The Real Cost of Breastfeeding

cost of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding. Yes I did it, but I’m going to be completely honest here — there’s a cost of breastfeeding. I don’t really like doing it. Dare I say, I kind of hated it. That being said, I still exclusively did it for six months and continued doing it for the first year of my child’s life. I also plan on doing it the next time I have a kid and (again being honest), I am not looking forward to it. 

I know most people choose to breastfeed because it’s the best nutrients for the baby, yada yada, but since I’m laying it all out there, that wasn’t my top reason. In fact that was my third reason behind #1 it would help me to lose weight, and #2 it was free. Of course I would soon learn that breastfeeding isn’t really “free.”

When I was pregnant people would often ask me two things: “what’s your birthing plan?” and “are you going to breastfeed?” My answer was always the same. “Eh, I’m just going to see how it goes.”

My sister had issues with her son latching so I thought there was a chance I would face the same fate. To my surprise, my son had no such issues, so I made an official goal. I would exclusively breastfeed him for 6 months and then play it by ear after that. As long as things were going well I’d stop once he hit his 1 year mark. I’m totally team #fedisbest but, I knew that I could do it. It became this new challenge for me. Who doesn’t like a challenge?

If you are waiting for me to say that none of my plan worked out, well don’t hold your breath. It worked exactly as I wanted and I stopped pretty easily within 2 weeks after he turned one year old. What I never factored into my perfect plan however, was just how much of a mental game breastfeeding can be.

There is a cost of breastfeeding — it’s hard work and by no means is it really free. It takes a lot of time and effort. You basically have a child attached to your boob ALL THE TIME. Yeah you can pump and let your significant other take a feeding, but if you’re anything like me, your boobs start hurting anyway. You might as well just be the one to do the actual feeding. Plus pumping kind of hurts.

After nine months of a baby inside of me, I just wanted my body to be mine again. But because I was exclusively breastfeeding, it turns out that it wasn’t. It was his. Because of breastfeeding, my food became my baby’s food. My sleep, or lack of since he was eating basically every 2-3 hours, was his. My exercise was scheduled around when he last ate because running when your boobs are full HURTS.

Heck even my clothing choices were based on how easily accesible my boobs would be for him. I had to buy new bras and new shirts since my usual smalls wouldn’t fit my now DD/E boobs. I couldn’t even sleep on my stomach because I would leak all over the sheets. On top of it all, for some reason my body would sweat profusely every night. I would sleep with a towel under me and have to change my pjs at least once a night.

Yup, it’s safe to say I hate breastfeeding. Will I exclusively breastfeed again? You bet. Why? Well it helps me lose weight, it’s free, and you know it’s good for the baby.

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