“Breast is best”.
You have likely heard the clever phrase.
“Breast is likely to cause a severe and debilitating addiction in your child.”
This one you may not be as familiar with.
Yes, contrary to popular discussion, there are some unfortunate realities about the breastfed baby that you might want to consider.
Fact: Breastfed babies are ALWAYS hungry.
For the first 2 years of their life or however long you choose to breastfeed your baby (whichever is longer), you will find that your baby eats a lot more often than you do. The luckiest mother might find her baby can last 3 hours without nursing. More likely, though, after an hour and a half, your baby will be desperate to nurse again. She will express her hunger in a number of ways. The more subtle ways might include repeatedly bobbing her head against your breast or trying to latch onto your nipple through your shirt.
Fact: You will never be able to comfort your baby like your breast can.
From the moment that baby latches on to your breast, YOU move to second place. Amazingly, your breast can comfort your child through everything. Baby’s sick? She wants breast. She’s tired? More breast. Bored? Give her some breast. In fact, 9 times out of 10, any discomfort she has can be assuaged by your breast. What you cannot do through singing, dancing, rocking and/or hugging, breast can, with no effort at all.
Fact: Breastfed babies and sleep are not synonymous.
Your milk is not as filling as formula. This means that it might be a long time before she sleeps more than three hours at a time, without needing to nurse.
Fact: She always knows when breast is near.
Your baby can smell your milk. If she is crying and you do not want to nurse her, you had better not pick her up. Even if she is content, know that the sheer act of picking her up can invoke hunger, even starvation. Once she is old enough to see you clearly, be careful not to disrobe in front of her. The mere sight of your breasts will invoke an incessant whine that can only be quieted by your breast in her mouth.
Fact: Breastfed babies are not discrete.
Though you might fantasize about the day when you can discretely nurse your baby in public, the reality is that at any moment, your rambunctious baby might expose you. With no concept of discretion, they feel no loyalty to hiding your breasts from others. They also tend to like full exposure, meaning blankets will rarely stay put. It isn’t uncommon to see a mother struggling to keep her shirt down as her child repeatedly lifts it.
Women across America love discussing the benefits of breastfeeding their child. No one ever bothers to mention that by breastfeeding your baby, not only are you creating a milk junkie, you are securing your position as number two on your baby’s short list of favorites.
Having said all of this, I am a breast feeder and wouldn’t change it for the world.