Breastfeeding is a natural thing that women were quite literally made to do. The Bump explains how hormone fluctuation encourages the milk to form in us but doesn't start really flowing until a few days after birth. After all, the milk's for the baby, right? What else would we need it for if not to nourish our children?
Every woman's body is different, however. Breastfeeding may come easy to some women and may not come naturally to others. Then again, some women choose the formula route instead of breastfeeding, and that's totally cool, too. At the end of the day, breastfeeding is a natural way to feed our children and if that works for some moms, then so be it.
Now that our world is continuing to modernize, breastfeeding in public is becoming more and more accepted by the public (trust me, we still have a lot of work to do). And now that more women are feeling comfortable enough to feed their child in public, this is bringing a bunch of honest, scary, funny, and embarrassing stories to the table; stories that different women can relate to and learn from. Through it all though, us women have to support and life other moms who are just trying to feed their hungry baby.
20 Being Prepared Is Always Worth It
There are a ton of studies depicting the differences between formula feeding and breastfeeding. Is there one correct answer? Maybe, but that doesn't matter because it's up to what the parents feel is right. And while breastfeeding may be intimidating, it turned out to be the right move for Sarah from Washington over Baby Center.
"I did a lot of research on breastfeeding before I gave birth. I took a class, which was a big help, and I read books. I was pretty well-prepared but worried because I'd heard about all the bad stuff that could happen. For me, it turned out that breastfeeding was better and much more pleasant than I expected."
19 You May Be Ready But Your Child Might Not Be
Nursing seems so easy at first thought. Our bodies supply the milk and our babies instinctually drink the milk. Boom. Easy as pie. But that's not always how it goes. Ashley from Georgia told Baby Center her bonding experience with her confused infant.
"By the time Harper was born, I felt ready – but she wasn't. She had trouble latching onto my breast at first. She fussed. Our skin-to-skin bonding didn't last as long as I wanted it to. But we hung in there and she found a way to nurse."
18 When Your Child Is Thirsty AND Hungry
Breastfeeding doesn't always have to be so scary or serious. A woman over at Medela Moments notes, "When my daughter was about 10 months old, I would give her handfuls of Cheerios to snack on at her leisure. One day, she was snacking on her Cheerios, crawled over to me and wanted her ‘nunnies.’ I picked her up and latched her on. Not even two minutes into nursing, she slid her hand up, opened her mouth, slid a Cheerio in her mouth and went right on back to nursing. Apparently, she wanted some milk with her cereal!” — Autumn C."
17 Not Everyone Is Able To Breastfeed
When a woman gets pregnant, there's a ton of information that they should study up on so that when their baby arrives, they have little knowledge on a ton of things. While breastfeeding seems "easy" to every pregnant mom, that wasn't the case for Crystal at Baby Center. "Finally, after three agonizing weeks, I was referred to Mona Gabbay, a doctor who specializes in helping mothers and babies breastfeed. She suspected I had a low level of prolactin (the hormone that stimulates milk production), and a blood test confirmed her suspicions."
16 When You Have To Pump On A Plane...
Breastfeeding or pumping doesn't stop just because you're traveling. No matter what you're doing, your baby's gotta eat, and after a long wait on an airplane, a woman told Babble her hilarious pumping incident.
"While on a plane, the flight was diverted due to mechanical issues to another airport and then we needed to stay on the plane for two more hours before taking off again. I asked the flight attendant if I could pump in the back bathroom for about 10 minutes. She said that would be fine and that she would redirect people to the front bathroom. After about five minutes and several knocks on the door, I hear on the intercom, ‘Those of you waiting in line for the back bathroom, you may want to come up front … it’s going to be a while."
15 Breastfeeding Until Pregnant Again
Breastfeeding can continue as long as momma and child want it to. Breastfeeding expert Christine Griffin explained how kids can be breastfed to two years old or older — it depends on when both mother and child want to stop.
This new mom loved breastfeeding so much, she kept it up until her baby turned two and she found herself pregnant again!
"She's almost 2 and I recently weaned her because I'm pregnant. I didn't want to tandem nurse and I didn't want to wait until the baby arrives to stop breastfeeding her, in case she blames the new baby."
14 Low Milk Supply Is A Real Thing
There's so much to breast milk than the average non-parent can even understand. Just because women start producing milk, does not mean it's easy to get to. Emily from California told Baby Center how she noticed her milk supply change over time.
"...things started changing with my milk supply. Michael started nursing a lot more frequently. He'd fuss a lot and it would take a good five minutes for my milk to let down. He'd want to nurse every hour! When I pumped, I would get half an ounce to one ounce, compared to the three to five ounces I'd been getting before. I thought I might have to give up breastfeeding!"
However, she met with a consultant who suggested magnesium supplements which really seemed to help her.
13 Every Office Should Be This Accommodating
It's kind of surprising how some offices don't create safer spaces for moms to nurse or feed their children. Even creating cleaner bathrooms with a place to sit in peace can make all the difference. After all, this is a situation many women find themselves in and they should be accommodated. Thankfully for Linda, she told PopSugar she worked in an office building with the right space for mommas in need.
"Our office had a doctor's office in the basement with a room dedicated for that. They even had a fridge in there!"
12 Babies Can Be Allergic To Whatever Their Mom Is Eating
Finding out what your child may or may not be allergic to can be a scary moment. That's why it's so important for young parents to notice those small health changes in their child.
Torie from New Jersey noticed small drops of blood in her child's stool and took charge immediately. "I went to the doctor that day, and Cameron had a poopy diaper right there. They tested it and found more blood, so my doctor suggested I cut out dairy and soy since they were the most likely irritants. But seeing that blood scared me and I decided to cut out other potential irritants as well, like chocolate, caffeine, citrus, fruit, and broccoli."
