Sunday, November 8, 2009

Adventures in Breastfeeding

Let me preface this entry, by saying that I am in full support of however you decide to feed your kid.

You breastfeed....great.

You formula feed....great.

You do a little of both....great.

You start cow's milk at 6 months, but only 2% because you don't want your baby to get fat like my mother-in-law did....okay, then I'm going to give you the side eye and probably talk shit behind your back.

But beyond that, I fully support every mom in making the right choice for themselves and their baby. Having said all of that, I exclusively breastfeed Monkey. When I was pregnant, I was pretty meh about breastfeeding. I figured I would try it and if it worked great and if it didn't formula was fine. I was lucky enough to have cooperative boobs and a cooperative baby and breastfeeding works for us.

But it wasn't easy. Part of the problem was I believed The Lie. The Lie women tell each other about breastfeeding. The Lie lactation consultants, nurses, and doctors pass on to poor, naive mothers. The Lie you read about in books while you are pregnant and convince yourself it must be true.

Breastfeeding should not hurt. If it hurts, you are doing something wrong.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. And let me add for good measure....bullshit!

Breastfeeding hurts. It hurts like a mother fucker! Monkey had a great latch, I had a great supply, our holds were all correct....and it still hurt like hell. The first few weeks, my nipples were red and chapped and occasionally bleeding. Everytime Monkey latched on, I cringed and curled up my toes in pain. Every single time I fed Monkey, I would tell myself it was going to be the last time I would breastfeed. I would sit there, praying for him to be done, and think next time I'm going to make him a bottle.

But I never did. I just kept at it and eventually it got easier. And now I love it and love each special moment I get to spend with Monkey. But most of all, I love those 7 or 8 times a day where I am not expected to do anything but sit on the couch, feed Monkey, and catch up on my DVR'd shows!

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