An open letter to the new exhausted breastfeeding Mom
Dear New Exhausted Mom at Walmart,
I overheard you talking with the pharmacist while I was in line. At first I wasn’t listening, but I heard the desperation in your voice and couldn’t help overhear you talking about your new baby and the crying and lack of sleep. I wanted to interrupt and tell you it will be ok, but I though it would be rude, so I didn’t. And then you mentioned breastfeeding and how hard it was, and I still said nothing, but I really wanted too! If by some miracle this letter gets shared enough and reaches you, there are a few things I want you to know.
It does get better! The pharmacist said “have you tried formula?” I wanted to rip his head off! The first 6 months are definitely the hardest. Hang in there, once you get past that, it is so easy! You won’t have to mess with bottles and cleaning and mixing all while the baby is crying. I’m not sure why someone would discourage you, when you said you were successfully breastfeeding! I know what it’s like to not have the support while breastfeeding, it’s hard! But trust me, stick with it and you’ll be so happy you did!
I would’ve told you to learn how to feed lying down, that way you are able to rest while you feed your baby. I know so many people are against co-sleeping, but even if you only do it for a week to get some rest, it will be worth it. I’m pretty sure if you try it, you won’t give it up! Just do what ever feels right for you.
I think you said your baby wasn’t crying when you first came home but now he doesn’t stop crying. My daughter did that, and my sister is in the same situation right now! The first few weeks I brought my daughter home, she slept. I thought it was so easy, I wasn’t sure what everyone was talking about, babies sleep and don’t cry that much… But then something changed, and I spent the next few months trying to figure out what was wrong with my baby, all she did was cry! There’s nothing wrong! Babies cry, and after they’re fed and changed they want to be cuddled. It’s also possible your baby is teething! Both of mine started teething around 2-3 months old. Try giving him a cold cloth to chew on or freeze some breast milk and put it in a mesh food feeder.
Other than that the only thing I can tell you is, you’re doing everything right! You do have enough milk, look how chubby your baby is! I know he feeds more often than he doesn’t, that’s normal! Hang in there, I promise it will get better. It may seem like a lifetime, but it won’t last.
I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you these things, I turned around a couple of times to go back and talk to you. But I know what it’s like to get unwanted advice. And I know what it’s like to get unwanted advice from strangers. But maybe this letter will make it to some other desperate mom, who does not have the support and is wondering how to get through this month without sleep.
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