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Hard Parts of Breastfeeding

9 Things Moms Hate Most About Breastfeeding

The decision to breastfeed is an easy one for many moms, but that doesn't mean they love everything about it. While the benefits of nursing are manifold, and moms love the bond that forms between them and the baby, there are some things they can do without. From sleepless nights to unexpected leaks, see what moms say they hate the most about the entire process.

Sleepless Nights

Since breastfeeding moms can't whip out a prepoured bottle, late-night feedings take a little longer, meaning a lot less sleep. In some cases, the baby doesn't want the milk — just the boob. "He uses my breast to comfort him and pacify him at night," says Christine F. "It's not the milk that he wants, it's the comfort. And it takes a toll on me."

Pinches, Biting, and Hair Pulling

Breastfeeding could leave some unintentional battle scars if you aren't careful. "At first it was kind of sweet when he would grab at me while nursing," Heidi M. says of her son. "Now he pinches so hard that he ends up leaving little scratch marks."


See more reasons why moms may hate breastfeeding.

There's Never Enough Milk

Babies eat a lot, and sometimes a mother's supply can't meet the demand. "I cant produce enough milk," Autumn F. admits. "Because of that, I had to supplement with formula." No mother wants to switch methods, so talk to a lactation consultant if you struggle.

Working While Pumping

Many moms return to work soon after giving birth, putting them in the awkward situation of pumping at the office. That is, if their bosses are accommodating. As a radiology technologist who worked 12-hour shifts, Jessica P. struggled to keep her supply high. "My fellow employees and boss were not sympathetic to my needs," she recalled. "Within 12 hours I was only able to escape to pump one time." After losing so much milk, Jessica had to switch to bottle-feeding.

Constant Pain

When it comes to pain children cause, breastfeeding is right behind childbirth. "When I had my daughter, I breastfed her for a month and it was awful," Shannon R. admits. "It literally felt like I was putting my boobs in a food processor."

Your Ever-Changing Boobs

Shrinking is one of the many unfortunate side affects of breastfeeding. "They used to be perky and firm, but now they are very soft and just hang there," Kari M. says of her once perfect breasts. Stretch marks may also surface as a result of the deflation.

Lactating in Public

"I stopped breastfeeding when she was 14 months old and was still producing milk until I got pregnant again," Rebecca R. says. She adds that it took almost a year for the midday leaks to stop. To keep embarrassment to a minimum, carry a spare shirt with you in case you have to make a quick change.

Breastfeeding in Public

When a baby is hungry, he will cry until he gets food. As a breastfeeding mom, that often means feeding in public and dealing with rude passersby. "I use a blanket to cover up, but people still point and give me looks," Kateh B. says.

Weaning Baby

Weaning baby off the breast is just as challenging as getting them to latch — especially if you have a superstubborn child. Laura B. struggled to get her 2-year-old son off the breast. "If I try to redirect him he gets very offended and sad and clingy." Dealing with mommy guilt is never fun, but sometimes you have to stand your ground.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
Brenette15187159 Brenette15187159 3 years
This article is just a joke!! First off, breastfeeding is the most natural and most nutritional way to feed your baby. Sleepless nights, guess what!? That's every baby!! The bright side is that us breastfeeding moms just have to whip out our boob and feed/comfort our baby. While moms who formula feed have to mix and warm it, even if its pre-mixed you still have to warm it up, which takes time, which means for a very cranky baby. And you have to wash all those bottles when you are done. Lactating in public and leaking, pfft that's why there are breast pads. If you have constant pain, then obliviously something is wrong. Your baby isn't latching right, could be thrush or mastitis. And I can't stand when people try to tell you that you don't have enough milk for your baby. Yes, some woman have supply issues, but there are ways to up your supply! UGH!! This article just makes me MAD!
theboobgeek theboobgeek 3 years
Yeah, no. Here's a more likely list:
GemmaManlapaz GemmaManlapaz 3 years
It is still rewarding for a mom to be able to breastfed your kid. The kid would not only get all the nourishment he/she needs but it would be a bonding moment between the mom and the kid too. If you are really a mom, then you would not bother with the pain anymore just to be able to give your kid the best. When my daughter was one month old, I was asked to go back to work and I was able to breastfeed her by pumping the milk and putting it in the ref and would breastfed her directly if I am at home. I was able to breastfed her for more than 2 years and she is such a healthy kid and rarely get sick.
SaraRambo10843 SaraRambo10843 3 years
This is a horrible article. Ladies who are considering breastfeeding do not read this, and if you you do do not believe it. It sounds as if it was written by gerber or a formula company. This article is sickening. No wonder the amount of women who give up breastfeeding because of garbage like this. Seriously telling women that they don't produce enough so to top it off with formula!! This entire article is garbage, inaccurate., and needs to be removed from the site.
Meilena15151586 Meilena15151586 3 years
Breastfeeding is the best natural immunization you can give your child. 10 Things Women Love About Breastfeeding
KarenKelly55958 KarenKelly55958 3 years
Poor journalism. I breastfed my 5 children (not all at once) to increasing ages. When I had my first child he had trouble gaining weight and because I had no support I topped him up with formula until my supply dwindled. After that I was determined to feed my next baby for longer and found that feeding straight away after birth was key. Also things like not knowing a newborn could really want feeding every hour or two. This is what I didn't like about breastfeeding -not having support and not knowing enough about things like engorgement when your milk comes in, tongue tie and feeding frequently to increase supply. I never had pain with any of them ever. I loved just popping them on in the night and not having to sort a bottle out. I found breastfeeding much easier than bottle. having to sterilise everything, planning exactly how long we'd be out so how many bottles would be needed and where to stop and warm them, bottle leaks-oops mess and no replacement, making bottles in the night and losing count of how many scoops of formula because of being half asleep- just off the top of my head.
Kim17798 Kim17798 3 years
This article is a joke ! The only reason I'm responding is for new/ future moms....Breastfeeding is so much easier than bottles and it's better for baby! You get more sleep, don't have to wash bottles, it's always warm and ready to go. You can never forget it at heir runout... And it's free.... And the most important reason... Healthier for baby! I've nursed 4 babies, two being twins... Even that was easier. I slept! To the writer.... Don't write unless you collect Facts first!
Lauren15152125 Lauren15152125 3 years
To those few people who think this is a good article--no one is saying breastfeeding is always easy or that it doesn't have its bad points. However, this article presents this information very poorly and is poorly written. It's overly negative. It's not completely accurate. I'm sorry for those folks who couldn't breastfeed and who wanted to. You should never feel ashamed about the choices you made for your baby--as long as you were doing your best. You are a great mom! This article is still crap. For example--"Breastfeeding in Public". How is this a negative? If you don't want to feed in public, then find somewhere to feed in private--a dressing room, your car, whatever. Rather than just quoting someone who said she didn't like to get dirty looks from strangers when she was completely covered up, why not empower women not to feel embarrassed. The judgmental jerks giving breastfeeding moms dirty looks are the ones who should be embarrassed. Not the mom. This is just ONE EXAMPLE of why this article is ridiculous. (Lauren, copywriter and marketing consultant, mother of 2)
