To my not-yet-mom friends: I’ll return your call in 6 months after I feed my baby

Before I had a baby, I had warm fuzzy images of cuddling and breastfeeding my little bundle of joy. But I had no idea how exhausting it could be. So I can understand why you, not yet a mom, would wonder just why on earth something so natural might be difficult.

It’s not just exhausting from the milk production (though that definitely sucks your energy, too!) There are plenty of other, unexpected things that go down during a feeding.

Why would it take an hour to feed a baby?

Lots of things happen during a feeding aside from the ingestion of milk. Here’s just a sampling:

  • You have a hard time getting the baby to latch on to eat properly. After 10 minutes you finally get the milk flowing in the right direction. They he pulls off and you need to keep helping him get back on again.
  • The baby spits up, requiring you to change her. You get a new shirt over her head, one fat arm squished into a long skinny sleeve, and then notice you’ve put the shirt on backward.  Take it off and start again.
  • Your clothes end up drenched from one thing or another – leaked milk, baby spit up, or a surprise pee from the changing table. You probably don’t have anything else to wear since the laundry is desperately needing to be done, too.
  • You put a fresh diaper on the baby after feeding him, snap up a new onesie and get ready to set him down, only to hear a poo-plosion that means you’ll be doing it all again. (Probably followed next by spit up from all the jostling involved.)
  • The spit up somehow lands in your bed or the baby’s bed, requiring sheet changes.
  • Your baby follows his or her 3 am feeding with an overwhelming desire to be held or to play with you.
  • He goes to sleep in your arms after eating, but then he wakes up and cries every time you set him down.
  • She demands a pacifier only to drop it out – and cry for it again – every five minutes for the next hour.
  • A growth spurt has hit, and your baby wants to nurse around the clock for three days straight. You can barely get a shower and breakfast before 5 pm those days.
  • Then your husband wants to help. So you get a bottle ready and drift into blissful sleep. But when he’s faced with any of the above he makes so much noise and drama, it wakes you up and you end up dealing with the mess anyway.

Then consider that you have to do it all again every two to three hours around the clock, and you’ll wonder how breastfeeding moms get anything done, much less return your phone calls and emails.

To all my non-mom friends, please excuse my absence for a while. Like they say, it’s just a short time in the grand scheme of things. Right?

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Comments (2)

  1. Leslie Guenther

    Oh my God you just wrote my first six months of each birth story. It is like reading my diary. And yet others seem to have no clue what I am going through. Or they wonder why I am putting myself and them out so much to breast feed when most people in my circle believe bottle is just as good. Oh and did I mention I am doing it again in 2 months. Now I feel a little crazy for my kids being so close.

  2. Staci A

    So true! Seems almost all of these happen on a daily basis around here!

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