15 Things They Don’t Tell You About Breastfeeding

Ready for Sleep

Maybe you’ve attended a breastfeeding class, seen the pamphlets in your doctor’s office, or done your research online. Whatever the case may be, you’ve no doubt seen the nutritional superiority of breast milk, that you will lose post-baby pounds faster, and read about the blissful bonding experience with your soon-to-be baby. But here are 15 things they don’t tell you about breastfeeding…

1. It hurts. Like a thousand little knives twisting off your nipple every time your baby latches—and you’ll obsess endlessly over that tiny latch!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

2. Your new baby will want to nurse 24/7. They said nursing burns calories? What they don’t tell you is that you really lose the weight because you won’t have time to eat!

3. Actually, she’ll keep nursing way past when you think the well has run dry and you’ll wonder if it’s her intention to suck your soul out of your nipples.

4. At some point, you’ll become jealous that your partner doesn’t have a set of boobs. Why did women get the biological short stick? Why does he get to keep drinking? If anyone deserves a stiff cocktail, it’s you!

5. You’ll feel short-changed. All that glowing literature didn’t adequately express how hard it is to be at the beck and call of the world’s tiniest and crankiest drill sergeant.

6. You bet women in Zimbabwe don’t sit around talking about how “bonded” breastfeeding makes them feel. They just feed the baby. Period. Formula is looking awfully good right about now.

7. Even after you supplement your baby with formula (which your mother claimed would help her sleep better), she’s rooting for you in less than 45 minutes.

8. You’ll cry when the pediatrician says that formula isn’t toxic and it’s not a bad alternative. Really you’d cry for anything right now; it’s been 72 hours since you last slept.

9. You’ll cry when baby takes to formula too much. Isn’t this your job as a woman, you failure?

10. When your partner asks you why you complain about breast feeding so much, you’ll be tempted to leap off the couch and twist his nipple off while screaming, “How you like that!?!” But you don’t, because you still haven’t been given clearance to exercise.

11. You’ll try pumping and despair when you only collect half an ounce on each side. That’s enough to keep your little monster quiet for ten minutes.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

12. One day, you’ll wonder if you’ve showered and brushed your teeth yet. It’s 6:00 PM.

13. Nursing covers are a scam–a waste of money and fabric. Your baby screams and sweats under it making you feel like the worst mommy ever for trying to avoid flashing the entire mall.

14But you’re tough. And you’re stubborn. And you can do it.

15. And if you don’t, or can’t, the world will not come to an end. Even a little.

About the writer

Sara is an expat and new mom to Squeaker (not her real name) who puts her master's degree to good use changing diapers and learning to puree baby food. She blogs at Titleless Blog.

From Around the Web


Janice 2 days ago

Stop the shaming – formula is just as good. Thank you science. In fact, that you science for IVF that allowed me to have a baby.

If you would like to breastfeed, kudos to you. If you would like to formula feed, kudos to you.

There is a month dedicated to breastfeeding where stupid women run around in public with their nipples out – I would love it if there was also a formula feeding month –> More stupid women could run around in public with boobs covered and bottle nipples out.

I really enjoy bottle feeding and I was bottle fed as a child. I am quite successful and was able to purchase a beautiful house at the age of 23. Formula did not make me dumb and I am perfectly healthy too.

Breastfeeding&Strong 1 week ago

Yes, breastfeeding is not easy, and these things are true. But when a baby is born you overcome these things because you baby should come first, not you. Would you like powdered milk instead of real milk?….shouldn’t your baby have THE best nutrition possible? It gets easier. I work a full time job, pump twice a day at work, feed my daughter myself on lunch, and then continue feeding her in the afternoon once im done. Im determined to breastfeed for a whole year. And i will do it. Because my daughter deserves the best. My nipples were bleeding, my milk came late…it was SO HARD to get myself going. But i did it. And you can too.

alan wan 3 months ago

So right!! The hospital nurse, doctors would never tell you the truth about breastfeeding. You did a great job describing the true details. Thank you! Finally one person who is not lying about it. Insurance companies are “forcing” mothers to breastfeed with a mission; they have secret agenda. They are over the top ridiculous. Ultimately wanting to save money on their ends.

Joan Dunn 3 months ago

EBF mom here of 6months old baby & I LOVE IT! It was painful at first but ITS ALL WORTH IT! you may not see the beautiful side of breastfeeding your baby but i do. My baby is healthier. He has strong bones as he can stand tall at 4months, never been sick or went to hospital because of any complications. He is a happy & friendly baby too..i get a lot of compliments when we go to mall, park and even grocery stores it gives me a positive feeling and encouragement that im doing the right thing and right choice of breastfeeding my baby instead of feeding him with formula milk.

cvee 3 months ago

How come no one commented on the tongue and lip tie issue. Sometimes that is the reason for the pain and improper latch.

Charity Rael 4 months ago

Couldnt agree with you more!

Soph 4 months ago


Soph 4 months ago


Soph 4 months ago

HAHa, what the eff ever, breastfeeding gives itself a bad name.

Nita 5 months ago

Breastfeeding can be hurts at first days, but after you mastered the latch on, it will be okay.
Next time breastfeeding hurts, is when your baby first teeth start growing. chomp chomp.
Next time breastfeeding hurts, is when your baby is sick and practically zips her mouth if you put a spoonful of food in front of her; you’ll have no choice but breastfed and breastfed to keep her alive.

Thanks for this article, right now I’m having both sore and injured nipples due to my baby’s constant breastfeeding; he’s been sick for days and refuses to eat almost everything; but still willing to accept my breast milk. So, let the tears spill, it is one of those battles for being a woman.

The point number 14 have the biggest impact 😀 Being a mom, whatever the choice; is awesome, isn’t it?

Saron 5 months ago

Amen Tara!

