I’m going to be real about breastfeeding. What does breastfeeding look and feel like? Let me get real and tell you.
It’s messy and chaotic- in the beginning. It looks like exhaustion and blubbering conversations. It can look like self-doubt, guilt, frustration and can lead you down a path of spiraling questions.
Questions about whether you’re doing it right and if the baby is getting enough and wondering if you’ll ever sleep again. (yes, you will sleep again and a postpartum doula can help with this!) It can be an up and down journey of feeling like you’re on the brink of insanity and it can be hard, really really hard. It feels like you might lose it. It can bring pressure from your friends and family.
You know what it also feels like? After awhile it starts to feel manageable and it feels normal. It feels like you are in love with your baby and your gain confidence and feel strong and amazing! Your baby feels happy and full. It feels like your baby knows you and recognizes you. It feels predictable. It feels like you have crested the top of the highest mountain. Like you went in, saw, and conquered.
Breastfeeding can also feel like it’s not right for you or your baby. It can be wrought with anxiety, and sometimes even depression. It can be hard to have confidence in your body and your baby’s ability. Or maybe you just don’t WANT to breastfeed.
Nursing every 2 hours every 24 hours and dripping boobs and wet T-shirts. It looks like green and yellow poop. Lots of green and yellow poop. It looks like side eye glances and whispers. Being being bleary eyed, and weeping, and not having a shower for a few days.
It also looks like the sweet grin of baby drunk on milk and the look of satisfaction on the face of your child. It looks like plump dimpled fists, and rolley polley thighs.
It looks never having to wait on warming up a bottle. It is the perfect solution to any pain, loud sound, or insecurity your baby may face. It looks like simple smiles from fellow breastfeeding moms or grandmas. It can be something that brings you and your friends closer or may even be the catalyst to finding new friends!
There are many different ways breastfeeding can look and feel and it can last a few days or a few years. Each person chooses a different way to feed their baby and none of it is right or wrong. This is what breastfeeding feels and looks like.