World Breastfeeding Week — It’s Hard, Y’all.

by Cassie

The tiniest tot, 18 months old.

The tiniest tot, 18 months old.

Most people won’t tell you breastfeeding is hard. In an effort to encourage mothers to try it, to increase our numbers, to raise awareness and work towards public acceptance, we all too often paint a picture of the serene mother with the serene child at breast.

Except, IT IS HARD. Or rather, it can be. Like any other human experience, some people have it easier, some people have it harder, some people sort of fall right along there in the middle. But I think we should tell the truth more. We should TALK about how growth spurts can feel like purgatory. We should TALK about how it really feels when babies begin teething. We should TALK about how bad clogged ducts hurt and how mastitis can make you feel like you are LITERALLY DYING. We should TALK about nursing strikes, and nipple twiddling, and how it’s totally okay to use shields if it’s the only way you can function without pain. We should TALK about nursing toddlers, how they go down to one or two sessions a day then all of the sudden amp that shit back up to like THIRTEEN TIMES A NIGHT for MONTHS ON END. We should TALK about the lost sleep, or the broken sleep, and how we all feel like gross face-eating zombies more mornings than we’d care to admit. We should TALK about how being touched out is an actual thing, when you simply cannot BEAR to have one more finger of one more person touch you. We should TALK about boobs that balloon up and then deflate down into shapes and sizes we never see represented in the media. And we should TALK about the times we’ve broken down and cried like our hearts were breaking because we thought WE were broken, because no one was TALKING about any of these things.

It’s not just you. It’s not just you.

And whether you make it one day, or one month, or one year, or four years: YOU ARE A STAR. Because it’s rewarding as hell, God knows it is, but this shit is hard work. And I’m celebrating each and every one of you this week.