The internet is full of photos shared by people who want to show off their happiest of moments. Breastfeeding mothers enjoy posting their breastfeeding photos on the internet to share them with friends, family and like-minded mothers. I do this often. My favorite photos are of Jack sleeping peacefully on my breast or doing a fancy “gymnurstics” move. But this is only half of the story. There are plenty of moments that are not as joyful. I love breastfeeding. It is the thing that I am and always will be the most proud of. But we had a rough start and to be honest we still have rough days. I cried a lot in the beginning. I felt isolated. I felt like a failure. And, while we are still going strong at 17 months, I still have moments where I feel like I can’t go on. Some days it feels like Jack is nursing every 3 minutes, biting me, twisting my nipples, fussing at me breast and never satisfied. The struggles are different than in the beginning, but they are struggles nonetheless. One way that I cope is by looking back at all that we have been through. If we have survived this far surely we can persevere through any challenge that comes our way. Breastfeeding mothers persevere.
Abby Theuring, MSW
I am a breastfeeding mom and I am so glad that i’am a breastfeeding mother.
So i am feeling a little alone. I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding. I am currently breastfeeding my second child. He’s 4 months old. I nursed my daughter for 14 months thinking making it to a year, I was doing well. I have no idea how long I will breastfeed my son. Personally, i dont feel like breastfeeding for less than a year is an option and i dont believe in tears related to the weaning process. I dont think my daughter even noticed we were done breastfeeding. I am pretty sure it was harder on me. Why am i feeling alone? I have a number of friends that had babies around the same time and I’m the only one still EBF. None of them stopped for what i would consider good reasons. Reasons like she has teeth now or it was difficult or going back to work. I just got back from a “happy hour” with 3 other babies (and parents) under 8 mos of age and all were taking bottles. Not because they were drinking but because they dont nurse anymore. I am the odd person out with my big healthy baby that gets over a cold in a couple of days but cant say too much about that becuase then i am critizing the health of the formula fed babies who are always fighting something and taking a few weeks to get over their sniffles and fevers. And they all look at me like i am crazy when i tell them i nursed my daughter with a full set of teeth with no problems. So this whole “happy hour” i am dying inside because all i want to do is shout out all of the medical facts and research about why breastfeeding is awesome and the absolute best thing you can do for your baby’s health next to a vaginal birth (dont get me started on that) and all these babies are c-section babies for various reasons so breastfeeding is that much more important for a healthy immune system. And then one baby was getting fussy during normal fussy baby time which is normally fixed by bunch evening feedings and i want to yell out, “just give her the boob!” But i dont. I am perfectly prepared to BF my son as long he would like. I now look back and wish i nursed my daughter longer, especially after she got her first cold post weaning but she has no interest so she somestimes gets my pumped milk in a cup. So anytime i post an article about how prolonged formula feeding correlates to higher cancer rates, i’m the bad guy. Then i ask my pediatrician why vaccines are pushed so much but breastfeeding isnt and i get a tangent about how some women cant due to extreme circumstances and they dont want them to not feel womanly. I am pretty sure 70% plus woman havent gone through radiation or had a masectomy…. He missed my point completely. Right now i am so sad there is so much ignorance and lack of support for breastfeeding mothers. I just feel the need to get this out there to a community that can relate and how can i be a better advocate? Because apparently my friends dont want my advice or support. How do you get people to want to listen or seek out the knowledge? I get we are all just doing the best we can but how do you promote it without sounding superior? I get the same resistence to natural childbirth. I get tired of hearing, “of course Lorrenda could do it” or “only lorrenda would be able to accomplish that” not true, i am no more capable than the next woman. So i will persevere but i am sad and my poor husband is tired of my rants so here i am.