Being a new mom is hard. You’re tired, full of raging hormones, and you may or may not be so sleep deprived that you’re nearing a mental breakdown.
And that’s after spending the past 40 weeks being tired, full of hormones, and sleep deprived.
Being a new mom is hard… wait, I think I said that already…
Being a breastfeeding new mom can compound some of those complaints. Plus, when it’s your first run at being a dairy cow (and I mean that with all affection towards both nursing moms and dairy cows), you may find yourself full of additional questions and concerns.
Aside from the standard – am I doing this right… are they getting enough to eat… is it wrong for me to shoot my husband with a stream of breast milk like some sort of human super soaker… almost every breastfeeding mother has the same eight thoughts, at least once in her nursing Journey:
- Crap, did I remember to put in my nursing pads?! – When you’re newly home with the baby you are all about convenience. Sometimes that looks like dry shampoo and the same pair of yoga pants for seven days. Sometimes it looks like feeding your toddler takeout pizza as often as humanly possible every once in a while until you get your parenting sea legs back. For the especially lazy, it looks like not wearing nursing pads until you absolutely have to. Why give yourself one more obstacle to overcome when your baby has reached full on pterodactyl screech (which is how they alert you that they are ready to nurse)? Especially in the comfort of your own home where nobody cares that you have two large wet spots on your shirt at all times. Going out into the world is a completely different story, though.
- You don’t get a say in how I feed my baby, strange lady at the mall – There is a lot of tension and discomfort when it comes to nursing, and I’m just talking about the moms here (ba-dum-tss)! When it comes to nursing in public, everyone seems to have an opinion. Fortunately for me, I have never experienced any negativity while nursing in public- and I have boobed my way through more than one state. However, I have received some stink eye. And the thought that always comes to mind is, “How do you get to have an opinion about this? I carried this baby for over 40 weeks, labored for hours, endured an epidural that only managed to render me immobile and did nothing for my pain, delivered this beautiful baby, then didn’t sleep for days afterwards- but yes, please let me take your random ass opinion on how I feed her into consideration.” No, just no.
- This feels more like a hangover than my last hangover – Granted, it’s been a good long while since I’ve been hungover… but actively breastfeeding feels like a hangover. I have never been more tired, thirsty, and in need of a greasy cheesesteak- breastfeeding cravings are strong. So is the nausea. And my inability to keep my eyes open.
- Did I just get to second base… with myself? – Part of being an exhausted breast feeder is not remembering which side you last nursed on. A quick boob fondle usually answers that question. And in your sleep deprived state you can sometimes forget that you have an audience, or you just DGAF, either way you grope yourself in public.
- What’s that noise? Is that a baby? That sounds like a baby… annnnnnd leaking – There is a squirrel in the tree behind my house. When the weather is nice and the windows are open, I can hear him making his little squirrel sounds as he jumps from branch to branch. Those sounds are suspiciously baby-like. Even my husband has said so. They are, in fact, so baby-like that they will trigger my let down and I will suddenly become soaked with milk. It’s not just squirrels that get me, though. It’s some birds (also taunting me from our yard), other people’s babies crying in the store, and even my toddler in the middle of a tantrum. Pretty much everything triggers my let down reflex. Or as I recently heard it called, the sting and spring.
- HOW CAN YOU BE HUNGRY AGAIN?! – Yeah, we just nursed for a half hour, twenty minutes ago. And again a half hour before that, for fifteen minutes… and again before that… now you’re looking at me with those big blue eyes and doing your best pterodactyl impression. It doesn’t seem possible that you’re hungry again, yet you are. Rinse and repeat.
- Oh my god, when will this end?!?!?!
- Oh my god, I hope this never ends.
Breastfeeding is hard and amazing and not for everyone… and that is perfectly fine <3