Were You Afraid to Breastfeed?

A co-worker just sent me a clip of a  Good Morning America interview with Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. It aired this morning, and I had seen it earlier while clicking around online, but I hadn’t watched it yet. I am not a Snooki fan; in fact, I think she’s pretty gross. But celebrity pregnancies are part of my beat here at Parents.com, and so I read (or watch) pretty much everything on the topic.

So far Snooki has handled her pregnancy just like I’d expect a C-list celeb with a bad rep to; basically it’s one obnoxious photo op after another. She appeared on the cover of a tabloid to announce her pregnancy. She, gasp, colored her hair. She bared her bump in a bikini on a beach. She walks around in ridiculous shoes. And she still has three more months to go, so I’m sure that there’s plenty more fodder coming for the tabloids.

The GMA interview was pretty vanilla, but one part caught my attention. When Snooki was asked whether she planned to breastfeed (a rude question, in my opinion), she admitted that she was scared.

“My friend did and she said it was so painful…but I definitely want to pump because it’s the best nutrients for the baby,” she told GMA. However, she was quick to point out that pumping didn’t really excite her either. “It’s kind of like you’re a cow and you’re just milking.”

At least she was honest. I can relate to those fears a little bit. I was worried that I wouldn’t get the technique right and that Mason would  starve as a result. I was also a little nervous about the pain. And I can certainly remember feeling like a cow while pumping.

Were you afraid to nurse, or at least nervous about it, before your baby was born?

 Photo: A mother breastfeeding via SvetlanaFedoseyeva/Shutterstock.com

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  1. by Terri

    On June 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    In my opinion if its fear of pain then I think pumping is out of the question. A pump in my part was only helpful for my nipples to enlarge, after my son was born my nipples were well some what flat and as we all know that all bottle nipples are pointy for the same reason to guide it into the mouth. Everytime I pumped it was painful yes the same with my son but at least the pain didn’t last too long when I switched from pumping to breast feeding.

  2. by Ann

    On June 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I was looking forward to it, but I was completely unprepared for the pain. I wish someone was really honest with me about how much it would hurt. I would not have been deterred from nursing, I would have been prepared. I think a lot of the information provided about nursing glosses over some of the more unpleasant aspects such as bleeding and pain, saying that only happens if the baby latches improperly. I bled for weeks and the pain was terrible, but my son latched on just fine. I am glad Snookie is being honest about her fears.

  3. by Holly

    On June 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I was looking forward to breastfeeding and expected it to be uncomfortable. My baby didn’t latch well at all and after struggling with him for two weeks I got blocked ducts which was a pain I was EXTREMELY unprepared for. Luckily, I tried pumping to relieve some of the pressure and found there was no pain while pumping. While I admit that the first couple of seconds of pumping is uncomfortable every time and the first few times are uncomfortable the whole time, I quit breastfeeding and fed my baby a diet of only pumped breastmilk until he was almost 11 months old. I would have continued until he was a year old, but I got sick and lost my milk. Pumping also allowed me to feel more comfortable while working. I managed a small company where there was no place for me to pump or breastfeed, though my baby was allowed to come to work with me. Since he was not good at latching I was completely uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding in public, especially in front of a warehouse full of guys. I also worried that I would lose some of my authority or that the guys would feel weird working for someone who’s breasts they had randomly seen on occasion. So again, pumping came to the rescue. I was able to work at my computer while pumping with an XXL shirt on so that everything stayed covered. I wouldn’t have been able to fit a whole baby up my shirt, especially since he would have needed constant attention to keep him latched correctly. Amazingly, most of the people that came into the office had no idea what I was doing. And my assistant/office manager was excellent about getting up and attending to customers so that I didn’t have to unhook from my pump and try to awkwardly redress myself under my humongous shirt.

    Side note- Normally, I would encourage everyone to breastfeed and/or pump for as long as possible and a minimum of one month (I swear girls, it really does get SIMPLE after a month. You are used to it, and your body is used to it so it doesn’t hurt so much and you don’t have to keep such a strict schedule. After a month, I was able to drop down to three 20 minute pumpings a day.), but in Snooki’s case I’d say go straight to formula. I am not a fan and have only seen one episode of Jersey Shore, but unless she’s done a complete 360, her milk is going to be 80 proof.

  4. by Elissa

    On June 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I had no knowledge of “pain” when it came to breastfeeding. I did hear tht some people couldn’t do it, so I just thought, “well if I can, then I will.”
    I am so glad I did. Sometimes there is discomfort, but honestly, I love the time spent bonding with my baby.

  5. by Elizabeth

    On June 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Holly…

    Your comments are only going to perpetuate horrid untruths about breastfeeding.

    One month is all you advise? Try at least 6 months minimum.

    And 80 proof milk so get formula instead? Ridiculous. Learn. There is no reason to go to formula if a woman drinks – or has a history of drinking. The minute the alcohol is out of a woman’s blood, it is out of the milk. Pumping and dumping is a myth, and so is any suggestion that breastmilk with a FRACTION of alcohol even is worse than formula.

  6. by Jill Cordes

    On June 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I think Holly actually makes some excellent points. I’d feel a little uncomfortable in a warehouse full of men too. There is no right or wrong here. Feelings aren’t facts. And it sounds like she took the right measures for her own comfort and needs. Plus, I know many moms who gave up when their baby didn’t latch properly. Kudos to her for hanging in there and making it work. And I’m with her–Snooki’s milk will be 80 proof! (she was clearly making a joke).

    Heather–I laughed outloud at your brilliant description of Snooki.

    I was never afraid to breastfeed or pump. The whole idea of being a mom was so foreign to me, since I hadn’t had a baby yet, I was just all about seeing what worked. I’m now on baby number 2 and he is happily on my boob as I write this!