It is days like these, that I struggle with the fact that I breastfeed my son. It is selfish reasons, like my inability to eat chocolate or a delicious eggs benedict that make me want to invest in formula and make the switch. Breast is best, I know. However, its days like these where I want to eat everything in my path, regardless of how bad it is for me or baby.

I love my baby and I only want what is best for him. I love how he will look at me when he’s nursing, giggle, and then continue eating. It warms my heart. I don’t, however, love how when he has a growth spurt I am directly affected by it.

It took 8 weeks for him to sleep through the night. Not too bad, all things considered. This moment of joy lasted about a month. I imagine that’s what ecstasy feels like. He would go to bed from 9:30 pm and wake up at 6 or 7 am. He now sleeps for 4 hours at a  time.

I know as mothers we make sacrifices. We sacrifice our bodies to make a beautiful baby, and we sacrifice our sanity along with it making sure we are eating healthy not consuming BPA, pesticides, or too much tuna fish. I sacrificed meals in my pregnancy, and many foods I loved because I was throwing up everyday and everything made me nauseous. I thought I was past the body sacrifices. I just want to be able to eat cheese and chocolate, people. One of the plus sides to nursing is I don’t necessarily get a period, but nursing makes up for it in the fact that you starve and can’t seem to eat enough whenever your baby hits a growth spurt. I get cravings, and recently I’ve come to believe I am anemic, which means bring on steaks and burgers. I can’t help but feel like my body is lacking no matter what I do. No amount of water, meat, or crackers satisfies me, and I could drink about 5 Shaklee 180 shakes per meal.

How do I know this is different? One Shaklee shake filled me up during the era of good feelings (towards breastfeeding).

Do n’t get e started on how frequent I have to feed. I live off of 2 hour increments, meaning: my mind processes the time in two hour increments. Who would have thought that you could be brainwashed to think of the clock that way? Luckily, it takes 1:30 to read 30-40 pages in my history textbook or do an English assignment, AKA the time in between feedings.. That’s my day. Read, nurse, eat/read, nurse, watch a tv show, watch a tv show/nurse, run to the store and try to make it home before my 1.5 hours are up…you get my drift. I’m also not the type of person who is 100% comfortable nursing in public. I am all for it, and I wrote two papers on it (in my time in between feedings) on how it is important that people don’t discourage it. It isn’t for me, though. I’m not someone who likes to be naked, not wear pants, and I have to wear a bra, SO, I’m not exactly going to [almost] expose my boobs in public.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I made the decision to breastfeed, but at the same time I can’t help but feel guilty every time I indulge on a small piece of chocolate or eat a hamburger. I think to myself, “does this make me a bad mother for eating something my body wants, but my baby can’t handle?”

13 Comments on Confessions of a Nursing Mother

  1. kia
    April 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm (5 years ago)

    Nursing is super rough when your baby has reactivity to your diet. You are spot on in the sacrifices it takes to be a nursing mother but the added pressure of dealing with reactivity is simply another thing on top of the sleep and modesty. You are doing an amazing job. I am glad you found the reasons it does matter and is important. You are a good mama bear.

    • Maggie
      April 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you so much Kia! There has to be a silver lining in everything, right!?

  2. Linda B
    April 3, 2013 at 8:03 am (5 years ago)

    Maybe I’m lucky that none of my boys had allergy problems when I nursed. They had eczema on their feet as well as their non-breastfed brother so I know it’s not from nursing. I’m not for nursing in public either. I would just cover with a nursing blanket or hide in the bathroom. Now I come with terms if my baby is hungry and I eat at the restaurant table, he HAS TO eat. I just pull out a blanket, cover and nurse him. And he’s out within 20 minutes. But you are doing great, mama! I have been nursing for almost 3 and half year. 2 1/2 years for my 3 years old and nearly a year for my almost 1 year old. EEKK. I cannot believe I make it this long!

    • Maggie
      April 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm (5 years ago)

      I’m not sure I could even use a cover! I use one when family is in the room (like my brother) but other than that I just feel awkward. But thank goodness you haven’t had to deal with allergies. They are rough!

  3. Kristin @littlemamajama
    April 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm (5 years ago)

    Big hugs! Nursing is hard. Motherhood is hard! You’re doing a great job.

  4. Jeanae
    April 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm (5 years ago)

    I have been there, and with an allergy suffering kid. Not fun.
    Sending you hugs

    • Maggie
      April 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm (5 years ago)

      No, not fun at all! I can’t eat cookies now because of the combination of eggs and dairy! the eczema is back. I’m off to find dairy free/egg free cookie recipes now..

  5. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots
    April 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm (5 years ago)

    Not to worry. We all feel/felt the same way. However, it’s been all about balance for me. I have my bit of chocolate every day because I like it and I also couldn’t function without coffee any more, so that’s back in my diet. I haven’t seen much of a change to my little guy’s sleep, so he must be fine! My son is 10 months now and I’m starting to wean him off of breastmilk (hard decision to make) and I’m giving him more solid foods now. I was freaking out about what I was feeding him, as far as solid foods go, but his pediatrician said not to worry too much, just to feed him a variety of healthy foods. That was hard for me to hear, being a type A, perfectionist. But, it’s really helped me relax a little bit, with both breastfeeding and solid foods. You’re doing a great job mama! Keep up the great work! You’re doing such a selfless thing for your baby. :D

    • Maggie
      April 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm (5 years ago)

      Oh, I feel you on the coffee. Would I be able to do without it? I don’t want to find out. Thank you for the support!

  6. Joanna @way2gomom
    April 2, 2013 at 9:50 am (5 years ago)

    This sounds exactly like how I felt when nursing my first – he was so so sensitive to dairy, allergic to peanuts, and didn’t ever want to sleep. Just remember – this is a very short time in your life, and it will pass! You are doing an amazing service for your child by nursing and the bonding is wonderful. Big hugs, and if ever need someone to talk to, I’m totally here for you!

    • Maggie
      April 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you, Joanna. I really appreciate it!

  7. Martha
    April 2, 2013 at 9:29 am (5 years ago)

    Hugs mama! I totally understand your frustration and the feeling touched out. I also know quite well the guilt of wanting to eat something that could hurt your child. My DD has a wheat allergy. I gave up wheat when she was 3 weeks old. I went back to eating when she was 7 months and she got an infection that put her in the hospital. I know it was my fault. Even now at age 3 with her nursing maybe twice a day, even a small amount of wheat in my diet will cause her to react. You are not alone and if you decide to go the formula route there is nothing wrong with that either. Hugs.

    • Maggie
      April 2, 2013 at 9:39 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you, Martha! I’m glad to know I’m not alone!


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