Mom’s honest post shows the real struggle most breastfeeding photos don’t
Anyone that’s ever tried breastfeeding can tell you: it may be “natural” but that sure as hell doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s a struggle. Which is why it’s so befuddling (and depressing) to only see images of air-brushed, blown-out, bliss-eyed mamas in their perfectly ironed night gowns effortlessly breastfeeding their babies. That’s simply not reality for many of us, including a mom in Florida who recently snapped a tear-filled selfie to show us that we’re not alone.
Angela Burzo, a photographer and mother, gave birth to her baby girl about three weeks ago, according to her Instagram account. She’s been refreshingly honest about the breastfeeding struggle since the very beginning, but the most powerful post is one she shared just days ago. With tears streaming down her cheeks and pain in her eyes you can feel this raw post in your bones before you even read it.
“…I cannot hide the struggle that is BREASTFEEDING. 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. Today has been full of no naps, sucking and not eating, crying and frustrated parents,” Burzo writes.
Her stress is something all moms can relate to. And it’s not just the breastfeeding that can make you feel emotional; after childbirth you’re trying to heal, cope with haywire hormones, and you’re freaking exhausted. It can feel like you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.
It’s clear she struck a chord because her post has since gone viral with over 5,000 likes. And the comments are overwhelmingly supportive.
The hardest part, and what Burzo nails so well in many of her posts is how hard it is to reconcile the “perfect” breastfeeding images with reality.
We should normalize breastfeeding 100 percent, but we should also normalize the fact that it doesn’t come easy or look easy for everyone.
Burzo’s timing is impeccable as we’re just coming off the heels of World Breastfeeding Week. The aim of the campaign is to celebrate breastfeeding, encourage it, and thereby theoretically help improve the health of babies. She is showing another side to the breastfeeding journey we don’t often get to see amid all the ra-ra breastfeeding, and it’s refreshingly honest.
One of her previous posts about breastfeeding sums up everything so simply and beautifully about each mother being on their own journey.
“Trying to tackle this breastfeeding life,” she writes. “Serious power to the women who can and to the women who have the power to walk away.”
Amen to choice mamas.