Breastfeeding Realities: The Nursing Journey

Listen to the below letter! Can you hear the snoring 6 month old in the background? Guess he unlatched long enough to get in a good snore!”

Hey fellow mamas!

Let's chat about this wild ride called breastfeeding! You're doing something truly incredible! But, it can also be a tough gig! I’m here to give space for the highs and lows of the journey. You are not alone!

First, let’s talk about the wonders – seriously, it's like watching magic happen. The way you and your little one have this whole secret language during feedings - It's like witnessing a beautiful, intimate dance. Those smiles, the way they look up at you – its pure joy.

But…let's not sugarcoat it – the challenges are real too. The nights you spend nursing, the moments of frustration when a latch is hard to achieve, the pain and soreness, and the times when it feels like everything's just a bit too much. It's okay to admit it's tough.

And guess what? It's totally cool to hit the pause button if you need to. And don't hesitate to reach out for support or professional advice if you're facing challenges. Your well-being matters, and you should make the call that's best for both of you. Whether you continue the breastfeeding journey or decide to mix it up, your health and happiness are important priorities! And, in the long run, fed is best (trust me, I learned this the hard way)!

When my daughter was born, I was determined to breastfeed. I had spent the entire pregnancy taking classes on breastfeeding, preparing a snack/water/entertainment basket to put by the rocking chair to utilize during feedings, and I wouldn’t even let my daughter take a pacifier in the hospital for fear that it would cause nipple confusion. I was ALL IN. Until about 24 hours later that is. At this point, I realized things were not going as planned. On top of the usual engorgement, I was also bleeding with every feeding. Once my daughter started spitting up blood, I knew it was time to ask for help. I worked with a lactation consultant for weeks, but nothing seemed to be helping. I would cry prior to every feeding because I knew how painful it was going to be, but I would curl my toes and grin and bear it because breastfeeding is what I was “supposed” to be doing.

It was such a challenging journey, that at about 4 weeks, a lactation consultant suggested I pump for one night. I remember her telling me: “just give yourself a break for one night and you can go right back to it tomorrow.” I wasn’t super into the idea but decided to do it anyways, hoping it would be the trick my daughter and I needed to finally make things work. One night of pumping and I cannot even explain the relief I felt. The state of my mental health literally changed overnight. My daughter was happier, I was happier, and so began my journey of exclusive pumping. *As a side note - I later came to find out she had an upper lip tie, which was causing the pain and difficulty with latch. Ask your lactation consultant for a referral to a pediatric OT if you suspect the same issue!*

Once I started sharing my story with friends and family and even the social media world, I was shocked to find out how many people go through this. To put it simply, I learned that breastfeeding is the most unnatural “natural” phenomenon. I went from feeling isolated and as though I was failing my baby, to realizing I was just one of many struggling to breastfeed. I truly started to lean in to the idea that “fed is best.”

Fast forward to when I got pregnant with my son, I felt defeated before he even arrived, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed him (or so I thought). But, from the minute he arrived (and I mean literally the minute), he latched on right away and literally hasn’t let go since! He would be on my breast 24/7 if I let him (such a boy!). I love the comfort he finds in me, but it can also feel overstimulating sometimes. If your baby is constantly latched to you and you feel touched out, I am here to tell you that you’re not a bad Mom…you are simply human and your feelings are valid.

Regardless of what your breastfeeding journey looks like (or even if you choose to forego it altogether and go straight for the formula), I just want you to know that you're rocking this mom thing! This whole parenting gig is a wild ride, and regardless of how it may feel sometimes, you’re doing your best and you’re exactly what your child needs!


Your fellow mama