MelodyMason MelodyMason 3 years
This article is subjective at best. Rife with misinformation and not true for the majority of BF mothers. Its rubbish like this that contributes to our country's sad BF rates. However, I would never take parenting advice from a website called "mom.popsugar" its all irrelevant. Make informed decisions, people.
WYmom WYmom 3 years
Studies show breastfeeding moms get MORE sleep than those who use artificial baby milk.
WYmom WYmom 3 years
What a crummy article filled with myths and misinformation!
Meilena15151586 Meilena15151586 3 years
I've been breastfeeding for 11 years with our 4 children and I remember reading about misconceptions of breastfeeding. After reading this article I felt proposed to write an article called the 10 Things Moms Love About Breastfeeding I hope that others who read this article above do not get discouraged.
justinnkurtz justinnkurtz 3 years
I liked this article. I was unable to breastfeed both my girls, and for once instead of being left to feel ashamed I was able to read an article that told me how hard it really is for some moms.
CoMMember1361062098788 CoMMember1361062098788 3 years
What a great article, you should follow it up with The 10 things women hate about pregnancy The 10 things women hate about birth The 10 things people hate about nurturing a newborn The 10 things people hate about raising a fabulous inquisitive inspiring child What a worthwhile career path your leading, so positive informative and .............
juliamasters juliamasters 3 years
would have been good to have scientific information on each point to clarify it - ie pregnancy changes your breast shape not breastfeeding!!
Sassydoc9 Sassydoc9 3 years
And as far as it being your choice to breast feed or not, studies have shown over and over that it is the BEST nutrition for your baby. So you are making a choice to deprive your child of that and start him or her out in life at a disadvantage. I don't really care if anyone feels bad. Truly, legitimately NOT being able to breast feed is very rare. In most cases I've seen, it comes down to laziness on the part of the mother. You can become enraged at my words but they are absolutely true.
Sassydoc9 Sassydoc9 3 years
As a physician, this article saddened me. As a mom to two girls, I practiced extended breast feeding, My younger daughter weaned at 6 years old. It was such a beautiful experience. This piece is extremely negative and the author is terribly misinformed. I would not be surprised if this was actually subsidized by a formula company because that's how awful it is. Best of luck in nursing your babies!
ElizabethClark55002 ElizabethClark55002 3 years
Yep I remember a lot of these being a problem. I had to stop because it hurt too much even after all the books said it only hurts if your doing it wrong or that it only lasts a few weeks. Why is the attitude around breastfeeding that you can't say that it has any bad points? It's becoming the sacred cow of parenting and all it does is make people feel bad about having normal little complaints or let alone "failure". The dialog makes winners and losers out of a bodily function. When my youngest was born Hubby and I could take shifts, biting is one of the biggest reasons I've seen for weaning and it says shrinking not sagging.
Brandi15150519 Brandi15150519 3 years
This is horrible, let's see 1) nursing mom actually tend to get more sleep, because their babies just need to nurse, no bottle to get, no need to sit up, burp the baby, get the baby settled then go back to bed. 2) my sons father has just as many scratches from playing rough with the baby...its not a nursing problem, its babies sharp little nails 3)the vast majority of mothers will NOT have supply issues if they feed on demand, and not offer pasifiers. 4)pregnancy causes breast changes, not nursing. Your milk comes in because of pregnancy. 5)Breast pads catch leaks, and changing a shirts not a huge deal 6)nursing in public is not a huge deal, and you can cover or go to a private location if YOU want to, but almost every state has laws that side with a nursing mother. 7) weaning, let the baby self wean, or suck it up, if you formula feed you still have to wean off a bottle... just one nipple is attached to you then other is fake. So stop making nursing sound so gawd awful, its not.
mountainmama0508 mountainmama0508 3 years
This article was horrible. Newsflash: breasts sag from pregnancy, whether or not you breastfeed, and you are going to be subject to lack of sleep from having young children, not breastfeeding. Constant pain? Way to scare off new moms! The pain from getting used to nursing lasts a few weeks, then is not painful at all. This is the type of article that sets women up to fail, or to not even try. Breastfeeding is a commitment, and if you are going to succeed, a positive attitude is everything. I've breastfed three children for four years and counting, and it has been one of the most amazing, fulfilling experiences I could have imagined possible. ps- the correct grammar is 'side effects' not 'side affects'. Seriously?
stacieashby stacieashby 3 years
