holly madisonNew mom Holly Madison has realized that breastfeeding is hard. And time-consuming. The 33-year-old new mom to Rainbow Aurora recently told People: "Breastfeeding is the biggest challenge. I took classes -- and I don't want to discourage anyone from nursing -- but I'm surprised at how much work it is and how much you're on call. I'm happy to do it since it's healthy for my baby."

True that, sister. Breastfeeding is no joke. And nothing can prepare you for it. Except for, you know, having done it already.

When you're pregnant for the first time, the big question typically is: What's it going to be like having a human being come out of my vagina? Will it hurt? (Yes. A bit.) But I think the bigger thing to, for lack of a better word, "worry" about is breastfeeding. Giving birth lasts significantly less time than nursing does. (And side note: You can get an epidural to dull the pain of contractions/birth; there's not much that can be done for the pain of sore, cracked nipples [but it goes away -- promise!]).

Like giving birth, you really don't realize what you're in for with breastfeeding. It simply is a learn as you go kind of thing. You can read all the books in the world and take every class within a 10-mile radius of your house, and while it may help, the only way to really know what's going on is through good old-fashioned experience. (Hence, why everyone says nursing is way easier the second time around.)

The one piece of advice I can offer pregnant and new moms in terms of breastfeeding is this: Don't make yourself crazy. Don't stress out about doing everything like the books and the people and the classes tell you. I put way too much pressure on myself to nurse my daughter until the end of time, and it just didn't work out that way. I fully intend on doing it again, should I have another baby, and I have a feeling it'll go a lot easier next time. Know why? 'Cause I'll know what I'm in for. Knowledge is power, ladies.

How did you prepare for breastfeeding?

 

Image via Pacific Coast News