Breastfeeding is the first step in your new life as a parent. And after going through childbirth, experiencing postpartum challenges along with taking care of a newborn, even the most little setback becomes a huge challenge for a mother to face. You have been going through and reading every breastfeeding struggle, experience mothers around you have faced. Still, you know that unless it dawns upon you, you will never know what the true struggles and bumps are along the road of breastfeeding and understand why breastfeeding is hard.
There has been a study that has proven that breastfeeding difficulties which can lead women to either partially wean the baby or fully wean the baby can link to clinical depression. This is because of the pressure that has been building up all around for breastfeeding. Even though, the study clearly states that it can be the other way round too but even if it is, depression due to weaning is still a huge issue that needs to get the limelight. (1)
Let’s see 9 other reasons so as to why Breastfeeding is Hard:
#1 Because It Doesn’t Come Naturally To Everyone
And that’s okay! Some mums might face challenges of not producing enough milk or experiencing pain during latching or feedings. Make sure that you contact a lactation consultant and not a doctor. Your OB/GYN sometimes may not be an expert in breastfeeding area. So, make sure that you do consult a lactation consultant once.
#2 Because There are Judgemental Eyes All Around
The pressure on new moms from the society is huge and increasing day by day due to social media too. Getting judged from substituting with formula, public feeding to weaning early, going to work and leaving the baby without the mighty breast milk, today’s mother has to face it all. These judgemental eyes can make the new mum very stressed.
#3 Because You are Alone For a Lot of Time:
Let’s face it! Breastfeeding sessions can last from 20-45 minutes and the frequency can be anywhere between 8-12 feedings. Most of these sessions will be spent alone (sometimes in soreness and pain) making it another reason so as to why breastfeeding is hard.
#4 Because Breastfeeding is Time Consuming
As mentioned in the last time, breastfeeding takes up around 5-6 hours of your day. That’s a lot of time especially for mothers who love being productive and make something out of their day. This coupled with postpartum recovery does make the first few months after birth a little difficult to handle.
#5 Because BF drains you
Breastfeeding burns 500 calories in a day so it’s no wonder that it makes you feel tired and thirsty. Most of the energy is burned in the form of fat, which can make you feel enervated and tired all the time.
#6 Because Breastfeeding is still a taboo in Public
It doesn’t matter if you are breastfeeding with a nursing cover or not, there will always be some comments like cover that sh*t up, breastfeeding is private, get a room and what not! What these people don’t understand is that it’s not easy to convince a baby that he needs to wait to get home before becoming all fussy and hungry. Breastfeeding is natural and the baby would want to eat whenever he wants to and the mother can’t help this.
#7 Because You are sore & Painful
Breastfeeding can make your breasts engorged, dry and sensitive. These are some common breastfeeding problems all mothers have to face. Other problems include latching problems, nipple bleeding, infection, thrush, mastitis etc.
#8 Because Your Perception About Your Body Changes:
Now, that you have to be at the beck and call of your baby’s cries, you feel that your body is not really yours. As strange as it sounds, every mother does get a strong feeling where the perception of their body changes a lot. During growth spurts, a baby’s needs become more aggressive fueling up this perception a little more.
#9 Because Postpartum is Already Hard
You are already dealing with Postpartum recovery. If it’s a C-section – the scar pain, abdominal pain etc. and if it’s a vaginal delivery – vaginal stitches, perineum pain etc. Not to forget the other common struggles after childbirth like baby blues, lochia pain, hot flashes etc.
We are sure that a lot of you can relate to almost all the points written here. Which one sounded the most relatable? Do mention it and your experience in the comments section below: