This mum learned the hard way that nursing is a lot more than those photos on social media of “blissfully breastfeeding” mothers.
Leah, the mum behind the Instagram account The Nashville Bump, posted a breastfeeding photo on Jan. 24. In the caption, she wrote about the many unanswered questions moms face while nursing.
“You truly don’t know what’s going on down there,” she wrote. “Too much? Too little? Too intense? Not enough hindmilk? Not enough time? Plugged duct? Mastitis?”
The full caption reads:
“Ok, I’m going to say it for us all. Breastfeeding is hard. It’s really, really hard.
Sometimes I can’t even explain what makes it so difficult. The uncertainty, second guessing, responsibility, commitment, discomfort…just to name a few. We trusted our bodies to grow our babies for 9 months and now we have to trust our body to supply the nourishment for our babes growth & development. Talk about pressure. Breastfeeding is full of unanswered questions.
You truly don’t know what’s going on down there. Too much? Too little? Too intense? Not enough hindmilk? Not enough time? Plugged duct? Mastitis? WTF!!!
As if it wasn’t hard enough. And of course the biggest way to know if you’re doing well is if the baby is gaining weight…great, let me just whip out my handy dandy baby scale..But, even with all of that. We all so desperately want to survive and push through. We so badly want to have our baby thrive. We want that relationship. We want the experience.
In the end, fed is best. That’s what matters. But all I know right now is that breastfeeding is hard. I am doing my very best but always have a question in the back of my mind. Always second guessing myself. Always wondering if I’m doing OKAY.
I’m determined to tough it out. I want to do this. Mamas really do need all the support they can get.
So mama, you’re hearing it from me, you’re not going crazy, it is hard, but you’re doing good. Keep going!! There’s a rumor going around that it gets easier.”
Leah told The Huffington Post she had no idea how much of a “learning process” it was for many mums.
“I had seen so many pictures on social media of mothers blissfully breastfeeding their babies that I didn’t realize it’s not always like that,” she said. “It seemed so easy and natural for them, but even things that are easy and natural can be a learning experience for many people.”
“It takes more than a breast to feed a baby!” she told HuffPost. “It takes time, patience, support, proper nutrition, confidence and sometimes professional help to overcome your breastfeeding struggles.”
She told HuffPost she has two words for mums who might seek other options for their children: “Rock on!”
“Mothers know what the best decision for themselves, baby and family is,” she said. “Mothers who choose to exclusively pump, bottle-feed, supplement, formula-feed or breastfeed all need a lot of support.”
Well said, Leah! I think all mums need to read and share her wise words.
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