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Now before all the breast feeding advocates get upset, please know that I am a huge supporter of breast feeding. I think that there are so many positive advantages to breastfeeding, however it needs to be a good fit for both mom and baby. For me, breastfeeding was not a good fit for anyone. I struggled with both my children and eventually threw in the towel after three months of frustration, tears and anger. Looking back it still bothers me that I had very little to no support from fellow mothers. As I mentioned in my article, Pregnant…let the judgment begin, I thought that I was entering this wonderful world of motherhood where we would all support each other through hardships. I was shocked when the challenges that came along with breastfeeding was half the battle. It was dealing with the constant negativity that came from other moms, that was so disheartening.

Have you ever noticed that one of the first questions any mother will ask you after you’ve given birth is ‘Are you breast feeding?’. For a new mother, this is so overwhelming. It’s bad enough that you are sleep deprived and recovering from the physical and emotional demands of giving birth, now you have to answer to a whole panel of other moms. I felt so much pressure to breastfeed that I honestly did it out of guilt. Maybe not at first, but after weeks of constantly getting asked if I was breastfeeding, I seriously was just doing it just so I wouldn’t have to answer ‘no’ to the dreaded question. It was horrible. I remember one night I was so exhausted and upset that I sent my husband to the Toys R US, five minutes before closing time, and demanded that he not come home without a breast pump.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty of all the problems I had, but I will say that breastfeeding was one of the hardest parts of those early months with a newborn. And pumping when you also have a two year old toddler, is just a side order of insanity. I wish I would have felt some sort of support from other moms. It seemed that everyone I talked to would tell me how ‘easy’ it was, or how it was such a ‘bonding’ experience. I must have been the mutant mommy, because neither of these words seemed to even remotely describe how I felt about breastfeeding.

When I would open up and share with other moms, I would get the most unhelpful comments and discouraging advice. ‘It’s not supposed to be easy’ or ‘You just have to stick with it’, or even better, ‘You don’t want your baby to be unhealthy, do you?’ Believe it or not, these are actual quotes. The comment that bothered me the most was when a so-called friend said to me, ‘Don’t you want what’s best for your baby?’ The comment brought tears to my eyes.

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