If you're a nursing mother, you know there are some downsides of breastfeeding. You also know that you'll do anything for baby and can often get past them. You also know that if you choose not to breastfeed, that your baby can grow and develop just find with formula. If your little one hasn't been born yet, understanding the downsides of breastfeeding can help you make the decision that's best for you and your new baby.
1. Pushy Nurses
Let’s start with pre-registration at the hospital. Those of you who breastfeed know exactly what I mean when I say that they push that nasty smelling formula. Don’t get me wrong, formula is perfectly healthy, however, all moms want to do what they think is best for their little one. Don’t let the nurses push you around. When I walked into the hospital to pre-register, the nurses looked at me like I had lost my mind when I told them I wanted to breastfeed and didn’t want an epidural. It seemed like it was so out of the norm, they just could not believe it. This is definitely one of the downsides of breastfeeding.
2. Breast Milk Production
When you have your little miracle, sometimes the nurses offer to take them to the nursery. Then comes the problem with everyone trying to push formula. “It will be so much easier and you can just rest”, I think I recall me saying no formula and I don’t think I will get much rest for 18 years anyway. Then comes the struggle of waiting for your mature milk to come in and worrying whether you are making enough to sustain your little one. If you are producing 1ml you are sustaining your child’s need. PS: 1ml equals 20 drops!!! That is not very much.
3. Latching Issues
My child never latched at the hospital or for weeks at home. I pumped 24/7 and it was great and all, but you are literally stuck to a pump all day. The nurses had warned me that if I fed my baby from a bottle, that she would never latch. I worried that was true, however I had to feed my baby, so I did what was best for my child and pumped and fed her through a bottle.
4. Family Members Who Agree or Disagree
This was so hard for me personally. I wanted to tell everybody to shut up and let me make my own decisions, but that wouldn’t be very nice. I finally figured out that sometimes you must be the mean person in the situation. My mother-in-law was the one that stayed with me for 2 weeks after my daughter was born and she somehow mentioned everyday how she only breastfed for 3 weeks and her children came out fine. Her son, my husband, has terrible allergies and allergies are a lot less prominent in a child that is breastfed for 6 months. “It would be so much easier if you just quit pumping and gave her formula” was all I heard, day after day. I was lucky to have my mother and grandmother supporting me and helping me with what they could. My in-laws did come around about breastfeeding, which has certainly helped.
5. Pain and Engorgement
Holy hell, my boobs would get so hard that you could bounce a penny off of them. It was painful, to say the least. When I didn't pump for a while, it would be like knives slicing through my breast. I managed to avoid nipple pain, but many women report cracked and bloody nipples when they start breastfeeding. Stick with it because that goes away.
6. Weight Loss Myth
Well let me tell you something. After I started to breastfeed, I didn’t lose weight at all. I ate all the time because I was starving. I wouldn’t eat the good healthy stuff either. I wanted all the stuff I craved when I was pregnant. It was been super hard to eat healthy and ignore the cravings. I found some super delicious meals that are healthy and that has helped a lot. You do get to increase your calories by 500 or 600 when you're breastfeeding. It’s a fine line between figuring out how many calories you need to keep up with your child’s demand and keeping your milk in full supply and not eating just to eat. Just make sure that you are eating when your body tells you too and fill it with something that your body will thank you for eating. Some of my favorites are boiled eggs, hummus and veggies, cheese and deli meat or a spoonful of peanut butter with milk.
I have never drunk so much water in my life. I feel like that big old whale that just drinks and eats all day. Breastfeeding can make you intensely thirsty and many experts suggest keeping a glass of water nearby anytime you nurse. You must drink enough water, but don’t drown yourself.
8. You Will Need to Store Breast Milk
You might think you don't need to store your breast milk, but there will come a time when you need someone else to do the feeding. Also, when you pump it helps to keep your supply going, so that you never have to worry about if you have enough or not. I’m a stay at home mom and somedays I can pump and other days she is so fussy or already on the boob all day that I have zero time to pump, much less eat. Pump when you can. It's not always pleasant, but it’s extremely crucial, even it it's only a couple of ounces.
9. Your Boobs Will Change
Some women can keep those perky boobs, but most of us that breastfeed just have to expect to wear an underwire and pushup bra for the rest of your life. Your breasts have fallen prety to gravity and there is no number of pushups or dead lifts that will make your boobs come back to life. My husband saw me get out of the shower one day and asked me what had happened to my deflated saggy boobs. I was so mad, but it’s something that cannot be avoided. I have come to accept the fact that my husband will be buying some cosmetic surgery. He just doesn’t know it yet. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though. Having a child changes your body. I have enjoyed feeding my baby with my body, even if my husband is a bit sad about the changes.