When I was pregnant and planning to breastfeed, I had several discussions with a close friend who had success breastfeeding her first son. She never told me that it would be easy, or that it comes naturally, or that it would be pain free....She was realistic. She gave the best advice I received regarding breastfeeding, "It's going to suck at first. It's going to hurt, and you're going to cry a lot. But it will get better."
Maybe that sounds harsh, but it sure helped me. It got me through the hard parts in the beginning. When I cried because Evie wouldn't latch, or it felt like someone was taking a cheese grater to my nipples, I thought, "This is normal, we'll make it." Of course, this is not the best advice for everyone, but I think I needed a little tough love. :)
I cannot believe that I am still breastfeeding a year later. We are cutting back in the slow process of weaning. I only nurse Evie in the morning and before bed these days, but we're still going. I hope that Evie gets the benefits of this for the rest of her life.
I've seen this circulated on other websites, but in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, here it is again: 101 Reasons to Breastfeed.