Breastfeeding is NOT a beautiful experience for every mother. Just remember Leona W., everyone isn’t the same, so don’t shame them for being different from you.

Cerissa 5 months ago

This will be my first child I will be breastfeeding. My first would not and, to be completely transparent in freaking out. In glad it’s supposed to get easier but I’m still enhhh

Tally 5 months ago

I’m sorry to see so much judgment in the comments. I’m struggling daily to produce enough milk for my two month old baby after undergoing breast surgery. I supplement at breast with formula. I was so glad to read this article that I wanted to cry. It’s good to know others struggle too. To all you high and mighty breast-is-best commenters it just isn’t feasible for everyone to share your experience. I know because I bf my first son -prior to surgery- for two years. Context matters. Stop the strident know-it-all posts and guilt-mongering.

Kim 6 months ago

Where do I start? I only tried to breastfeed my first child because I was told over and over again how great it would be for my son. Okay. I want what’s best for my baby so I will try. Well, it was a terrible experience and I felt like a failure when I couldn’t get it figured out. It was my first baby and I was already stressed, but now I had this additional stress. Women, who I believe were part cow, would so flippantly say how I should keep trying and it would get easier. Nope, I was done! I went with the bottle and began to shake the guilt. Baby number 2: not as much outside pressure but I decided to try because a small part of me wanted to be like the breastfeeding posse. The PAIN was excruciating! I swear my toes curled backwards every time he’d suck! I decided I had tried my best and went to the bottle. Now, I’m pregnant with third child and my husband askd if I will try to breastfeed and wants me to. AGAIN, I felt that sense of having no choice and pressure to breastfeed. My goodness! When does it end?!?! Well, I love DH to death but I don’t care about what he would like…grow some boobs and try it yourself! I am not breastfeeding! I don’t give a flying fig newton what ANYONE thinks! It is the thing for some and I don’t knock those who can. But hey, you women who find it so great and uplifting and EASY, have the decency and courtesy not to think we who do not are lesser mothers.

Angela 6 months ago

Breastfeeding is the best, most beautiful experience I’ve ever had in my life. If it hurts, then your baby doesn’t have a correct latch – seek a lactation consultant.

mamaJ 6 months ago

And lanolin not only stains, but it turns your nipples into a slip’n slide. My newborn couldn’t get a good latch, he would slip right off.

A mom 6 months ago

Everyone has a different experience. My nipples had horrible scabs for 3 weeks and it was 8 weeks before I could comfortably wear a bra. And yes, I saw 2 lactation consultants and nothing helped!! I would rather go through labor and delivery again with my 3rd degree tear than experience so much pain and guilt over breastfeeding.

E. 7 months ago

breastfeeding only hurt when I had a milk blister. Maybe because I had to use nipple shields at first?

Bec 7 months ago

Please don’t say, breastfeeding doesn’t hurt. Rephrase it that breastfeeding doesn’t hurt you. Because breastfeeding is excruciating for me and everyone is different. My baby is 13 weeks today and I still want to scream every time she latches on. But I am determined and she has never even tasted formula. For you to say it doesn’t hurt in general is very frustrating for someone it does hurt and discourses them from continuing because they think something is wrong with them.

Krissy 7 months ago

Some of these comments are pretty judgmental. I believe this story was written to help make women feel better for their circumstance – not for you perfect moms to trash. GOOD FOR YOU perfect mommy that everything just works out for. But guess what, it is different for different women, it is different with each kid. Get off your high horse.

WickedFiction 7 months ago

Yes! #7 (and my mom breastfed). Also it doesn’t always get better in a week. I was still in pain a month and two lactation consultants after the birth. My son is now 4 months old and I’m still breast feeding but it is still far from enjoyable.

divadivine 10 months ago

Not judging because I’ve given my baby formula, I can def say that weighing out formula then heating up water for said formula is *not* easier than whipping out my boob.

And good hygiene takes care of that ‘rotting smell’

divadivine 10 months ago

I breastfed and it was hard work. But I didn’t feel like it was that big of a damn deal, honestly. I think there’s a certain cohort of moms who make it out to be this unique, mystical experience when really, it’s just feeding your kid. Newborns eat every 2-3 hours whether formula or breastmilk so most of this post is something any formula mom could agree with.

Besides, I’ve found that babies want your boobs 24/7 not necessarily to nurse. They like the smell and will root for your chest, again, whether you’re breastfeeding or not.

Jessica 10 months ago

Right about 2 weeks is the turning point- hang in there!

tara 10 months ago

Hooray for you…that’s not everyone’s experience…I hemorrhaged so badly after my twins delivery my body couldn’t produce milk. I lost too much blood…They started prepping me to take me back into OR to perform hysterectomy

Stop being so judgmental! Just because someone chooses formula doesn’t make them lazy or a bad mother!

rachel 10 months ago

Love this haha so true x

Holly 11 months ago

Be careful with cabbage leaves, they are mainly used with engorgement issues. They can affect your supply.

Abby McSherry 11 months ago

yes it was a bit sore for a couple of days with both children but none of this needles or knives or cigarettes, and once this passed I guess I was lucky or something but breastfeeding was the easiest thing I ever did. I would undoubtedly have poisoned my child by mixing the formula wrong or not sterilising properly or something so it was really the lazy way out, I was also able to feed when car broke down in the wilds of nowhere with no shop and we had to stay in a random b and b, but it was ok coz I had supply on tap, or when we got locked into the park in Cork and had to wait three hours for the security company to come. yes they do feed a lot especially at the start it was about hourly, but quite frankly would you rather cuddle your little squish and read a good book or do the washing up and hovering – very good for resetting your priorities post birth. Not everyone has a bad experience or finds it hard, get help if it is hurting it really shouldn’t, relax into it and just enjoy

monika 11 months ago

Major thing that no one tells you is where to look for help if it goes wrong.If every single woman starting her breastfeeding journey knew about lactation consultants and La Leche League,there would be less frustrated,hurt or full of guilt mums.

