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Readers Respond: What I Love -- and Hate -- About Breastfeeding

Few subjects receive quite the attention as breastfeeding. Any mom who has breastfed has stories to tell about the experience. And why not? Breastfeeding becomes one of the most prominent activities in your life if you do it. You’re liable to spend hours each day – and night – nursing. It can be all-consuming.

At its best, breastfeeding is a bonding experience. You and your baby sit cuddled together, sharing love as your provide an elemental service in feeding the baby from your own body.

And then your baby bites you. Or sticks her finger up your nose. Or cranes his neck around to see what’s going on, thus exposing your breast to an icy-blast of air conditioning in the middle of a shopping mall.

Breastfeeding can be frustrating, difficult, or outright painful. Most mothers I’ve spoken too will talk about the early weeks of nursing as a challenge. You’ll hear stories of mastitis, thrush, cracked and bleeding nipples. You’ll hear about endless nights feeding an insatiable infant, hours of contact leaving mom touched out and exhausted.

I asked readers on Facebook and Twitter to share some of their breastfeeding experiences, the good and the bad. Click through to read what real moms say!

  • Click through to read what moms have to say about breastfeeding! 1 of 12
    breastfeeding best and worst
  • Easy! 2 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "Convenience, it's free, not having to wash bottles (if you are not pumping of course, pumping leads to more bottles and dishes) selfishly knowing the baby needs you." - Abbie

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Thrush 3 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "With my son, I figured it would be easy, since I'd done it before and I knew what I was doing. Silly me! That was when I discovered the hell that is thrush. I had somehow been lucky enough to avoid it the first time around, but my son and I had it for months. It was horrible: the pain; the nystatin cream; the pain; the paranoia of making sure my nipples were completely dry before covering; trying to coat the baby's mouth with medicine; the pain; the diflucan; and did I mention pain? Someone I know described it as feeling like there are shards of glass in your nipples; I think that sounds about right, with a little bit of burning and itching thrown in for good measure. But we somehow made it through, and I'm proud to say that we made it to 15 months of breastfeeding together and he never had a single drop of formula." - Emily

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Perfect Food 4 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "Being able to give my babies exactly what they need in such a convenient way. The human body is really amazing. I also love the intimacy of it. It's a very special connection." - Mandy

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Touched Out 5 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "Being 'over touched' , baby crying and being held ALL the time, my 2 year old daughter climbing on me and then breastfeeding ALL the time . The lack of personal space was overwhelming at times." - Danielle

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Sweet 6 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "It bonded my twins to each other. They would hold hands while nursing." - Kate

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • No Alone Time 7 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "Just wanting a break and being the only one who can provide this particular need for the baby, and leaking everywhere.all. the. time." - Jessica

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • The Best! 8 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "Besides the first few days of adjustment (soreness!) I loved everything about it!! The ease, the savings, the health benefits (mother:sits with baby more, eats healthier, loses the baby weight faster & baby: less ear infections, immunities are passed from mother, develops strong muscles in the jaw to help with speech) Honestly, the list is endless." - Sandra

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Ouch! 9 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "The PAIN! The first time around, the pain was almost unbearable for the first month. And then after I got past that part, the biting started! I don't think there's anything worse than a tiny teething baby chomping down on your nipples. I still cringe every time I think about it." - Rachel

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Comfort 10 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "Being able to comfort her at the breast no matter what. It was magic, and many times I wish I still had that ability." - Elizabeth

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Isolation 11 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "I think the worst for me was feeling ostracized when it was time to feed. Roughly 21 years ago, I was on a road trip and stopped for dinner with my father and my very first newborn. OF COURSE my sweet baby decided he was The Hungriest Infant Alive the second our food arrived to the table. (I was new. I didn't know how to plan this stuff.) I also knew my father wouldn't be able to handle it if I breast-fed at the table, so I excused myself to the restroom which (thankfully) had a lovely sitting area. I fed B for 30 minutes. I was starving, I was crying, I was taking stares from passing women - none of them friendly, and the entire time I was supremely pissed off at myself for not having the brass to feed him in public, but I was also pissed at anyone who found the sight of a mother feeding her child offensive. Mamas feeding babies is sort of a thing, jerks. Get over it. Just don't stare at my boobs while I'm doing it..." - Karen

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Our Time 12 of 12
    breastfeeding

    "With 5 kids, it was nice, especially with the last one, to bf and have to stop and just focus on the baby. Hard to do with all the chaos of so many otherwise." - Jen

    Photo credit: photo stock

Want to read more true stories about breastfeeding? Check out Babble’s new ebook Parenting, Uncensored: Straight Talk from Real Moms on Breastfeeding and tune into Headline News TODAY 12pm EST to find out whom we’ve crowned the BEST breastfeeding writers online! 

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million The Broad SideFollow Rebekah on Facebookand Twitter too!

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