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So, you've waited the nine to ten months to greet your little one. Your body has changed in ways that you hadn't imagined it would. You've experienced things that you hadn't imagined you would before. And now it is finally time to meet your little person.
However, there is a decision you have to make. And sometimes it's not completely in your control. You need to decide how you are going to feed your little human for the first part of his life.
Now, breastfeeding isn't for everyone. Some people choose not to breastfeed for personal reasons. Some people cannot breastfeed for health reasons. And some people are over the moon at the idea of being able to breastfeed.
There is no right or wrong way to feed your baby. As long as they are healthy that is the most important part. However, if you do choose to breastfeed and are able to, it is quite the experience.
I had my mind set on breastfeeding simply because it was the healthy and financially smart decision. I was lucky enough to be able to produce without an issue and my baby took to it without an issue.
It doesn't matter how many people tell you about breastfeeding beforehand, the experience is something you have to go through. You can try to mentally prepare for the fact that your breasts will ache and your nipples will be sore, but it doesn't compare to the real thing.
No one can really prepare you for raw and bleeding nipples. No one can prepare you for the fact that you just need to grit your teeth through the pain and keep going. No one can prepare you for the constantly leaky breasts and the heaviness of them when your milk comes in.
No one can prepare you for the times when your baby will be fussy, but clearly hungry. The times when they will refuse to latch on even though they clearly want to eat. No one can prepare you for that frustration.
You aren't ready for the two to three times a night you need to get up and feed your little human. No matter how much you tell yourself that you are, experiencing it is a completely different thing.
You aren't ready for the crying and the fact that your breasts will leak in response. You aren't ready for the number of shirts you will go through or learning to not be embarrassed by it.
Going from a pregnant woman to a breastfeeding mother is quite the transition. Since the invention of formula, I have noticed more and more people commending mothers who choose to breastfeed. And I commend anyone who makes that choice and is able because it is not easy.
You need to be ready to feed your little person whenever they are hungry. And unless you never leave your house this means pulling your breast out in public places and being alright with it. You have to accept that your breasts are no longer sexual objects and are a means of producing food for your child.
Many people struggle with the embarrassment and self-shame associated with breastfeeding. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is something woman have been doing for ages.
So, if you choose to breastfeed, and are able to, remember to take a deep breath and give yourself a break. Remember that it will not always be easy but it will be worth it in the end. So take it one day at a time, ask for help if you need it, and remember that you will get through this.