Lisa Duffy 11 months ago

This is the most awful article. I am breastfeeding my son, exclusively for 6 months, we’ve just started solids. It does not hurt, it makes getting out & about much easier as I always have my breasts with me, there is no need for pumping / nursing covers. Awful awful article.

internet prospect acceleration system 2 12 months ago

You are so cool! I do not suppose I’ve read through a single thing like that before.

So wonderful to find someone with some genuine thoughts on this topic.
Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website
is something that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

Cathie 12 months ago

Wow! This is exactly why ill stick to the organic formula again. Not only is it more convenient (no leaky boobs, rotting smell, ugly pads, bras, etc) but i won’t feel bad about flashing my boobs to strangers.

Adela 1 year ago

No wonder women give up so fast, with articles like these encouraging them.
Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, if it does, there’s not a correct latch, and any consultant should know that and how to help you.
Thanks to breast feeding, I sleep at night. If the baby’s hungry, just latches and neither of us wake up.
Breastfeeding is hands free. No need to be holding the baby. I can work in the computer, talk in the phone, eat dinner, play with the older child, do exercise in the bike, go for a walk, without having to stop and feed the baby.
Breastfeeding does not require you to get up. Ask your partner to bring the baby and keep having that wonderful prolonged nap while feeding the baby at the same time.
Breastfeeding does not work right for everyone. Ask for help, and stop doing it if it makes things worse or you don’t have the right support, don’t use it to suffer.

Jennifer 1 year ago

What a disgusting comment. I’m pregnant and am all for breast feeding over using formula but women like you, who act like martyrs and use guilt and shame to try and make a point, are not helpful. Try a little compassion. It works much better than a lecture.

Vicky 1 year ago

An excellent post, thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I am only in my 3rd week of breastfeeding and finding it difficult esp regarding the lack of sleep. Reading this has made me determined again to keep going. It can be difficult when you have people saying to you that you should give the baby a bottle so that you can have more rest! Breastfeeding can be difficult but i believe its worth it :)

Elsa 1 year ago

This post is completely ridiculous. Yes breastfeeding hurts the very first time you try it, but after that, it really is okay. It’s one thing if you’ve tried it and can’t. But a post like seems to discourage women to even try it. If you really are that miserable about getting up and feeding your child, feeding your newborn around the clock, maybe motherhood isn’t really for you yet.

Pamela M. M. Berkeley 1 year ago

As someone with an 11 week old baby, I say hang in there. This list is only true for like the first two, maybe three weeks. (Though I never supplemented.) Then suddenly it gets easier. And now it’s really no big deal at all, it doesn’t hurt, and I cherish, not resent, that only I can feed her.

mita 1 year ago

there should be a number sixteen: “you’ll have constant fear of being excommunicated whenever you breastfeed in church” :-)
and seventeen: “since you’re a working mom and your little night owl is reverse cycling, you’ll end up being a zombie mom” 😀
this blog really amused me because i can relate :-)
im a breastfeeding mom and still at it while working and my son is turning 8 months… indeed breastfeeding is a lot of hardwork but i made a commitment to do it and its very rewarding. i guess number 14 says it all. :-)

Owl 1 year ago

I know your pain all too well! I also couldn’t produce enough milk. I litterally tried EVERYTHING. Herbs, teas, diet, prescription pills, etc. I was in complete denial because the propaganda says everyone can breastfeed. Um, there are people whose pancreas can’t produce enough insulin, people whose marrow cannot produce enough blood cells, people whose eyes don’t produce enough tears…but for some reason we are supposed to believe that Milk is the *ONLY* substance produced by the human body that can *NEVER* fail?!? Um, how about NO. 1-5% of women can GENUINELY not make enough milk. That may sound like a small number but when you actually apply that number to the population of North America it means as high as 26 million women (oh and that’s based on 2008 figures!). So yeah, there are a LOT of women that cannot breastfeed. How about NOT making them feel like crap by shaming them?

Owl 1 year ago

Wow this comment section is filled with ridiculous, self-absorbed and plain insensitive comments. Just because *you* overcame your breastfeeding hurdles does not mean that is possible for everyone. We are all individuals. Everyone has different issues with breastfeeding. Some women desperately want to breastfeed and cannot (look up Insufficient Glandular Tissue as an example). I myself had IGT but I was convinced by the propaganda that everyone could breastfeed….no, not everyone can exclusive breast feed. That just isn’t true. The comments of some of these women are horrible…they make it sound like formula is rat poison. Don’t worry, EVERYONE knows that breast is best. I actually hate that it’s printed right there on every container of formula. Nothing makes a new mom feel like a failure more than having to see that over and over when she has no choice (well I guess the other option would be letting the baby starve!). You need to keep in mind, your individual experience is not transferrable to every other woman on the planet. You need to keep an open mind and accept that just because *you* had an easy time doesn’t mean it is that way for everyone. How about offering support instead of tearing the author down just because her experience wasn’t as easy as yours. I regret reading the comment section.

