Debilitation: The Secret Downside to Breastfeeding


downside to breastfeeding

While I certainly wouldn’t consider it sufficient cause to lose the wealth of benefits breastfeeding offers your baby, there is an unspoken downside to breastfeeding, especially if you have a piglet on your hands. I had my third child on October 2, 2012, and until he was about 3 months old, I had become what you’d call a stationary feeding machine. My baby literally ate nearly constantly, except at night. He allowed me a good night’s sleep, at least.

What do I mean by debilitation caused by breastfeeding?

Of all the “mom struggles” out there, I’d say breastfeeding debilitation gets me the most. When breastfeeding you do have to sit down and feed your baby. At least for me, thanks to a very healthy eater, this leaves me sitting there staring at all the things I need to do, and have the motivation to do, that I can’t do, because I’m a human bottle. I’m certainly not saying I don’t enjoy the bonding experience that is breastfeeding, but when you have a baby that only takes short breaks from the boob you inevitably start to fall behind on the necessary evils of existence, like laundry and dishes, and are left helplessly watching as your work piles up. It’s extremely frustrating.

What can you do?

Nothing. It’s taken me three children to admit this, but there is honestly no answer unless you are talented enough to breastfeed while doing other things that aren’t done while sitting down. What I can recommend is you try not to focus on what you’re not getting done, and instead focus on what you are. You are improving your baby’s health. You are getting to enjoy one of the greatest joys in motherhood, and it will not last forever. Breast feeding debilitation is generally at its worst in the first three months of life. As your baby gets older, like my baby, he or she will begin eating less and have longer periods of active awake time, so try to enjoy all the snugly feeding time you can now.

It’s also possible you have what’s known as a comfort feeder, meaning sometimes your baby is nursing because he or she is actually hungry, and other times, because it’s comforting. If this is the case, you can attempt removing your baby from your breast when he or she has slowed down nursing and is only intermittently suckling. You may have luck using a pacifier in this instance as well, if you choose to use one. Some mothers also opt to supplement with formula for a feeding or two a day, so they can keep up with daily needs or pump and store breast milk for this purpose. If you choose any sort of artificial nipple be sure breastfeeding is properly established to avoid nipple confusion.

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