I read what you said about breastfeeding during an interview on Good Morning America:
“I’m just scared…. My friend did and she said it was so painful … but I definitely want to pump because it’s the best nutrients for the baby…. It’s kind of like you’re a cow and you’re just milking.”
This veteran breastfeeder is here to assure you it isn’t always painful (and it shouldn’t be painful). If it is, you should seek the help of a certified lactation consultant as soon as possible, in addition to finding a friend who was successful with breastfeeding and is willing to both cheer you on and give you practical advice. Someone you’re not afraid to show your boobs to–which I’m guessing would be plenty of your friends, actually.
Anywho… breastfeeding isn’t scary at all–once you get the hang of it. Ok, ok, the first few weeks are a little weird and crazy (but not what I’d call “scary”). I mean, there’s (potentially) the leaking and the trouble latching and the round-the-clock feedings. But once the baby and you get a rhythm going, your confidence grows and you start to feel like you actually might know what the hell you’re doing. Soon enough, you might find you’re doing it in your sleep!
And the oxytocin (aka, the “love hormone”)! It’s like your brain is fist pumping. Really!
If you ask me (which would be really something, wouldn’t it??), breastfeeding was less scary than pumping. Sure, I got the hang of pumping, too, but I never enjoyed it like I came to enjoy breastfeeding. It was cold and loud and inconvenient–and I did feel like a cow (and who wants that?!). It was the opposite of nursing a baby. I did it because I needed to, not because I loved it. This feeling is also opposite to how I felt about nursing my son.
I nursed my son for 2 years and 9 months. If breastfeeding were scary or painful, trust me, I would have quit long ago. Pain isn’t really my thing.
I could ramble on and on about how breastfeeding isn’t really scary, but let me just stop and give you the best advice I have when it comes to nursing your little one:
Try it for a month, with a lactation consultant on speed dial. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it.
When it comes to being a first-time mom, a whole lot of things are scary. And I think that’s normal. And it goes away eventually.