Flak 1 year ago


Flak 1 year ago

Do u know hoe expensive formula is????? No way man.
I stick to bfeeding bc in my case (I was lucky I guess) my DD latched on quickly, couple of days (even less) and done. It hurt a little at first then it was fine. No complains here, don’t mind or care the whole “inconvenience” of bfeeding in public, bc come on, there are plenty of ways to cover up. They sell scarfs n things like that everywhere!
My dd is growing beautifully n so far so good, if it’s better for the baby to be bfed then you bet gonna give my little one THE best I can provide.
Priorities change and she is #1.
The rest don’t matter. Everyone asked me if I was gonna bfeed, I said of course n they looked at me like I’m nuts or something. Well guess what, I am, I am nuts about my baby girl whom I’d do anything n give the best I can.
This is my honest opinion

Kati 1 year ago

This article cracked me up, I literally googled “how bad is breast feeding” because quite honestly I plan on trying and I’m terrified! We’re 8 months away from finding out how it goes, so I have little experience to offer up- but I’ve heard some scary stuff! In an odd way, this article is quite comforting and very realistic. I kind of expect its going to be rough. Also, having been adopted at 3 months old, (as well as my older and younger sibling) breast feeding is alien territory. Clearly it wasn’t an option for my mom, and formula turned us into 3 healthy, normal children. So while it isn’t my preference, it certainly isn’t something I see as not an option.Thanks for an awesome article, I’m sure to be back for more.

vintage colection 1 year ago

My buddy proposed I might this way site. He was once completely right. This post actually built my personal evening. You are unable to take into consideration precisely how a whole lot period I had invested because of this facts! Thanks!

Grace 1 year ago

You rock

Grace 1 year ago

Sorry but this isnt cute or funny. Breastfeeding does not hurt. If it does the latch is wrong. Do not think you have to pump out 8 ounces and give that to your baby. I know a girl who gives her two week old baby 4 ounces…that is way to much. She said it like if she was proud. The baby cant throw the bottle out when shes full, so she keeps sucking, breastfed babies know when they are full, and its less then 4 ounces of heavy formula. Breastfeeding is the best and healthiest for both. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of BREAST CANCER, do not give up. Feed everywhere too dont be ashamed its nature and anyone who thinks otherwise can suck it. Just DONT GIVE UP

Lala’s mommy 1 year ago

this is the most accurate thing i’ve ever read.

Cristina 1 year ago

This article seems like a selfish child wrote it. Really it hurts? You’ll cry bring on beck and call? And the people who complain. Wtf it’s a new baby, IT’S YOUR JOB TO BE AT THEIR BECK AND CALL. YOUR THEIR MOMMY, THEIR EVERYTHING. If your gonna complain of how it hurts, which is only like the first week or two, over giving your child the best thing in the world for him, your seriously questionable. Just my opinion.

Leona Wellington 1 year ago

Yes this post is nonsense. I agree that it only hurts while your nipples are getting tough. Being a believer in raw food, (as living food, for living people) I also believe that ‘raw human milk’ from the mother’s breast is the only way to go. All else, no matter how well packaged has been processed and is no longer, ‘living food’, In terms of ‘prana’ or ‘chi’ ‘life force’, only breast milk has it all. Then again if a mother begrudges the time she spends doing what nobody else can do for her, perhaps she is not putting the right kind of mental energy into what should be a worlk of love.

haley 1 year ago

As I reading this I was disagreeing with ever single thing they said until the end, you can do it. Brest feeding doesn’t hurt, not does your baby eat every ten minutes more like every 2 hours, this while post is nonsense lol

linda 1 year ago

I’m a mummy of 5 young children. I went through 5 different pregnancies. I witness the diiferent between bf and non bf child. Bf child immune system is better than non bf child. I fully bf my 2 elder girls and they start having fever after a yr old. They dont have any fever after take injections. My 3rd and 4th child both premature baby and need to stay NICU. Taking formula causing him to have consitpation and more problem arise. I work hard to get him breast milk and his condition start to stable down.
My 5th (going 11mths) child i didnt give any water till now. He is my only child that i fully bf him and never take any medication even if he is not feeling well. I still continue bf him and now he start to take solid food. He is very healthy, bubbly and chubby baby. He caught fever once after having injection and i didnt give him any medication. I purely bf him frequently to let him flush out. This method train his immunity to fight with the virus. In fact he is the strongest among his siblings

Annemarie 1 year ago

Im not pregnant yet but I will be this year sometime. I want to know I tryed to breastfeed 17 years ago when I had my 3 baby. But I couldn’t get milk out just a little bit. I want to try again too. I heard there r programs to help? I really want to try it again.

francesca 1 year ago

I fed for 6 months. Felt I had really done a good job. Got myself back into my size clothing worn pre baby. Buying underwear was a disappointment in the bra department because of the size and colour of my nipples. Then, when my husband announced that he no longer fancied the look of my breasts anymore because it looked like I had two mulberries attached to each breast – I was even more disheartened.

Kylie 1 year ago

I relate well to this and I am breastfeeding and breastfed my first for 8 months, this made me laugh because it was so true for me and its nice to know Im no the only one, I don’t understand all the negative comments if you have no dramas good for you, leave us mothers to chat about our problems so we don’t feel so isolated..

Kelly 1 year ago

What utter rubbish. My daughter latched on correctly, but she also likeS to bite down. My nipples were black and I couldn’t stand it. You know why? Oh, yeah. That’s right. Coz it HURT!

betty 1 year ago

Erm… re read it. Its not been written to scare you off breast feeding. It’s been written to support bottle feeding mums who get demonised, unfairly. So mums who can and choose to breast feed. YAY! Bully for you.

People talk about formula like it’s poison in a tin. It’s not. People forget why it was invented in the first place. Here’s a hint: to stop that bundle of joy in your arms from dying when your body ‘failed’ you.

People are missing the whole point in the breastfeeding V bottle feeding debate. The point is personal circumstance. As women, we need to be supporting each other. Not calling each other neglectful parents. It’s time we stopped being so sanctimonious and too involved in how other parents feed their kids and be thankful that the kids are getting fed at all and not neglected and abused. Time for us ALL on both sides of the debate to pull our heads out of our asses.

mel 1 year ago

Actually, you’ll find that if done correctly, breast feeding shouldn’t hurt at all. The baby cries for more reasons than just “feed me” and that if more women received the support and education they needed, more people wouldn’t have as much troubles.