I LIKED the article. In our collective zeal to encourage breast feeding, women are made to feel bad if they aren't able to. Finally, some emphasis on the fact that it isn't always a sunshine & roses walk in the park. The fact that it can be VERY hard and many of us do it anyway is to be applauded.
juliadoherty juliadoherty 3 years
Sorry but I have to agree with the ladies who point out how inaccurate this article is. While I support a woman's choice breast feeding is in fact the healthier option in most cases and this article irresponsibly discourages it with misinformation. Pumping at work I'll give you but for the rest... 1) less sleep? R u kidding? I didn't even have to get out of bed to breast feed. Moms who use bottles have to get out of bed go to the kitchen.... 2) pulling hair butting and scratching? I have had my hair pulled (hazard of long locks) and been scratched by babies that didn't even belong to me this is not a breast feeding issue. The biting yes. It doesn't take much to use Pavlov's theory to train a baby not to bite. 3) never enough milk. This is true either way and breast milk at least comes free with mom. 4) constant pain. Yes some women have issues but with proper care (lanolin) and a regular feeding schedule to reduce the risk of mascitis this should be rare. 5) lactating in public can be dramatically reduced by a regular feeding schedule. Also after about the first 30 days it is very rare and how much do you get out with a newborn in the first 30 days? You don't even need pads. I just wore a slightly padded bra. When your breasts feel full find a ladies room for a little maintain ace draining. It is quick and painless. Plus milk build up that isn't pushed through the system as needed is how you get mascitis so leaving it without draining by baby or manually isn't a good idea. 6) you don't have to choose to breat feed in public. I am the furthest thing from a home body but I could always find someplace private to nurse and it was never a bathroom. Get your car windows tinted. 7) your breasts are going to change with age either way and even if you don't nurse they will change from the bodies initial preparation to nurse. Plus when you are nursing they will look darn good and you will lose the baby weight faster. 8) Weaning will have to be done from the bottle and binkie (if you use one) too so I'm not sure how this is exclusive to breat feeding. I have a friend with 3 bottle fed kids. The oldest would steal the bottle from the baby because she wanted it for comfort. :) Get a good lactation consultant and don't be scared off by this one sided article.
EstherMcCartney EstherMcCartney 3 years
This article is terribly negative - only thing I could agree with is, it is embarassing to leak in public! No biggie though. I've bf with varying degrees of success, the wonder of a great feeder, and the disappointment of one who just wouldn't. But I really don't think posts like this do anything for the struggling mum. More positive support please!! - Oh and less lies please, the bf mum gets more sleep hands down. Does no one know about the sleep/relaxation hormones released by feeding that naturally help mum doze off again!? Tsk tsk popsugar
kelseykelly1376760514 kelseykelly1376760514 3 years
This article is terrible. I would have never tried to bf if i read this article first. Having breastfeed my baby I have many objections to this article. First, Any baby younger than two months should Never sleep through the night without waking up to feed. If he/she doesnt wake up you need to make your baby wake up. Their body cannot regulate their blood sugar. Second, with breastfeeding you do not need to warm up a bottle in the middle of the night. Your baby can just latch on and when you bf your body releases a hormone that makes you sleepy so you are ready for bed with your baby. Third, your baby does not get enough milk? Im sorry, but what happened before formula was invented? Yes, they did have a wet nurse if the mother could not breastfeed, but the baby was still breastfed! Your body naturally adjusts when your baby asks for more. During the first two months that can lead to long days nursing when your baby is asking for more food, but, honest, after the first two months its all downhill. Fourth, your employer is legally suppose to give you time and a place at work to pump. Fifth, I have never leaked through a shirt wearing disposable pads. The other side is a sort of plastic material that does not allow milk to seep through and they hold a lot of milk before you have to change them. I end up changing them just because I want to be clean. And now that my baby is five months old I only leak when he is feeding. Sixth, I have Never gotten weird stares from bf in public. In fact, if youre at a mall there are actually mothers lounges in places like Nordstroms or in the mall itself with a relaxing area to bf your child. And as far as pinching, really? You can teach a baby no. (just like how my baby teethed at three months. He already bit me once and I jolted and scared him. He hasn't done it again. He learned.) Lastly, if you decided to bottle feed, that is your decision. Though, I do encourage everyone to learn the benefits of breastfeeding before they make that choice.
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