My name is Allison and I have breastfeeding resentment. I googled the term “breastfeeding resentment” and not much came up in the search results. This led me to believe one of two scenarios: scenario #1: Am I the only person who feels this way on the planet? or scenario #2: No one is talking about how they have breastfeeding resentment. Either way this discussion is happening here today so if you are here for furniture painting advice you may want to skim past this post and come back another day. Sometimes I sprinkle in my real life here on my blog and by “sprinkle” I mean milk talk.
I have been on both sides of the breastfeeding coin when it comes to feeding an infant. For my first baby I breastfed him until 6 months old. At the time I was working at a bank and had to pump during the day. Suddenly my supply completely dried up. I would sob in my office after only pumping 1 oz when he was eating 8oz per feeding. My pediatrician told me to nurse, feed him formula, and then pump to increase my supply. I took Fenugreek Seed Capsules and drank Mother’s Milk Tea (I probably didn’t do these as consistently as I should have) but as a working mom feedings felt like triple the work and I eventually gave up and started Axton on formula full-time. I cried for two weeks after I had completely gave up on nursing. As a new Mom I felt like breastfeeding was the only thing I was confident I was doing “right”. But guess what? After my two-week weaning depression lifted I was singing the praises the freedom that sweet sweet formula provided. Axton didn’t die. He didn’t love me less. Feedings still were a bonding time for us. The world didn’t stop.
For Shepherd (who is 4-months old right now) breastfeeding has been a breeze compared to my last go-round. He is a champ at it. I am sure it helps I have more experience under my belt. But breastfeeding is HARD. No matter what your circumstances are. And sometimes I feel sorry for myself because it means I have to miss out on some things. I rarely get to sit through an entire church service. When the TV that broadcasts the church service broke in the nursing room at church on Christmas Eve I found myself sitting alone, in the dark, on Christmas, feeling the fingers of resentment crawl all over me. I refused to go to church for three weeks until that TV was fixed. I can sit at home, in the dark, alone, and feed my baby without wasting a clean outfit and my good makeup. I realized I was in the middle of a full-blown breastfeeding pity party. During 3am feedings I found myself secretly giving my husband the stink-eye because he can’t lactate. And during growth spurts when Shep is a little parasite all day I wonder what daylight would feel like on my shoulders. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it to make the effort to go out because I know I will be stuck in the driver’s seat of my car, nursing, and hoping my window tint is dark enough so the teenagers who parked next to me don’t get wind of what I’m doing in there.
Sometimes I day dream about what an uninterrupted meal would feel like.
Or what a decent bedtime is.
I am sure I will get a tongue lashing for saying this but I am fully convinced that society, the media, and some healthcare professionals try to scare moms into breastfeeding. If you feed your baby – if it’s formula or breastmilk- you are an awesome Mom.
I also want to make it clear I don’t feel any resentment towards Shepherd. He could never do any wrong in my eyes and I am certain the Lord blesses us with those motherly blinders during the infant years. I am so lucky I don’t have postpartum depression. Or a baby that doesn’t have BF difficulties. And I have a husband who does the dishes, laundry, and helps a ton. Because if one of those circumstances were thrown into the mix it would send me over edge. And by over the edge I mean calling it quits.
I am so grateful I am able to breastfeed and I really do love it 88% of the time. I am here to say if you have breastfeeding resentment at times you are not alone. I don’t always have a good attitude about it. Sometimes I do have an internal whine-fest because it does take sacrifice and commitment.
I am writing this post to let you know you are NORMAL if you don’t love breastfeeding all the time. No matter how you choose to feed your baby – being a Mom is tough – let’s all choose to at least be honest about that.