No, not everyone can physically breastfeed, but doesn’t mean that if you could breastfeed, that it’s not better. That is just something unfortunate that people have to live with. People don’t blame you and I hate when people get so aggravated when someone doesn’t breastfeed without realising that maybe the woman can’t.

And no, while formula isn’t toxic, it’s not optimal and costs more than breastfeeding (which is probably why the women in Zimbabwe breastfeed)

Lastly, if people wouldn’t have such negative views around the human body, and wouldn’t have such negative (or less than positive views) around breastfeeding it wouldn’t be such an issue to breastfeed in public without those covers. I blame society for that.

You also left out time constraints when you return to work only 6 weeks after giving birth because you have no more leave left and have to start supporting your infant child and your work doesn’t let you breastfeed in the office or allocate times for you to either breastfeed or express (another societal issue). I’m not saying there should be special privileges or anything, but breastfeeding is a public health initiative that no-one seems to be thinking is an issue

SG 2 years ago

Wow breastfeeding is not that bad. Everything that was stated was exaggerated to the up most power. i enjoy breastfeeding i know that he’s getting all the nutrients he needs and i don’t have to depend on any government made concoction that has god knows what in it and just states it’s healthy and good for babies. Im saving a ton of money! I believe more women should breastfeed but articles like this and not being educated on the topic deters most if them.

Lauren 2 years ago

I’ve been breast feeding for over a year and NONE of these happened to me. Please don’t act like you speak for every breast feeding mother. Oh and if you’re latching correctly it does not hurt.

Becca 2 years ago

Why ignorant? Ignorant is the person who assumes she knows what everyone goes through. I loved the article. I feel terribly guilty every day for not enjoying breast feeding. The article showed me I’m not alone. Everyday I want to quit but everyday I keep going.

Jennifer Johnson-Saunders 2 years ago

IF the latch is correct it NEVER hurts!

Rashell Bailey 2 years ago

This does not promote breastfeeding as the healthiest choice for your baby. You should list the benefits of breastfeeding. I get it, its suppose to be funny, but a first time mother could read this and decide not to breastfeed. I'm still breastfeeding my 18 month old. Lots of ups and downs. I wouldn't change anything…

Kaja 2 years ago

If I had read this before I had my first I have no doubt I would have been able to breastfeed him longer. I thought it would be easy and when it wasn’t I felt like a failure. Then my leleichi (Sparkly, sorry) Nazi made me I feel like I was the only new mother who couldn’t freaking get the hang of it I just quit. I knew it would be hard with #2 so I was prepared and breast fed him until he weaned himself at 8 months

Eve Jepsen 2 years ago

i disagree on every point, you cannot scare me at all..i will feed my kids and use a nursing cover i am not a barbarian..nor a wimp…

JB 2 years ago

What they also do not tell you is that not everyone can do it physically. I was all geared up for breastfeeding my newborn twins, because “it is beneficial and natural”, but my body failed to produce any material amount of milk – even after prescription pills, mother’s milk teas and round the clock pumping with a hospital grade pump. I had a nervous breakdown in the (third) lactation consultant’s office when, after hearing my story, she was gently trying to explain to me that it might not happen for me. Yeah, thanks a lot for writing in every book out there that “anyone can breastfeed”.

Skye 2 years ago

I loved breastfeeding my baby but after two breast abscesses which resulted in two surgeries followed by lots of antibiotics (including one lot of IV antibiotics) and generally feeling like rubbish my obst told me it was better to stop breastfeeding. Plus the antibiotics upset my 8 week old’s tummy which upset me more. And although I was devastated to stop feeding, I had to be realistic about it. So now my boy is on formula, and I still bond with him as I am the one that does 90% of the feeds, plus I’m with him most of the time anyway. I also try and do skin on skin when feeding him so there’s still that connection. And when he’s 18 – will it matter that he was breastfed for 9 weeks and formula fed for the rest of his 12 months? Probably not.

Nancy Hamm 2 years ago

Sara, I teach classes on newborn care and would love to include “15 things they do not tell you about breastfeeding” in my literature. I would of course reference you and this website. This is really good yet funny advise. Do I have your permission to do that.
Nancy Hamm

Lizz 2 years ago

Unless you have painful let-down like I did. Three months of hell and all the WIC LC could do was give me a piece of paper saying that it “usually resolves in 3-4 months”. It hurt even though I did everything right. I finally stopped when I ran out of Percocet to tolerate it.
I still can’t get any kind of a let-down(it happens every now and again near babies) without doubling over in pain.
So please respect those of us with a pathophysiological response enough to recognize that we exist.

Sarah 2 years ago

My baby never wanted to latch or feed constantly. I had lactation consultants grabbing my boobs and jamming them into her mouth and she just screamed and turned her head away. After 4 days of this one of them had the good sense to realise that she needed to be fed *something* as she was dehydrated, lethargic and 12% below birth weight. Thank God for bottles and formula.

ANH 2 years ago

Ummm, yes. Formula has saved thousands, maybe millions of lives. Formula was invented to combat high infant mortality rates. Throughout history there have always been women who couldn’t produce enough milk, or babies who couldn’t latch, etc.

as for “dramatically” improving babies’ health. Umm, again, not exactly. Studies have shown breastfeeding to reduce rates of GI infections and ear infections, but not much else. and the health differences between breast fed and formula fed babies in the first world, with adequate access to clean water and supplies, are not very profound.

Breastfeeding is wonderful. but let’s not kid ourselves into believing breast milk is a magical substance

calm down. moms all want the best for the babies. love comes in both boobs and bottles

Cara 2 years ago

Meh, it did hurt a little but what is that compared to childbirth? Nothing! Plus mine naturally became numb to any pain almost instantly, must be a natural pain reliever involved. It’s is demanding but it is so worth it, and the bond really truely is amazing.

