I read with interest an article in this month's Readers Digest about breastfeeding (BF), entitled "Call this easy?".
Personally, being a breasfeeding mom myself, I agree with the author that BF can be painful and difficult, even to the stay-at-home moms. To breastfeed successfully and exclusively you need to have a very high commitment and belief in yourself that you can do it.
Just imagine in the early life of the baby, feedings can be up to 12 times in 24 hours. That is apart of other common problems. While you need time to rest after the giving birth and, if you have other children, to look after them too, you have to wake up at night several times to feed the babies. What's more if you do not have anyone else to help you with the household chores and what not.
Despite the awareness among moms of its benefits, the number of babies who are breastfed exclusively up to the age of 5 months are only 3%, according to a statistic in the UK. The number in Malaysia, I think, must be higher than the UK, but not very high too. I observe that by relative, not many, even those who stay at home, breastfeed their babies exclusively.
So, yes, breastfeeding is not easy. As the author of the article put it, it is natural thing but it is not instinctive. However, given the benefits of it to the baby and the mother as well, it's worth a sacrifice.