I wish I never breastfed my baby. I hated it the first time (with bub one) and promised myself when I was pregnant with bub two to not ‘give in’ to the pressures of breastfeeding again. I do understand the benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mum, especially in the first few weeks, but NO ONE talks about the disadvantages of breastfeeding.
When you have a baby like mine who wishes to feed every 45 minutes, breastfeeding loses its áwe’. Breastfeeding now becomes a chore. It becomes loathed. Detested even. Breastfeeding becomes the catalyst that makes you dread your baby’s cry.
Breastfeeding hurt so bad I wanted to punch a brick wall everytime my baby latched. And even more so wanted to punch every nurse or midwife that told me that, “If baby is latching correctly, it shouldn’t hurt.” Bullshit to that mate – even having a shower hurt these sensitive titties so a fiercely hungry baby was of course going to annihilate them.
The physical pain of breastfeeding isn’t the only disadvantage. Sleep deprivation is right up there too. Breasfeeding is very isolating, at night it’s just you and the baby waking up every few hours. Hubby or partner can’t help much. I found this part really hard as I was SO tired and just wanted to recover from birth and delve into a week long coma to sleep off all the stitches and internal ripping from birth but I simply couldn’t. My 24/7 milk-on-tap restaurant needed to be manned every 45 minutes, day or night. My only customer was VERY demanding.
Breastfeeding made me not want to be near my child. Massive statement to make about my kid but it was true. I hated everytime he was awake as it meant that I would have to endure pain – like bleeding nipples type pain. It was the most horrible feeling to feel this towards my child. I simply did not enjoy being a mum AT ALL – purely because of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding gave me anxiety. Being in public was so incredibly embarrassing and uncomfortable. I don’t care how ‘trendy’ and PC correct breastfeeding is or becomes, I will never feel OK to get my titties out in public. FULL STOP. Not only that, but any clothing that was suitable for breastfeeding was either very ugly or made me feel very ugly. End of story, being in public was a no-go-zone for me, which made me completely miserable.
Breastfeeding completely killed our sex life. Affection towards my husband completely depleted. I mean GONE. I had a baby hanging from my chest every 45min and a toddler always next to me, I did not want anymore human touch whatsoever. I wanted to be left alone.
My hobbies were shattered. My boobs hurt so much when I ran or did any form of physical exercise that I could no longer go to the gym. Sounds trivial but after 2 years of not doing something that I absolutely LOVE it killed me that I couldn’t get back into the gym because of breastfeeding.
The biggest disadvantage was the time breastfeeding stole away from my other child. My first born was only 15 months old when my second boy came along. He was still a baby himself, who needed his mum always too. This HANGRY baby was very demanding and trying to divide my time evenly was never going to work. I was constantly saying to my toddler, “Go to Dad” and “Sorry hun, mum is busy now’’ and it cut a whole in my heart.
Moral of the story is IT IS OK TO NOT BREASTFEED. I stopped four months into my stint (after 3 failed months of trying to get baby on to bottles). Three weeks post stopping breastfeeding I was a completely different person. A better mum and better wife. I had more energy. I actually had gaps where bub was NOT on my body so I got to miss him a little. I had more time for my other son. I stopped dreading going out in public and no longer had anxiety. I got to get back to the gym and started to smile again. Breastfeeding was definitely not a good option for me or my baby. My baby had a better mum when he was fed formula from a bottle.