Marta 2 years ago

Brilliant and SO TRUE. With my first it was sooo painful. He couldn’t latch. I was crying and in pain, but determined to not give up so I pumped exclusively. With my daughter she was a breeze latching, but I didn’t have as much of a supply. And I never ever lost a single lb breastfeeding!

HS 2 years ago

That’s not true. This is not a one rule fits all issue. Babies and nipples all are very different. I say this as a mother who has “properly” breast fed three.

Sara 2 years ago

Hi Lucy, I can guarantee you that I am not in any way affiliated with a formula company. She hasn’t had a drop of it since she was five weeks old. I should have written that what I wrote pertained to the first several weeks when it was the hardest and then it got better. Even if i don’t outright enjoy it, I do it because it’s good for her and she loves it. Obviously what I wrote was MY experience and I consulted many LCs. She’s six months and we are still breastfeeding, so “utter tripe written by a clearly incredibly ignorant person most probably affiliated in some way with a formula company” I think not.

C Lo 2 years ago

…..*someone* shouldn’t be a parent, that’s for sure! O_o

Jane 2 years ago

What a negative ugly list. To build a strong culture of breastfeeding it is important to support each other in the struggles to nurse our babies, and recognize it is hard, but this list is just a bunch of whiney mcwhinerton crap. If you don’t want to lose sleep, you shouldn’t have kids. You shouldn’t force your children to conform to your sleep schedule by overfilling their bellies with toxic crap so they konk out. If you are having pain when nursing, get HELP! The first couple of months can hurt, yes, but if it hurts all the time, something is WRONG. And let’s face it…9 months of being pregnant wasn’t a picnic either but you suck it up and deal with the 9 months of cankles and heartburn and hemorrhoids and daily prayers to the porcelain god so that your body can grow a baby. Nursing is no different… 9 months of following a baby’s sleep schedule, meeting their needs for food and warmth and comfort so that they can grow and thrive and be introduced gently into the world is all part of the package. We should all be easy on ourselves because nursing in this country is hard. It’s not like we have the support of a community of mothers and grandmothers showing us all the tricks to make it easier and to not hurt and to get baby properly latched. Nor do we have a community to help carry some of the load during those first few months. So MAKE it! Stop whining and do what needs to be done so your baby can not only eat but get the skin to skin contact they need and the antibodies they need to grow, be healthy and develop emotionally and socially. If you can’t handle things that are difficult, you shouldn’t be a parent.

Jessica Smock 2 years ago

Um, actually, to previous poster, breastfeeding does NOT save lives. If you can do it, it’s great. All things being equal, it’s the best feeding method for your child. But in truth, in real life, things do not always go as planned. And your baby will absolutely be fine if he or she is loved, fed, and cared for. It is much better not to continue breastfeeding if the experience is causing stress for you or your child. Anxiety and stress for the mother can completely negate the (small and often vastly overstated) benefits of breastfeeding. I kept at breastfeeding for several weeks, despite constant pain, yeast infections. It was interfering with my bond with my baby. And when my son turned out to have milk protein allergies, I stopped breastfeeding because his allergies were so severe and motherhood became a much easier and wonderful experience for me. Stories like this one are so common. It’s time that women didn’t feel bad because they tried hard and breastfeeding didn’t work out.

ELISABETH 2 years ago




dina 2 years ago

I think the post was a funny look at the other side of breastfeeding. With my first son I had every problem in the nursing handbook: inverted nipples that bled, baby wouldn’t latch properly, mastitis, thrush, gassy baby from fast let down. However, it was a learning curve of 6 weeks. The lactation consultant at the hospital was terrible, but the nurse I saw on day 3 really helped. The bottom line, nursing is a skill for both baby and mother. Everyone does not have the same result. Nursing after the initial period is not supposed to hurt; if it hurts the latch is wrong; if you have a bad latch the breasts won’t produce enough milk and the baby won’t thrive; if you supplement with formula in the beginning you will have too little milk of your own. There should be no judgment. Every woman does the best she can to take care of her baby.

Valñ 2 years ago

If it hurts, the baby isn’t latching correctly. Breastfeeding DOES NOT hurt when done properly (I’ve suffered a lot to learn this, even bled, so believe me or ask a lactation consultant).

Winnie 2 years ago

i love that there is no sugar coating around these because they are pretty accurate with what i went through… the first two weeks were definitely a nightmare but i wanted to push myself to achieve what i strongly believed was best for my child and i did not want to give up and im glad it worked out for me. For the moms who have a hard time with breastfeeding just remember that its okay, whichever one that works for you– breastmilk or formula, you will still be a superhero in your child’s eyes :)

Kristi 2 years ago

So many opinions just like anything child related. I loved the article. I think breast feeding is really hard and it’s important to go in mentally prepared. I know it is not hard for everyone, but for some of us it is a real challenge. I felt that if I didn’t breast feed, I was being a neglectful mom. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan. At the end of the day all of us love our kids so much and want to do what is best for them. So don’t feel guilty for making the best decision for you and your family.

My story is…I was determined to breast feed. My son started with low blood sugar due to my severe gestational diabetes (5 insulin shots a day) and he had to get formula in the hospital. Then he wouldn’t swallow during breast feeding so I had to breast feed 20 min, pump 20 min, and bottle feed. Then I had to tape a contraption to my breast to help encourage him to swallow. The tape ripped the skin off my nipples. Then I had an allergic reaction to the lantalin. Finally I ended up with mastitis 3 times. At the end of the day after 3 weeks I switched over to pumping and bottle feeding. I didn’t produce enough milk so I supplemented with formula. I pumped and bottle fed for 10 months.

At the end of the day love your little person and do what works for you. Thanks for writing this article!

