I have been exclusively breastfeeding for 15 weeks now and the following are minor discomforts I undergo on a daily basis because of it. My intention in documenting the following is not to make it sound as if I dislike breastfeeding in any way, but to put my thoughts out there so that other mothers—whether they be breastfeeding, pumping, or bottle-feeding—don’t feel alone. I attempt to provide a sliver of comfort with my experiences when possible, or should I say, I like to think I’m providing some comfort.
1. Chapped lips
Have you ever seen the movie Napoleon Dynamite? I refer to it because there is a scene where Napoleon (the main character) calls home from school. His brother answers. Napoleon requests his brother to take him his chapstick. Yes, take him his chapstick from home to his school. Napoleon exclaims, “My lips hurt real bad!” Who can relate? I totally can! One thing that makes me irritable, other than being hungry, is having chapped lips. I’ve learned to keep a chapstick nearby while feeding. I now have one in every room.
2. Missed bowel movements
These are no fun either. Once the urge escapes you, the longer you have to sit on the throne (my grandmother’s euphemism for toilet) waiting for it to come out. Too much information? Seriously though, this happens often as Zion feeds. At least I have a beautiful angelic face to look at when I’m trying not to think about my digestive system.
3. Parched feeling
Breastfeeding makes me thirsty! If I don’t have water near my feeding area, I start feeling like a raisin. If I have dry lips and don’t have water near, I’m just not taking care of my emotional wellbeing. Like chapstick, I keep a cup of water nearby.
4. Radial distance
Everything is out out of reach unless I plan ahead. This one gets easier as Zion gets older because I can move around more while feeding her, but planning ahead is required if I want something to do during a session.
5. Zombie-like feeling
This feeling comes in waves during the day and at night. With Little Nugget, it took time to understand and accept that this feeling isn’t forever. It took Little Nugget turning three and Zion being born to realize that sleep will come. This is all relative. The interrupted sleep is short term in the grand scheme of things.
I feel so blessed to undergo these discomforts in exchange of experiencing this breastfeeding journey with my baby girl.
Cheers to looking on the bright side!
Have you experienced any of the above while feeding a baby? Have you experienced other discomforts that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear your story.