Aug. 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM ET
Nipple cracking. Lactation consultant. Mastitis. Latching.
These words weren't in my lexicon until just a few weeks ago.
Call me naive, call me ignorant or just call me a soon-to-be first-time-mom, but I really thought breastfeeding would be as simple as guiding your new baby to your breast and letting nature take its course. Turns out, for most new moms that's NOT the case. And while every mom I spoke with sang the praises of breastfeeding and said it ended up being an amazing experience, the challenges they faced was news to me. Here are three problems I heard about the most from breastfeeding moms:
1. It HURTS. We’re talking real pain here. One mom likened it to having her nipples tethered to wires and then being electrocuted. How’s that for not mincing words?
2. You are a human cow open for business 24/7: Just when you think your baby is done feeding and you get him or her off the nipple, it’s that time again. When they are really little, you feed your baby 8-12 times per day. With only 24 hours in a day, this pretty much means you are a breastaurant open all day and all night. Challenge No. 1, I understand now.
3. Things will get messy up there: For those of you who think the Fembot scene in "Austin Powers" is based on fiction, well, you have not been around a breastfeeding woman. Apparently, milk projectile (that does not come from your baby’s mouth, which only leaves one place of it to come from…) is commonplace and you will squirt your baby in the face -- often multiple times a day.
And most moms say breastfeeding is frustrating because rationally speaking, it should be an easy process. After all, moms have been doing this for centuries. But the difficulties can be hard to explain until you start doing it yourself.
So there you have it. With my due date just around the corner, I feel better knowing that if my breastfeeding experience isn’t magical from the start, there is nothing wrong with me or my baby. The common thread for all of the moms who faced challenges is that they reached out for help and support and most overcame their breastfeeding issues.
Because at the end of the day, moms are tough and they can do it, but if they can’t or don’t want to, hell will not freeze over. Not even a little bit.
If you do breastfeed, there has never been a better day to do it out in the open. In support of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August, and to fight the stigma against breastfeeding in public, TheBump.com has announced the second annual “Public Display of Breastfeeding” campaign.
Thousands of moms from around the country have promised to breastfeed outside the privacy of their own homes today. Moms are posting their pride on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag "#PDB" and are also encouraging fellow moms to join the "boob-olution."
To make it even easier for moms to nurse in public today, TheBump.com has partnered with local retailers in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Denver to provide a place for moms to gather and breastfeed.