Katie 2 years ago

I love #15, I made the choice to breastfeed for a year and I was lucky that my daughter was on board with that and everything worked out that way. However, today as I was sitting waiting for her Dr and watching the educational videos they play in the waiting room I became very annoyed. Annoyed at how much pressure there is on women to breastfeed. Yes I understand that scientifically it is best for the baby- but I also feel that what’s best for the baby is to have a sane mamma, not one stressed out and in tears because she has inverted nipples/ is chaffed raw and bleeding/ has to go back to work and can’t pump enough/ doesn’t produce enough milk in general/ has a baby in PICU so doesn’t get to breastfeed and so on and so forth. I remember being asked if I was breastfeeding and being revealed to say yes because you could hear the judgement in the person’s voice. Ok rant over- Thank you for writing this, I feel more people should talk about how challenging breastfeeding is!

Jaymie 2 years ago

I’m with you! I LOVE my kids, but would gladly choose formula if it was as good as boob juice.

Jaymie 2 years ago

SO true! I feel bad because I got to the point where my husband couldn’t give me a kiss good-bye when he left for work if I was nursing.

Jaymie 2 years ago

Thank you SO much for this! I’m glad I’m not alone. Everyone seems to LOVE breastfeeding. No one tells you about these things. What you listed is the truth!

Lisa 2 years ago

I felt like a failure in the hospital because breastfeeding wasn’t working out and I honestly felt like a cow when we hooked the pump up to me. I am sure I will be the only one to post that I felt completely degraded by the process, cried over it for a day, gave up and thank my lucky stars that I did. I went back to work a week later and my husband chose to stay home and it was the best thing we ever did for our family. My son is completely healthy at 9 years old, never had tubes in his ears, never had tonsils out, slept through the night starting at 7 weeks old, never gets sick and he is excelling in school. I would love to see parents spend just as much time worrying about what they’re putting in their kids mouths for the 18 years after infancy. Soda, candy, sugar causes disease, not baby formula. And I don’t work for a formula company-LOL.

Sandy 2 years ago

Better the formula company than La Leche League Enforcers.The only time I saw my ob/gyn mad was when a member of La Leche League came to my hospital room and lectured me about the benefits of breast feeding, despite my politely explaining that my first child had to be hospitalized for dehydration because I didn’t produce enough milk (despite pumping, consultants, etc.), and I would have to supplement with formula again with this child. The ignorant person here is not the author of the article. Accept that you really don’t know anything about another person’s medical history and leave them alone already.

Jen 2 years ago

I had a similar first two weeks, minus the formula. Never had to do that. The latch pain made my toes curl up. But it faded. Covering us was out because my little man always has to see what’s going on, and when he gets warm he screams and won’t latch. Soo… I learned very quickly how to go about pumping for going out.

Jeannette 2 years ago

Definitely agree the covers are a waste of time! I use two layers. Pull the nursing tank down and a tshirt up. Nothing to see and no weird cover to maneuver.

C Lo 2 years ago

I breastfed my 1st child for a year. It sucked. It never got easy. It was always hard and painful and I dreaded almost every feeding. Yes, there were times after about 10 minutes once the sharp, stabbing pains subsided a bit that it wasn’t THAT bad. There were even times when it was sweet to have my baby growing just from me, of course.

Yes, I went to LLL. Yes I read every book. Yes I had a lactation consultant.

It always sucked.

It was worse with my next two sons. Worse to the point of bleeding, pussy nipples. Worse to the point of me screaming at my husband at 3am to “DO SOMETHING!” because I couldn’t feed my own child. Worse to the point of ladies on the internet telling me CPS should remove my child because I “didn’t try hard enough” to breastfeed him.

But I digress.

Yes, no one told me any of that. I was only told it would get easy. I just had to try harder. EVERYONE could do it and if I didn’t, well, I just wasn’t a very good mother.

But my kids are all school aged now. Two of them are in the Gifted program. They are polite and sweet and nice and I get complimented on their manners often. In fact I get lots of compliments about my kids….they are smart, they are polite, they are well behaved, they are funny, they are talented…..
The one compliment I’ve NEVER received, however, is “Oh, you must have breastfed them!”

Because, if it doesn’t work….it REALLY isn’t that big of a deal. And no one ever told me that, either.

Lynn 2 years ago

Amen! :)

Lynn 2 years ago

Really!? Pretty sure the author was trying to make us laugh. Yes, breastfeeding is hard but there are many women who cannot for one reason or another. I am sure the author does not secretly work for the formula company. Formula is not evil…

Stacey 2 years ago

No, I’m pretty sure everyone tells you it hurts. People are already advising me about cold cabbage leaves or something and the baby isn’t here yet.

Katie 2 years ago

I don’t think there is any judging. Just people expressing a different view point to the author, which is always good and healthy. Whilst I don’t live in a capital city, I am lucky in my regional area that we have great support services to help women with the breast feeding issues addressed in this post. For that I am very appreciative.

Erika 2 years ago

I’m nursing baby #4 right now and am having the easiest time of the bunch. I think it helped that DH and I were doing a lot of nipple stimulation to try to get labor going this time around. Definitely helped toughen me up for vacuum baby and the first week was much easier. After you get through the first 2-4 weeks, it definitely gets easier and more comfortable. Yes, new moms should know that it really is work to breastfeed, but they also don’t need to be scared about it either.

KellyR 2 years ago

And quite a few of these comments prove exactly why women who choose not to breastfeed or can’t breastfeed feel like abject failures. Quit the judging ladies. It makes other’s feel awful about themselves and makes you look like a total bitch.

Gingersnap 2 years ago

I read Sara’s blog as “Titless” not “Titleless”. Did a double-take and laughed so hard I cried. *sigh* I am so easily amused.

I think this article describes the first few weeks really well.

