Breastfeeding & Why I Got Postpartum Depression

I have a confession to make.

I would have been one of those women who bragged about her successful breastfeeding into the toddler years.

I would have lorded my ability over others.

Even if it wouldn't have been overt,

I would have felt my superiority as a mother over those who didn't stick it out, who didn't try their hardest to give their child what was "best."

I know I would have.

If breastfeeding had been easy for me (well, you know, as easy as breastfeeding can be), I wouldn't have given it another thought.

I would have thought that some of us were just more "naturally" inclined, more willing to do everything to, to put our children first.

And that's why I got postpartum depression and anxiety.

I mean, literally and figuratively.

I was headed there anyway, most likely.

That unstable mix of hormones, a new life, the recognition of the fragility of mortality, the goddamn insanity of it all.

But I slipped rapidly there when breastfeeding wasn't working.

When the sounds of the pump and my own tears became unbearable.

When I woke in the night, trying so desperately to feed her, begging to be hospitalized because I could feel my brain breaking.


I was given the gift of postpartum depression and anxiety so that I was humbled.

I was brought to my knees

To the edge.

To the point of no return.

I don't get to be that proud woman who kept her baby alive through sheer will and her body alone.

I don't get to brag.

I don't get to shove my success in the face of others.

And thank god for that.

Because otherwise, how would I have known what it is to be humble in the face of another mother?