Breastfeeding is a wonderful gift of nature and healthy for babies and healthy for moms and a beautiful way to bond with an infant and so on and so on. We never want to detract from that message. But also, it is hard and often draining, and it is such a relief to hear someone like Kate Upton say so, loud enough for all the tired mamas out there to hear.
“[T]he reality, for me, was that breastfeeding was sucking the energy away from me,” the model told the Editorialist in her cover story this month, relating how much pressure she was feeling to breastfeed while “on the go.”
Upton and husband Justin Verlander welcomed daughter Genevieve Upton Verlander in November 2018, and both mom and dad have still kept up their professional lives. But Upton said her experience as a mother has been teaching her to be easier on herself.
“I realized I needed to calm down, to allow my body to recover,” she told the magazine.
Upton isn’t alone in feeling drained by the physical and emotional demands of nursing a child, even while simultaneously calling breastfeeding a “superpower” as she did in an Instagram post last March.
First of all, not matter how you feed your child, postpartum fatigue is normal. But when you nurse, your body, which is used to only consuming food, now has to produce it as well. Then when you throw the need to pause everything else you need to do day and night to feed or pump, that’s just a lot. Plus, if you experience difficulties in the early stages of nursing, you may be at a higher risk for postpartum depression.
That’s why, even thought the WHO encourages parents to breastfeed for at least six months and for up to two years or beyond, mothers should also consider their own health in this decision. And they should not have to feel one ounce of guilt over quitting. Babies do best when their mom is healthy and happy, too!
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