Amy T. 2 years ago

TOTALLY relate with point #1. It hurt so bad it felt like someone touched a lit ciggie to my nipples. Made my toes curl every time and my son wanted to nurse ALL THE TIME.

Where I lived there was no La Leche League, either, so sheer stubbornness kept me at it. I have to say, I’m glad those days are done.

Kathleen 2 years ago

I agree with you about it being best sometimes- I went through some personal things and couldn’t past two weeks. It was excruciating even though every LC i talked to told me we had a perfect latch. I ended up formula feeding and my baby is happy and healthy. I think it’s important for women to know it isn’t easy- but definitely worth it if you’re able!

Anita @ Losing Austin 2 years ago

It’s really not all that bad after a few weeks! I hate things like this scaring moms off. It just really isn’t for most people. I know there are exceptions, absolutely. But there’s help and resources, and so much encouragement if you look.

Sharon 2 years ago

Breast fed all three kids, and hated every minute of it. Love this article.

Katie 2 years ago

I disagree with most of these points. They only really describe the first few weeks and not the long term. I found attending a breast feeding class at the local hospital highlighted all these issues and how they could be addressed. Best thing I did before bub came was attend one of these classes. Now I tell all new mothers about them.

lucy 2 years ago

What a load of utter tripe written by a clearly incredibly ignorant person most probably affiliated in some way with a formula company

Robin 2 years ago

I feel fortunate that I found the actual nursing to be fairly easy. BUT!!! The one thing that shocked me was how very over-stimulating it was. I couldn’t STAND for my husband to come anywhere near me, I felt like I was completely touched-out. There were days where it was physically uncomfortable to even get a back rub. While the baby happily and easily nursed, being that in demand all the time was very hard on the senses. And that lasted the entire year I nursed.

Beth 2 years ago

I’m glad I did it but I am glad to be done! It was gratifying and stressful all at the same time.

Sarah 2 years ago

It can still hurt even if you’re doing everything right, but it gets better after a while. And often the choice is between doing it not-quite-correctly and not doing it. I still think it’s worth it, just harder than many people make it out to be.

Theresa 2 years ago

Agree!! There are tough parts but great support available if you want to do it, if not, that’s ok, but if I had read this before I nursed three babies I would have been scared.

Amy 2 years ago

I think this article gives breastfeeding a bad name a bit. I really hope it does not deter women from breastfeeding! It is the most amazing thing you can do for your baby – it’s what is best. It does not hurt if you are doing it correctly! Many women give up way to soon.

darcy 2 years ago

Breastfeeding IS difficult sometimes. Especially the first couple weeks. You’re sore, you’re exhausted, your hormones are wackadoodle and this tiny fiend wants to do nothing more that eat CONSTANTLY! Then, suddenly everything “latches” into place. Everyone involved finally gets the hang of it. Now you can at least get a couple hours of sleep because you don’t have to wake up to make bottles in the middle of the night, all you have to do is roll over. No bottles to wash, cause the milk is right on tap.No expensive formula to buy, hello FREE! And you don’t have to wonder what’s in the formula, because you know exactly what you ate for lunch today. That tiny little fiend always loves his mommy best, cause she is the food source. Nope, breastfeeding is not for everyone and it’s okay if it didn’t work out for you, but let me say this: It is the most unselfish worthwhile thing I have ever done, and I will never regret it for a minute.

Alyson 2 years ago

I’m sorry you had such a tough time. Setting expectations is great but there’s a huge upside once you get over those initial hurdles.

Ally 2 years ago

Thank goodness my sister told me to be prepared the first time (and the first bunch of times) I pumped that I wouldn’t get anything, not even a drop. If left to my own thoughts I would have assumed I would be cow-like…so my expectations were (rightly) lowered from the start when it came to pumping. Which made the 3 drops of breast milk I actually squeezed out feel like I just ran a marathon after 0 training! I now try to tell first timers the same thing. I don’t care if it’s actually true – but if lowering expectations to make moms feel GOOD or normal about themselves while starting out, I think that’s a win.

Hana 2 years ago

Formula is like crack for babies! It’s so expensive and they love it so much!This is our third baby and I feel like I’ve finally figured out how to both breast feed and bottle feed successfully. Our Ped recommended only giving the baby one formula bottle a day preferably by someone other than me. We stared doing this when he was 3 weeks old and it has been going great so far.

Beth Ann 2 years ago

Oh, I so often look at my husband enviously and wish he would just grow boobs already! I kept her safe for nine months, I pushed her out, it’s his turn!

Hana 2 years ago

So true!

Momchalant 2 years ago

I’m so glad you wrote this. NOBODY tells you how freakin hard it is to breast feed. I stated how long I was going to breast feed, not how long I hoped to breast feed. I didn’t think I needed to hope, just know. I only made it a month before I was hallucinating from no sleep, trying to pump every last ounce, praying my nipples would stick out so the baby could breast feed without me pumping, and putting cold wash rags in my bra, not caring that I had huge wet spots on the outside.

Breast feeding is hard. It takes discipline to keep going.

LDiggitty 2 years ago

I agree that it only hurts for a while, until your nipples toughen up and start to resemble chewed-up pencil erasers…

Wendy 2 years ago

Hey, it only hurts for a little while – the first week or so, then it actually starts to feel really good! Personally, I never felt so needed as when my kids were nursing. My son did try to swallow me whole on a regular basis, and I loved it! I know it can be incredibly frustrating sometimes, though!

Caitlynne 2 years ago

I could not agree with this more. I have a 2-week-old baby and agree with EVERY SINGLE ONE of these!! I was already formula feeding my first baby at this point and was determined to breastfed this baby longer. Every day is a battle between my sore nipples and the wonderful can of formula in the cabinet.

ilikebeerandbabies.com 2 years ago

Suck your soul out of your nipple. Love it!