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Breastfeeding is a natural occurrence in life that strengthens the bond between a mother and child. From the onlooker’s view, it’s a beautiful relationship that blossoms after nine months of harboring a child in the womb.  But that is not the entire truth. Just like childbirth is a beautiful thing, it’s dangers and pains are just as real. The truth about breastfeeding is that it is a grueling process that can really break a mother’s resolve.

Related: NEW STUDY SUGGESTS BREASTFEEDING MAY LOWER RISK OF HEART DISEASE

What they don’t tell you about breastfeeding:

1. It hurts

The image of your baby suckling you is very cute but it feels just the opposite. Cracked nipples, the constant grinding in one spot, and the retching pain in your uterus the first few days or weeks after birth. 

2. No sleep 

Breastfeeding is a round-the-clock job. Your baby is like an alarm clock that is relentless without a snooze button. You must present yourself every two to three hours with milk, or else the whole house will echo with cries. You can kiss a good night sleep good-bye until your baby starts sleeping throughout the night.

3. Sucks you dry

Your baby will not stop suckling even when you think you have nothing left. Not only is there pain, but there is also literally the feeling of your energy being sucked out of you. The more your baby gets full, the hungrier and weaker you become. 

4. Pumping is not an out

It would make sense that pumping would be your best friend when breastfeeding, but it is not so. Waiting too long to nurse or pumping too much can reduce your milk supply. Your body is signaled that it needs less milk.

5. Formula is your best friend

It is okay to use formula. Formula is the best alternative to breastfeeding. Using it alternately could also work, especially if your milk production is low. Formula stays down longer and keeps your baby from getting hungry quickly. 

The truth about breastfeeding is that it’s a personal choice that can lead to unexpected results. However, it can still be a fulfilling journey that you take with your child before they become more independent. There are lactation consultants wherever you are. They can help deal with any problems you are having, including latching, milk production, milk storage, etc. As for your mental health, make sure you have a strong support system. Turn to your partner and family to help you through the struggles of motherhood.