August is National Breastfeeding Month, and I just feel like this is something we should talk about here. I’ve shared the fact I don’t always cover up, but I haven’t shared that it isn’t always easy. I think we all spend a lot of time focusing on the fact that breast is best, and I don’t disagree with that fact. I think we spend a lot of time educating people on how to breastfeed better, and I agree that some issues can be easily fixed with a little education. We spend a lot of time putting our best face forward on social media when it’s definitely not easy for everyone.
I struggled. I didn’t struggle from lack of supply. I had ample supply. I struggled emotionally and from lack of confidence. I struggled because the nurse at the hospital suggested he was starving before my milk came in. I struggled when people suggested I put milk in his bottle, because my milk might not be rich enough. I struggled because my son didn’t want to wait for food be it from me or a bottle. He was introduced to the bottle early when his sugar got low at the hospital. I was struggling with the fact he didn’t want to latch on. His latch was perfect when he got on to it though so I knew it could be done.
There are many women out there who struggle with other types of breastfeeding issues. These issues are not part of their imagination. These issues aren’t because they don’t work hard enough at it. We all have different struggles in trying to raise our babies, but I know for sure that none of them are easy. Most women I know wanted desperately to breastfeed. They were constantly told it was possible. For some of them, it was. For others, it wasn’t. The struggle was real though, and we shouldn’t live in a world where people feel bad for doing everything they can possibly do to provide for their baby. It’s not always laziness although I’m sure there is someone out there who has that exact reason.
As we celebrate National Breastfeeding Month though, I think we need to talk about the fact that it’s not always easy. It’s a struggle sometimes. We need to acknowledge that everyone is different. We need to support each other in our desire to feed our babies the best way possible. Most important we need to only share information in a kind way. We need to help each other and not harp on each other. Let’s use National Breastfeeding Month as a platform for education and support. Let’s use National Breastfeeding Month as a time to help support women who are struggling emotionally and physically. Let’s use National Breastfeeding Month to really get into a discussion about what it involves and how we feel. Breast is definitely best but let’s use National Breastfeeding Month to help people feel warm and loved while doing it especially those of us who have struggled through it. There are days I still think about giving up just so I can know my baby is getting enough or so that it won’t be so hard. It isn’t because I don’t want to feed my baby the best thing. I struggle through for that reason alone.
Did you struggle with breastfeeding? What kind of moral support did you want? Are you celebrating this National Breastfeeding Month?