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This list doesn't even begin to address what we hate about breastfeeding

Abby Theuring is a blogger, public speaker, activist, wife and mother of two who lives in Chicago, IL. Se writes about breastfeeding in public, gentle parenting and feminism.

10 things I'm not afraid to admit I absolutely hate about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding seems to be all the rage right now. That’s a great thing, but people need to know it’s not all flowy dresses and waterfalls. It’s an important part of my relationship with my kids, and I am sure we don’t need to go over what breastfeeders like about breastfeeding. I mean, it’s all we hear about these days, am I right?

What people (potential breastfeeders, current breastfeeders feelings alone in their struggles or any person who wants to understand breastfeeders more) really need to know are the dirty details; the nitty-gritty that we don’t talk much about. So here you go. Ten things I hate about breastfeeding.

More: Liv Tyler, Chrissy Teigen and more celeb moms who aren't afraid to breastfeed in front of a camera

1. Nipple twiddling

They say it’s a natural reflex to get the milk flowing, but when the little fingers start to tug and jerk at the other nipple, most moms want to hit the roof! It’s sometimes an all-out battle to set that boundary: a battle that’s worth it in the end.

2. The full bladder

Being stuck under a sleeping child is like being pinned under an overturned vehicle. You really can’t move any limbs, for you may wake the beast. I’ve actually stuck a diaper into my pants to avoid getting up to go to the bathroom. Newsflash: Adult bladders hold more pee than a diaper can hold; save yourself the trouble of this experiment.

3. Shirt tugs

As kids get a bit older, they understand exactly where the boobs are and what barriers stand in between them and the milky nipples. My 2-year-old has an automatic reflex to just pull on my shirt whenever he is near me — even when he doesn’t want to nurse! When he does want to nurse, forget it; it’s like he’s going to tear my shirt right open.

4. Hydration just out of reach

This might be a good thing if you are bordering on the full bladder, but it sucks to be really thirsty and not be able to reach the water bottle. You stick your arm out and see how far over you can shift your body; your fingers just barely reach the side. You look around to see if there is anything that might be long and straight enough to reach out and pull the bottle toward you. You start to feel the kink in your neck. Yeah, you know what I mean.

More: We created a Mad Libs-style breastfeeding game, and it's printable!

5. Nonstop nursing

New moms learn quickly that newborn babies nurse all. the. time. Sometimes it’s so often that we think something is wrong with our babies! There is nothing wrong with your baby, but you had better cozy up with your remote control, because you’re not going anywhere. Unless you have other kids; then, well, may the force be with you!

6. Leakage

I’ll never forget the first time I went out with my friends after my first son was born. He was maybe a few months old. I snuck out of the house for a few hours; I had no idea what I was doing. My boobs were so big that they were bursting out of my shirt. Two hours later I looked down to see huge leaks over my nipples. You should have seen the wide eyes on my friends!

7. The questions

How long are you going to breastfeed? Does he sleep through the night? How many times does he nurse at night? Are you just going to pop your boob out? Doesn’t that hurt? You’ll stop when he gets teeth, right? When does your husband get your boobs back? Do you do that in front of other people? And on and on and on. *eyeroll*

8. Clogged ducts

So I focus on the clogged ducts, but moms suffer all sorts of ailments during breastfeeding. From the throbbing pain and fever of mastitis to the lumpy, tight skin of engorgement, to thrush and to sore and cracked nipples. I’ve dunked my boob into a warm cup of water more times than I can count, my frowning face sitting in my hand, thinking, “It’s a put your tit in a teacup kind of day!”

More: 19 celeb 'bad' parenting moments that make us feel so much better about our own

9. Nibbles and chomps

Whether they are doing it because their teeth are bothering them or their jaw is slacking from dozing off, no one can deny the intensity of a bitten nipple. This is something that gives even non-breastfeeders the heebie-jeebies, and it has ended plenty of breastfeeding relationships. I’ve been able to work through it with my dudes, but lots of mamas are not so lucky.

10. Milky sex

Wait, what? How dare I bring up sex in a “Things I Hate” post! OK, maybe it’s just an excuse to talk about sex. Did you know that some women have the milk ejection reflex (letdown) triggered when they are aroused? I have no idea if anyone really hates it, but there’s your fun fact for the day. Tell everyone at the watercooler!

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

10 things I'm not afraid to admit I absolutely hate about breastfeeding
Image: Leilani Rogers/Photos by Lei
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