You are completely ignorant of motherly duties before you become a mother. Life as a teenager may be difficult because you find no one with a mind like yours. You feel everyone around you is against you. When you become a new mother, nothing changes; you still feel the same. You are not feeding your child until he is full. You are not bathing the child correctly. You are not eating what is supposed to be eaten after delivery. God forbid, if your child needs more milk than you can give him; you are a very bad mother in case you resort to formula milk to fill him up instead.
As a new mother I began breastfeeding out of necessity. I read somewhere that it was good for my child’s immune system and overall health so I was open to try it out. Initially, I was embarrassed at the way the nurses at the hospital squeezed by breasts until fluids came dripping out. I wanted to slap each one of them but then I got used to sticking out my breasts and feeding my baby.
After a month, I started to love the idea of breastfeeding when I realized that I was losing a good amount of weight while my baby was gaining exactly the same amount. Yes, that’s not the right reason to breastfeed but it was something that motivated me despite my pain. So, even though demand was greater than supply, I made sure I was sucked out completely before I gave her the forbidden top-feed.
Another advantage of breastfeeding is that the milk is free and available at any time. Well, you do pay for the food you keep eating because you feel as hungry as a wolf but it’s still cheaper than buying the top feed and other baby foods available, at high prices, in the market. Also, your milk is available at any given time. Besides, in the car or a public bus, there were times when I have fed my child in Pizza Hut and Ritz Classic too. My friends would be shocked but a mother has got to do what a mother has got to do, right?
I was able to get more ‘snooze‘ time while I was breastfeeding as compared to some of my friends who mostly fed their babies with infant formula. When you have a hungry bunny that wakes up with an empty stomach in the middle of the night, you have to feed him before he brings the roof down. At this time, giving him a breast takes less time than having to get out of bed to prepare the mixture, feed him and then wait until he is done with the bottle.
Flexibility is a necessity for out-going mothers like me. With no full-time help, I had to cook and take care of my little one myself. Once she slept, I would sometimes steam white rice and express milk at the same time and I would be ready to feed her the next time she woke up. This would also allow anyone at home to feed the baby in case I wanted to visit Mother Nature or snooze for a while. I could even step out for a few hours after storing my expressed milk under cool temperatures.
Many people believe that expressing milk is taboo because the child’s mouth is too small for the teat or he would never leave the bottle early or he would get used to it and reject mother’s milk and so on. Yet, I expressed it because I could not tolerate the sore nipples after the pain of a caesarean section. The stitches were healing but I was feeding almost ten times a day which wasn’t a joke at all. At times I would be feeding from one while simultaneously expressing from the other just so that I didn’t have to directly feed if she was still hungry. Sometimes, I would express with the manual pump on one breast and the electric one on the other. Yes, it is hilarious but it reduced my pain so could not care too much about how I looked with two pumps attached to me.
I’m not sure how but, trust me, babies can bite without teeth! Are their gums that strong? I don’t know but I still remember the way my daughter would bite me with an evil expression on her little face. This would haunt me even in my sleep. I would wake up from a nightmare where my own tiny monster wanted to attack and physically hurt me. This was one of the main reasons I was terrified to have another baby. Every time she would hint she was hungry, my heart would skip a beat.
Having said that, breastfeeding is a boon for your child and yourself. The advantages totally make up for the pain you go through during those months. People also say that it develops the bond between a mother and her child though I would like to give my communicating skills a little credit too. The recommended duration to breastfeed is six months to a year while some even feed till three years. So, as long as you and your child are comfortable, keep the breastfeeding on!