Food or entertainment?
While pregnant I wondered, just how would I feel about breastfeeding. I mean I know that it’s “frowned” upon nowadays to not breastfeed, but just how would I feel.
It’s funny, that 50 years ago, formula was pushed and the breast was suppressed. Now if you do not breastfeed, there are groups (which will remain nameless) that make you feel like you’ve not done enough. That somehow you failed as a mother if you could not breastfeed your child.
The interesting thing is that when we lived in colonies of women and men things were a lot different. Babies were taken care of by groups of women, and more then likely were nursed by more then one woman. We also have the “wet nurse” in history for those privileged people, who unless you gave birth to a boy, you were not allowed to breastfeed. Nowadays women are expected to do this on their own and not ask for “help” to often, because that means they cannot handle motherhood.
Yes, the breast has come a long way.
No longer did I think of them as a play things for gratification but as a per functionary instrument (gosh, how sexy is that???) to nourish my child.
This really did throw me for a loop.
I remember while I was pregnant, reading on baby center about women who feared breastfeeding. And I thought, who cares, if it works it works, hey it’s cheaper! Then I came across a post that said, she was worried about breastfeeding because someone told her it was sensual. Then the women bickered about it being sensual vs sexual and all that jazz, and by god it freaked the crap out of me.
I didn’t want to think of feeding my baby as sensual. What if I got turned on?
First off, breastfeeding was NOT sensual, not sexual, not intimate for me. It was a way to feed him. To make him stop crying, fussing, entertain him. It was NOT at ALL sexual. It was functional.
When I contemplated giving up breastfeeding at the end of 11 months, I was surprised I felt sad. I enjoyed my time with him in the morning, having him cuddle with me, and all that. But ask me from 0-3 months if I’d have given it up. Yes, in a heart beat. I hated it. I hated being responsible.. solely to feed my child. The fact that he didn’t sleep for more then 2 hours at a time made it darn near impossible to survive, but I did. The fact that no matter how tired I was, my husband worked and I had the boobs, so I HAD to get up. And it does get better. By 6 months, when you feed them solids it’s just so much easier to, “whip out the boob” then to make a bottle.
And ladies, lovemaking. Was. well messy. I mean not only do you feel like a spare tire has situated across your midsection, you deal with the leaky boobs the dry vagina and the lack of sex drive. At least that’s how most feel. I didn’t have all those syndromes stated above but I leaked everywhere. I wore breast pads until my son was 8 months old.
I was lucky my husband found my post baby body “sexy.” In turn that really helped me feel “better,” not sexy lol I wasn’t ready to jump back into my thong, those cotton panties are so comfortable lol
Oh and your boobs do NOT look the same and most often get smaller after you stop breastfeeding. This mom is petitioning to have a lift after she’s done having babies!
My bottom line here is that if you’re freaked out about breastfeeding, I’m here to say it’s ok to be. It’s a new experience, and our society sexualizes the breasts. But It is a natural way to feed you baby. It hurts like hell for the first three weeks (buy lansinoh nipple cream!) but it is easier then carrying a bottle around with you. But with that being said. DO NOT feel like a bad mom or a failure if you stop to breastfeed. There are so many moms out there like you! Most of us were raised on formula not breast milk and i think we turned out just fine!