couples

"Stop complaining mums. Breastfeeding is easy."

How did you find breastfeeding? Would you dare speak up if it was easy?

I am about to confess something that mums are not meant to confess.

In fact, it is one of those frowned upon topics.

You know the ones, like saying your own child is smart (boastful mother), or that they are naturally talented at sport (show off).

But what I am going to confess is worse.

Far worse.

But here we go.

(Deep breath)

It actually wasn't that hard...

I found breastfeeding easy and, dare I say, enjoyable.

Not a hassle. Not a burden. Not something I sacrificed myself for just for the good of my babies.  Not something that ravaged the demands of my body but yet I endured.

But easy. Simple.

Fun.

(I am ducking for cover.)

Before the attack, let me go on, let me preface this by saying that I don’t mean to sound glib. I spend my life immersed in parenting websites so I know the very real struggles that many, many women go through trying to breastfeeding.

I know many, many women struggle, endure heartache and beat themselves up about it. Many women feel pain, and many women place so much pressure on themselves to breastfeed that they feel crushed if they feel that they did not succeed.

But I do know that, for me, I breastfed three back-to-back babies for five-and-a-half years and I only have fond memories of the time.

To be clear if I stretch my mind back through the fog to nearly eight years ago I will remember the first few days out of hospital with a newborn being concerned that I wouldn’t live up to the breastfeeding expectations I felt I had to meet.

Shauna and her first born.

I remember not knowing how to latch this tiny thing on, and being worried about my supply and ordering that weird (yet delicious) tasting fenugreek tea online as I had heard it boosts your milk.

I remember being freaked out by terms like hind milk and leakage and strange new contraptions like nipple shields and breast milk bags.

I remember being bamboozled by the sheer demands this tiny creature placed upon me.

But after all that, after the initial shock of the fact a human being was being sustained (still!) by my own body, it was pretty much a cinch.

One of the greatest pro-breastfeeding ads ever. Post continues after video.

Truth be told, I am not fussed by how you choose to nourish your child as long as you do it with love.

Bottle, breast, a combination of both, or solids as soon as can be – it's not my business really. What concerns me though is the thought that new mums could be put off breastfeeding before they even try it by the tall poppy syndrome of mummydom which seems to exist in parenting these days.

ADVERTISEMENT

The code: don’t admit it's easy, don’t admit it's fun. Don’t gloat. Never boast. Always say you struggled.

Well I say damn this. Let's break that code.

Now before you fall over yourselves to race back to Facebook and let loose on how I am a smug know-it-all let me define my version of a cinch.

Yes, my three babies cluster fed at times every hour for an exhausting 48-hour period.

Yes, my three children all woke all night long only being sated by a breast.  Yes, my boobs aren't a shadow of their former selves.

But it wasn’t hard. It wasn't heartbreaking or demanding. It was actually simple, convenient and delightful to bond with my babies.

After the first few weeks it was short and relaxing. You could take those boobs with you anywhere you wanted and your baby was fed and at night, you could sack him back on and doze for a while until he snuggled back in his cot.  It wasn't messy or painful. It wasn't difficult for me.

First kids breastfeeding vs second kid. Post continues after video.

This is not a boast. It's just reality. And I make this confession because I feel like so much of what I read about breastfeeding these days is all about while it is wonderful for your child and the greatest gift you can give ( ada yada yada) it's hell on the mother.

I feel like at every turn I read Facebook posts about how breastfeeding ruins your boobs and how exhausting the all night boobie bonanza can be. It makes me sad that we mothers who actually found it just fine, thank you very much, feel like we have to stay quiet for fear we betray the motherhood.

For me, and maybe, yes maybe I was one of the lucky ones, not once in my five-and-a-half years of breastfeeding three kids non-stop did I ever face discrimination or acrimony. Maybe I was just too caught up in staring at the tiny face wrapped in muslin at my chest to notice.

The babies seem to think its okay too.

If you give it a go and it isn't your thing then good for you.

If you decided never to try and instead bottle feed, because that is your choice as a mother, then again good for you.

But if you gave it up, or never tried at all because you heard breastfeeding was the pitts then don't believe the hype.

Sometimes, just sometimes this mummy business can actually be pretty damn fun.

Did you, like me enjoy breastfeeding your babies? Was it ever actually just easy? What was it that you liked the best?

Want more? Try:

“I’m still pregnant, but I think bottle feeding is the way to go for me.”

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