10 Mar 2014

The Downside to Breastfeeding

New mothers are educated and encouraged to really give breastfeeding a go when their new baby arrives.

I breast fed Eli until he was seven months old and I'm still currently breastfeeding Kai.

We hear and read about all the benefits of breastfeeding, which I totally agree with but I want to put down a list of the "cons" if you like of breastfeeding, based on my personal experience.

The not so glamour side of breastfeeding include ...
  • Your boobs get bigger. Sure for someone who didn't have any breasts prior to children / breastfeeding, probably see this as a pro. But for me, someone who has spent years trying to cover up as much as possible, the extra cup size or two kills me. Not only do you need to buy an array of new bra's (sports, t-shirt, strapless, maternity), but your pre-pregnancy tops don't sit quite properly or in my case don't fit until you cease breastfeeding. 
  • Leakage. Admittedly I haven't had any leakage accidents in public but my bed sheets have not been so lucky. Breast milk stains. Yes, stains are easily removed but I was very surprised to learn they stain almost every surface it hits such as cotton, tiles and hard wood. 
  • Cost of breast pads. Like normal menstrual pads these pieces of cotton aren't cheap and the cheap one's don't do a go job, must be made of synthetic fibres as I found them to be itchy and once full smelled horrible.  
  • Breast tenderness or soreness when you haven't emptied them out for a few hours.
  • Expressing milk for when your baby will be looked after by other people. Personally I don't find expressing the issue but the process is quite tedious. Figuring out how many bottles you need to ensure there is enough while you're away, timing it so you express in between feeds and the storage. 
  • Your breasts are never the same. Everyone is different. Some say their breast are better post pregnancy, but for me after the first time, I noticed a change and I'm only assuming after this round it'll change some more.  
  • Sure you can breastfeed your child at anytime, but it can be a juggling act to be able to do it discretely in public. First time I barely did it in public, always carry a bottle of expressed milk with me just in case I couldn't find a private room to breastfeed. This time around I purchased a really awesome wrap and do it where ever and whenever I need to. My current wrap is great it's like a poncho and covers my front and back so I don't have to worry about someone seeing me from behind. However this time around my child hates being under the wrap. Kai's so creepy sometimes he just stares at me when he feeds. He'll smile too but usually he stares. 
  • Can't wear dresses. My outfit of choice prior to children was dresses. I love love dresses! When you're breastfeeding you can't wear a dress. Not one that won't allow you to pull the top part down. How would you feed your child? Unless you're willing to get naked to do so. 
They sold me the story that women have been breastfeeding for centuries and is the best gift I can give to my baby, but it sure isn't easy. 
Do you have any other examples of the unglamorous side to breastfeeding?
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