The mantra that ‘breast is best’ is one that can’t have escaped any new mothers, as midwives and activist push to increase breastfeeding rates.
But while breastfeeding advocates eagerly promote the many unquestioned benefits, there can be a different side that’s not so regularly spoken off, according to new mother Angela Burzon, believed to be from the US.
Angela shared a poignant image of herself breastfeeding her new daughter with a tear running down her face to illustrate how it can be a ’emotional and painful struggle’.
She said that the idyllic images of serene mothers and contented babies fail to show her reality.
She explained: ‘Whether she is not latching on properly, whether I am not producing enough milk to keep up with her demand, whether my nipples might not be adequate, whether we confused her with having to give her a bottle after pumping…whatever it may be, it has been an emotional and painful struggle.
She added that she’d spent all day sucking and not eating leaving her parents frustrated.
‘This photo depicts my reality of this breastfeeding journey so far and that first latch and the pain I endure. Keeping it real,’ she added.
Fellow mothers rushed to comment on Angela’s honest post, which has received more than 5,000 comments.
Many urged her to keep going with reassurances that it does get better if you persevere, with others suggesting a lactation specialist if she’s struggling.
One explained how feeding was so sore that at one point her daughter had drawn blood, but she’d persevered and things were getting better.
But others admitted they had struggled so much that they had no choice but to give up breastfeeding.
One said she breastfed through tears for six weeks before accepting that she couldn’t continue.
Another said she could not get past the guilt over not being able to breastfeed her daughter and worried that she would grow up resenting her mother for not trying hard enough.
‘I’m glad you shared the hard moments,’ she said. ‘More women need to so those of us that struggle don’t do it alone.’
Thankfully, it was better news for Angela who shared an image of herself feeding her baby during her first post-birth check up.
‘Doc said everything looked good,’ she said. ‘PS: This latch didn’t hurt’.