( aka "things i had no idea about before i started being a boobfood"):
1. if you miss a feeding, it hurts.
like remember back in the day how people had to milk their cows twice a day or the cows would get all super pissed? that happens to people too. so when we freak out about missing a feeding it's not just because we're super paranoid.
2. it takes a long time.
not the actual feeding the baby part, but dear god the cumulative hours spent. i have already nursed jude for at least 408 hours- that's SEVENTEEN days straight- and he is only 10 weeks old. it's a time commitment. don't harsh on those ladies who feed their babies out in public, otherwise we'd be trapped in our homes all that time.
3. there is no on/off switch.
give up your hopes of ever being topless. or braless. or if you still do those two things you are probably damp. you will constantly be surrounded by milk. it will be on everything.
4. letdown is when it sprays out all over everything.
babies like it or something. i DO NOT like it. many things in our home have been showered with milk. and it can spray a long way. and it will spray in a hot shower. and it will spray at random.
5. breastpumps are milking machines.
just like a cow. and yes, it's horrible.
6. you can get mastitis, plugged milk ducts, or have thrush.
all medical problems that you may have to battle. imagine itching, burning, flu-like fevers, nausea, weakness, horrible stabbing breast pain. bonus points: you and the baby can re-infect each other! and the solution to most of these problems? nurse through the pain. fun!
7. public opinion.
some people love breastfeeding. some people are totally grossed out by it. some women couldn't do it and get all sensitive when you talk about it. it's horrifying to bring it up in front of anyone when you don't know which of these categories they fall into. are they going to be disgusted that you talk about that time you sprayed milk up your kids nose or will they think it's funny? what's too much information, mentioning that i'm breastfeeding? saying the word breast? writing this list? and who, of the people you know, is it ok to nurse in front of? is it weird to do it in front of your mom? your dad? your husband's grandparents? which of your friends won't be totally creeped out by you? who wants you to use a cover? who wants you to leave the room? who really doesn't mind at all? you don't know. awkwardness abounds. plus people will hate you for leaving your house and feeding your baby- you'll worry about getting the stink eye every time you leave your house even if you sit in the corner facing the wall using a blanket in an empty room. all of this is unless you have big brass balls, which i don't. i need to grow some.
8. it's pretty humiliating sometimes.
something like 90% of mammals nurse their young. it's natural and really should be something we see as normal. but really? see points 3-7 above- there are parts that are completely embarrassing.
9. it's pretty awesome sometimes.
the baby thinks you're the best thing on the entire planet. you're solely sustaining human life. it's the best possible bonding time i could ever imagine. it feels womanly. you don't really have to wake up to do it and conversely, you can fall asleep doing it. you're never going to run out of food and have to dash to the store. you don't have to warm and wash bottles, or take them with you. it's cheap as free. and did i mention how much babies love breastfeeding? because for real, the smiles.
most days the awesome makes up for points 1-8.