Ah, the joys of motherhood! Many mothers consider it an honor to breastfeed their baby. We all hear about the bonding that occurs and the health benefits of breastfeeding. I and many other mothers hate breastfeeding because of all the breastfeeding side effects.
Any breastfeeding mother knows how painful it can be. When I began to nurse my nipples felt like thousands of tiny needles were poking them. The pressure was unbearable. My nipples and areolas became so dry that even the most moisturizing creams couldn’t relieve them. This dryness also caused insane itching and each breastfeeding session became more painful than the last.
Many breastfeeding mothers argue that these breastfeeding side effects only occur when a mother begins to breastfeed and go away in a matter of months. Mine never went away and I began to wonder if the downfalls of breastfeeding were worth it. What was my breast milk doing for my baby that formula couldn’t?
Sure, there are antibodies in breast milk that can’t be replaced by formula. These antibodies build up your baby’s immune system. What did that mean, exactly? My baby would avoid a couple of inevitable colds when she was older? I know several mothers who swear by bottle feeding and their children are no less healthy than any that were breastfed.
Back to the subject of breastfeeding side effects. Unless you stay in the house all day and night, you will have to face public breastfeeding. Is it acceptable? I for one never could do it. It is humiliating. There are many breastfeeding mothers who have no reservations about popping out a breast in front of a crowd to feed their infant, but I can’t deal with all the curious looks my way.
My daughter could eat a lot ever since the day she was born. Our doctor and nurses could not believe how hearty her appetite was. After attempting breastfeeding the first few weeks, it became clear that I couldn’t produce enough breast milk to satisfy her hunger. This made me feel inadequate as a mother. Aren’t we supposed to be able to nourish our children naturally? I felt like a major letdown as a provider and mother for my baby.
Yes, there are many benefits to breastfeeding your baby. Do the benefits outweigh the side effects? I for one say no. I did manage to compromise, though. I switched to bottle feeding and only breastfed at night. This way, my baby got enough to eat from the formula, immunity boosting antibodies from my breast milk, and precious bonding time. I didn’t have sore nipples all day and night, and the pain was short lived for just a half hour a night.
I also put a little of my breast milk into each of her formula bottles just to be sure that she was getting enough antibodies. I couldn’t make enough breast milk for a meal, but I managed to get about an ounce into each bottle. This made it a lot easier to wean her off of the breast when she was old enough. She never missed it.
I am not ashamed to say that I hate breastfeeding. Breastfeeding side effects are dealt with by all breastfeeding mothers. Don’t think that you are the only mother in the world that hates breastfeeding and has considered not breastfeeding. Instead, search your options. Get a breast pump or you can even milk yourself (sounds kind of awkward, but hey, it’s your breast) and supplement formula. Your baby still gets the benefits of breast milk and you have a lot less discomfort.