Why Breastfeeding Made Me Feel like a Failure
For me, breastfeeding was difficult from the start, and thinking back, I wish I’d stopped earlier and not put myself through all the torture that I did. I used to wonder why no one warned me about it. Well, the reason is our experiences are all so different. It's impossible to truly warn or prep someone for something so complicated and personal. I agonized over every feeding, dealt with immeasurable emotional and physical pain, and put so much pressure on myself that I managed to get mastitis three times.
Mastitis is the excruciating condition of clogged, infected milk ducts. It sounds awful, and it is. My boobs were beyond tender. It felt like knives were jabbing into my chest, not to mention the crushing accompanying flu-like symptoms. For the first month of Sonny’s life, I gave breastfeeding my all. I tried everything to make it work, and began to feel like a failure as a mother.
Eventually, I switched to pumping which brought its own set of issues. I was still in pain and felt like a milk machine instead of a mom. After six months, I stopped pumping and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
When you struggle with breastfeeding, you are forced to turn to nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, family, friends, etc. for help but deep down you wonder if they have agendas too. Is the advice they're giving you best for you or best for the baby? The hardest part is making a decision that is best for you OVER your baby because that is what is best for BOTH OF YOU.