Friday, May 27, 2011

breastfeeding is a lot like football

Breast feeding seems straight forward, baby meets breast and *POOF* baby eats, right? Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong! I breast fed my first child with formula supplementation due to a lack of milk production. I am exclusively breastfeeding my second now, but even having had experience and having done research there were things I wish I had known before I had started with either kiddo.

Forget all the cute cuddly stuff, breast feeding is like a full contact sport.

Breast feeding is about bonding, and don't get me wrong, it is special and beautiful and all of that. But if we are talking frank honesty here, and there are plenty of places to hear about how good breastfeeding is for both you and baby. If we are talking "girlfriend" advice here it is: Breastfeeding is a lot like football.

Yes, I said football. With football you have to practice, wear a uniform, have to utilize specific terminology, and its not always comfy. Breastfeeding is much the same.

One does not initially think of one's boobs as something to practice with. Yet, motherhood has a way of making you see everything differently, especially your body. With breast feeding the first time around I thought it sounded funny when they said I would have to practice and would get the hang of it all. But I did. And much like the sports I played in high school (disclaimer: football was not one of them) I didn't always enjoy practice, but I enjoyed the benefits of it. While breast feeding sounds perfectly natural, the reality is there is nothing about it that came naturally to me. I had to work at it, with both kids. After a couple bumpy weeks I did get the hang of it. While I do not consider myself a pro with it as of yet, I do not have anywhere near the difficulty I once did. In fact, it seems easier to me now than dealing with the nightmarish, smelly mess that formula felt like with kiddo number one.

In the beginning I also had no idea that this was a sport complete with lingo and equipment. Oh, but it is. And in no time, with said practice, you too will be using the lingo ("My colostrum has come in") and using the equipment (the word "pumps" no longer refers to your shoes!). You need pads, because you will not only leak like a cheap faucet in those first few days but any time you ever need to feed baby and have reached maximum storage capacity. You need a cape if you will want to feed where modesty prevents you from whipping the girls out. Feeding pillows are super, and while you may not have a "uniform" per say, you will look at clothes differently whether you buy actual nursing tops and bras or not. It is also critical that you, like the best of athletes, remain well fed and hydrated at all times.

Last, but not least, it is a full contact sport I assure you. My darling, beautiful, innocent little boy is precious as precious can be. I love him more than words can say, but that cute bundle of joy bites hard when he is mad (this is why children are born with no teeth) and will headbutt and scratch me when he is really fussy or overly hungry. Given his ravenous appetite I feel like I spend more time feeding him than anything else, and thus I get a wee bit tender even when he plays nice.

All of this said, I love breast feeding. It is worth it, every last leaky, tender, exhausting bit of it. The good far out ways any discomfort, and I will gladly continue feeding this way and would do the same for any subsequent child/ren I have. I would never talk anyone out of breast feeding, but I think it is important to walk in to it with eyes wide open. It is work, but its work well worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Read the Printed Word!