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I Wish I Knew Then {Breastfeeding Edition}

Posted: July 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding Blog Hop | Tags: Breastfeeding | 4 Comments »

Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by The Slacker Mom Best Breastfeeding Blog

Welcome to week 27 of the Breastfeeding Blog hop hosted by me, The Slacker Mom, The Gnomes Mom, and Happiness Redefined!

This week we are dishing about the things we wish we would have known when we first started breastfeeding.

OK, I’ll start!

When I was pregnant with the twins I knew I was going to breastfeed.  I read books, I attended classes, I ignored people when they said things like “You’re going to breastfeed twins?  It’s never going to work.”  I dug in my heels and I got everyone in my support network on board.

And then I had the boys, and it was really effing hard.  Like, harder than I ever expected (4 weeks early they wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding), and I *knew* it wasn’t going to be a calk walk because I had been reading about how it wasn’t going to be easy, that it was going to be work, that it was going to take effort…

And in my naive, new to motherhood haze, I was completely blindsided by the mom wars where breastfeeding is concerned (and in general).

I turned to the internet and looking back, vulnerable, overwhelmed new mom of two, I wish I had someone to tell me to stop listening to people who made me feel bad about the choices I would make.  I heaped enough grief on myself without some nameless stranger behind a computer screen adding her $0.02.

I wish someone had told me to only listen to people who were supportive, to tune out the rhetoric and not get trampled over in the grand race to make breastfeeding the be all and end all of motherhood.

I didn’t learn that lesson until I was struggling with Judah, trying to overcome my “failure” with the twins.  One day as I was flipping through Twitter it occurred to me that I didn’t need to listen to it.  I knew what I wanted, I knew what I was putting into our breastfeeding relationship, these strangers (some who had struggled, most who had not) could never know what it was like to be in my shoes.

And you know what?

They. Don’t. Care.

Not really.  Not about *me*.  They care about increasing a statistic, they care about furthering a cause, but they do not want you to share your story if you struggle and fail, because it doesn’t support the ideal they are trying to sell: every baby breastfed to 12+ months.

So this is what I would tell my 30 year old, newly pregnant self:

– You do exactly what you plan to do.

– You fight until you can’t fight anymore and then you do what you have to do to stay sane.

– There is nothing wrong with having a happy mom and happy babies. In fact, that is a *good* thing!

– Your memories of the first 3 months of these boys lives will be nothing but tears and screaming while trying to nurse babies who want nothing to do with nursing.

– You will not look back on those days fondly, you will look back on them with regret.

– When those babies finally turn one and bottles and formula are a thing of the past, you are going to wonder what the fuss was about.

– Breastfeeding is awesome and amazing, but motherhood is awesome and amazing anyways.

What wisdom do you wish you could have bestowed on your newly nursing self?

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4 Comments on “I Wish I Knew Then {Breastfeeding Edition}”

  1. 1 Darcy said at 11:12 pm on July 5th, 2012:

    My friend planned on breastfeeding… After the baby was born, they were both miserable. She finally gave in to pumping and both of thier lives were so much more peaceful. She could enjoy her baby, and baby didn’t react to mom being stressed. It’s not what she wanted, but it worked for her for 2 different pregnancies. I know some people judged her, but I was proud she listened to herself and did what was best for her and her babies!

  2. 2 Molly said at 6:32 pm on July 7th, 2012:

    Breastfeeding is such a funny thing and opinions are very regional I have noticed. In Minnesota I am looked at strange because I exclusively breastfed my kids until 13 and 11 months and I rarely used bottles and never used formula. Here in Hippieville, Oregon I am looked at strange because I *only* breastfed my kids until 1 year. I find it all amusing, I guess because I had a pretty easy time at it (except for that first week with the first born). Yes, I am a little envious of those moms who can easily leave their baby with Dad, or a babysitter because anyone can give them a bottle and take a much needed break. I am sure other moms are envious of me and my ability to breastfeed for so long. I am glad I didn't have to look to anyone but my husband for support, anyone beond that, I don't care.

  3. 3 Audrey said at 6:44 pm on July 7th, 2012:

    I love your attitude. Sometimes you just got to do what you know is right and pay attention to some people for they may end up misleading you.
    My recent post kimkardashiantaped.com

  4. 4 susanneruehrig said at 11:36 am on July 10th, 2012:

    I know that in some isolated cultures, the children are usually breastfed until they want, there are some moms who still breastfeed their children after they went older than 4-5 years old. For the western people, it seems to be weird, but it is just because our social traditions and habits. I don't judge the moms who breastfeed their children years long.
    My recent post Endlich: der wohlverdiente Urlaub!

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