11 An Oversupply Of Milk Is A Thing
Again, not many people realize mothers can have an under or oversupply of milk, and yet it happens all the time. Julie from Missouri explained how she had so much milk coming in, that her nurse suggested she pumped for a few minutes first before feeding her baby.
"In those first days at home my daughter was nursing every hour or a couple of hours, so I was just trying to feed her quickly without always remembering to pump first. But when I didn't, she'd latch and as soon as my milk let down, she'd choke and pull away from the breast because my milk was spraying out so forcefully. She'd get a look on her face like, 'What's happening?'"
10 Sometimes You Gotta Help Out A Crying Baby
One thing that many parents don't realize is that another breastfeeding mother can feed another hungry child that's not their own. A woman on Reddit shared her humorous and honest situation.
"One of my oldest and dearest friends had a baby two months after I did. I was able to stay at home full time. She had to go back to work right away. Her usual daycare provider was on an extended vacation so she needed someone to watch him during the day. She asked me if I wanted her to provide formula and bottles. I said I was too lazy for formula and I had two boobs that worked just fine. So I nursed her son whenever I kept him, sometimes in tandem with my own! It was only for a couple of weeks."
9 When Breastfeeding Isn't In The Cards
Just because a woman has milk coming in, doesn't mean that breastfeeding will be easy or that she can even breastfeed at all. And guess what? That's okay! Everybody is different.
"My placenta had grown through my uterus, and I needed three surgeries and 20 units of blood. The doctors told me I wouldn't be breastfeeding because my body was in a state of shock and couldn't produce milk. I prayed and prayed, and I did produce some."
Amber from Indiana did produce some milk, however, the pain and time it consumed just to get a few ounces was too much for her.
8 Sometimes You Can't Control Your Milk!
The beautiful thing about the human body is that everything is done for a purpose. We sweat, itch, and cough because our bodies are telling us too. The same can be said with breastmilk, but that doesn't come without a few funny stories here and there.
"I was helping my little brother with his homework while nursing whenever the baby was done, I broke the latch but my milk squirted onto my brother's paper... I was embarrassed but he thought it was funny."
7 Animals Need Milk Too!
I'm gonna switch things up here and show the beauty of breastfeeding and nature in general. Like humans, most animals also produce milk to feed their young, and when one cat decided she was done with feeding her babies, another momma cat stepped in.
"When I was younger, my cat (Bobby) lost her litter, they were all stillborn. One of the other females (Annie) was totally DONE with her litter and weaned them too early. Bobby happily started nursing them and nursed one until he was 3. It was hilarious to see a 30lb Maine Coon nursing on a 10lb teeny tabby."
Medela Moments has some pretty fantastic stories about breastfeeding that are both equally humorous and embarrassing.
Having a newborn is a lot of work — you're taking care of a life for crying out loud! But with lack of sleep and long days, confusion can hit a new mom in the strangest of times.
“In one of the early weeks, my baby was sleeping in his bassinet next to our bed. In the middle of the night, I heard him fussing so I pulled him close to latch him. But he wouldn’t latch. And then I was really puzzled by how much hair he had. Took quite a while to realize I was trying to breastfeed the cat.”
5 Wrong Hole...
When you're exhausted and need to get something done ASAP, sometimes it's not always done as perfectly as it is when you're 100% focused. There have been multiple times I got dressed in the dark, half awake, only to see I have two different shoes on or my pants were on inside out.
“My little man was feeding in the middle of the night, and I was trying to help him re-latch. I was wondering why he wasn’t latching when I noticed I was trying to stick myself in his ear.”
4 We're All In This Together
When you have to feed your child or pump for later, there is no time to plan where to do it. You just have to listen to your body and get it done.
"My favorite experience happened in Target when my daughter was just a few weeks old. I was in the diaper aisle when my daughter started crying so I just started nursing her there in the middle of the aisle. All of a sudden this frazzled looking guy made a beeline for me. I thought he was going to come to yell at me for whipping it out there in the middle of the aisle. Instead, he said really fast 'I’m so sorry to bother you. My wife just had a baby, I’m here to get diapers. She’s having a lot of trouble breastfeeding I don’t know how to help her she’s really upset...' Then I noticed he had on all the hospital bands and what not. Long story short, he left not only with diapers but also the name for my LC!"
3 When Partying And Pumping Don't Really Go Hand In Hand
Considering (most) moms don't drink during their nine months of pregnancy, there is definitely a long-awaited moment for that first glass of wine. So when this mom finally had some time for herself at a wedding, she definitely let loose. But she was still on mom duty, of course, which led to this embarrassing moment. Cafe Mom states, "I was at a wedding away, and the kids were with a sitter so mama could party. After the reception, I was pumping to dump and passed out while pumping, and someone walked in on me!"
2 Feeding Time Is Bonding Time
There are plenty of moms who say 'feeding time is bonding time.' Having that few minutes where you do nothing but gaze at one another is a special moment. Now, not every mom feels that special bonding experience, though, and guess what? That's okay! Each person is searching for something, and if feeding your baby isn't that — there will be many more to come.
"...I didn't really find breastfeeding a bonding experience – it was just something that I did. I nursed Logan until he was about 6 months old when one day he pretty much just stopped wanting [breastmilk]. But he'd still take the bottle, so I just pumped and fed him breastmilk in bottles."
1 20 Months And Counting
There are plenty of moms out there who think breastfeeding is unnatural or strange or weird — and that's okay. To each their own. To those who do breastfeed, however, do so to feed their baby – and that's their right.
"Emma's almost 20 months old now and she still nurses. It seems she not only enjoys it, she still needs it. I think our bodies are fairly good at letting us know if something isn't right. If nursing is something we aren't supposed to do past a certain point, our bodies wouldn't let us keep making breast milk."