, all the time.  I am the only one who is providing her food. It's easy to get overwhelmed if I think about keeping up this schedule for the next 11 months.

Sometimes breastfeeding hurts.  For me it hurts mostly when she first latches on and usually only for a few seconds.  Unless she decides to sleep for 3 hours, then I get so full (and sore) that I am practically begging her to wake up.

I guess mostly what I wanted to say is that nothing about raising a baby is going to be easy all the time.  I have dark times when I'm sure I can't go on.  These are usually around 4 am when I have already woken up 3 times to feed her throughout the night.  She's a quick feeder, but at 4 am, it's just hard to be happy about my decision to breastfeed.

For anyone who is struggling, hang in there as long as you can.  It is worth it in the end, of course it is. 


  1. Breastfeeding is hard, but you're doing great! It really does get better and easier over time. I'm still nursing my 14 month old and I never thought we'd still be going at this point (only at night though). What made the night feedings better for me in the early days was co-sleeping. I didn't really have to wake up to feed her. We just put her in her own room and I finally got a full night's sleep last week! It's so worth it, though, and they are only little for such a short time. Keep up the great work!

  2. Dont give up! It does get a lot easier as time goes on! I struggled a lot at first myself, but kept on and actually cried when I had to wean my daughter. it was a wonderfully bonding experience that i miss terribly. Now pregnant with my second, it's one thing Im really looking forward to experiencing again.

  3. It is hard! And it does get easier. I expected the frequent feedings, but I wasn't prepared for how exhausting they would leave me feeling by the end of the day. When we had to introduce formula (we were already using bottles), it was really hard for me and that very first formula feeding was a HUGE struggle. So many emotions because the bond you form while nursing is so intense. You're doing great and you'll get into a rhythm. :)

  4. It does get easier. The baby will sleep for longer, and more so once you start them on purees at about 5-6 months. When your baby is bigger, or if you're comfortable, you may choose to co-sleep with her, so you don't have to get up to feed her, you can simply roll over and half sleep when she eats :)

  5. I BF my 3 kids and it was so painful for me for the first month. So painful that with my last I almost (almost) decided to quit. I cried each and every feeding. The good news is that because of my first experience, I learned that I should feed only one side, and let my other breast "rest" in between. It worked well for me. Additionally, the every 2 hours stopped after 2-3 months, and definitely after we introduced solids it slowed down. I BF all my kids until they were about 12-14 months and it was wonderful. They all only woke for one feeding at 3 months, and slept through the night at 5-6 months. Good luck to you all!!