real life

"Breastfeeding was a terrible experience. I hated it. Yes – HATED IT."

We all hear about it. It’s plastered everywhere. We’re all pushed to do it.

The world of “breast is best” but is it?

There are numerous studies to show that breast simply is the best source of nutrition for bub. We get it. We understand it. As soon as you visit the midwife your

first pamphlet is breastfeeding. I’m not advocating for mothers not to do it I’m simply saying is it as blissful as they say.

I didn’t breast feed. Don’t shake your head at me. Don’t think “oh you’re that mum” and don’t even say it’s easy.

It was a terrible, terrible experience for me. I hated it. Yes I said it – HATED IT.

With Ayden I didn’t really even try. The thought of breastfeeding made me want to hurl. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. Everyone else could do it so why couldn’t I? I could watch people breastfeed and I was fine with that. I’ve seen the glowing mother feeding her baby. She looked flawless. Radiant even (ugh).

I explained my concerns to my midwives at the time and her lovely bitchy self replied “it’s just young people these days.”

I get it. I was pathetic for not even giving it a go with Ayden. I was told off numerous people I should breastfeed.

In my head the thought of a child sucking on my tit or latching their precious lips over your breast (whatever term makes you feel better) made me cringe. I already felt like an oversized incubator, why not add a dairy farmer to the long list of names I would call myself.

I knew the benefits of breast feeding. I knew how it decreased SIDS, cancer, obesity etc.

But I couldn’t physically bring myself to do it.

Ayden survived on formula. He survived living off a bottle. I survived. All in all, we survived.

Then in 2012, I had Ivie.

The Modern Mumma's baby Ivie

My thoughts had changed slightly. I had discussed my issues I had with my midwife and husband. Though my husband wanted me to breast feed he completely understood my issues and never forced it on me. He knew it was my decision and only I could make it. The midwife didn’t agree but that is ok. They have to advocate for breast feeding.

Ivie finally entered the world. And I started to breast feed. I was there thinking, this is so easy. Man, I was wrong. I had midwives help me. I had more damage to my nipples than a dairy farmer would wish for. It hurt. Really hurt. We got the nipple shields and it did jack shit. Ivie would scream and I would cry. I couldn’t feed my baby. How do you think this makes any mother feel with a new baby? Not only are they in pain they feel useless. They feel as though they failed. They feel alone. Even when you have a 60 year old lactation nurse come in and demonstrate how to breastfeed using her own body as a learning device it doesn’t help.

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I remember I hid. I hid behind the cupboard and mixed up 50mls of canned heaven. I feed Ivie and she slept. She was happy. I was still not happy. So I continued to try and feed her. I told the midwives it was going great, only because I didn’t want the disapproving looks. I didn’t want them to know I hid in the cupboard to make formula. Can you imagine what they would say?!

The Modern Mumma and her daughter Ivie

We went home and it got to the point that me feeding Ivie would have me and tears. I was still trying to breast feed her and she was sucking like a fucking Dyson! But it hurt. I cringed anytime she would cry for a feed. I would try and ignore her and hope she wanted to go back to sleep. I continued numerous times till one night I was in bed with Nolan and she woke. I cried before I even picked her up. I didn’t cry because I didn’t want to care for her. I cried simply because I knew what I was to go through. I would dig my nails into my legs trying to feed her just so I would focus on something else. It was that night I said no more. I refused to do it again.

Did I feel bad? Yes of course. But my emotional health is also important. My emotions towards my sweet baby were far more important to me than that liquid gold.

Everyone experiences different things. And everyone is encouraged to breast feed. I’m defiantly not saying don’t do it. Try it. But if you don’t succeed life goes on. You are not a failure. You are a mother who is just as good as the mother who breastfed all 7 of her kids up until they were 6 years.

What are your thoughts on breastfeeding?

This post was originally published The Modern Mumma and is republished with full permission.

Want more? Try these:

The one place you would never expect a mother to be shamed for breastfeeding

7 things every parent of a newborn child knows to be true

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