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.