10 things I wish I knew about breastfeeding
Coming into motherhood, all I knew about breastfeeding was that it was apparently the best way to nourish my child and that it would help burn the pregnancy weight. All the photographs you see and stories told, paint a fairy tale experience that makes you really want to be part of the club. For the most part, it is, it’s an excellent bonding opportunity for your child. It really does help to burn the pregnancy weight or at least this was true for me. It helped regulate my baby’s temperature when he had slight fevers. It’s not the fairy tale though, there are scenes that the camera failed to take in the presentation of the fairy tale. Here are the top ten things I wish I knew getting in…
- Your nipples will hurt as hell. Especially those first couples of weeks when the baby is learning, sore nipples and for some even cracked nipples are a reality. A good nipple cream is key to help with the soreness and get help if necessary on proper latching to avoid cracked nipples.
- Supply almost never kicks in on day one. I was lucky with an adequate supply the first day, however, this isn’t the case for most people. for some, it takes 3 days to a week for supply to be established. Be patient, the little one will normally do well with the little supply at first, if you are concerned, however, please talk to your pediatrician and lactation expert.
- So much leaking! It is almost never-ending. You leak onto your shirts, leak when you take a shower, leak when your baby starts crying or you even think that the baby’s crying. Just invest in nursing pads. They are the only solution here.
- Boobs squirt milk. It’s actually quite amazing. The milk can literally shoot out of your boobs especially if you have an oversupply. And on to the baby at times. Also, the milk can cause milk rashes on the spots where it lands. Easy treatment for the rashes, the same milk. Just rub it on to the skin the next time it splashes, it will help clear the rashes and help with keeping the skin moisturized.
- Pumping can be tiring. It’s necessary, if you want to have a stash for your baby when you go back to work or have to leave the baby behind, or if you cant breastfeed for whatever reason. However, it’s kinda repetitive, and the best time to pump is recommended somewhere between midnight and 6AM when you are just trying to sleep.
- Breastfeeding dictates what you wear. Everything that you wear while exclusively and primarily breastfeeding while with the baby has to have easy boob access. Also when you aren’t with the baby but will need to pump. Let’s just say over 90% of choosing an appropriate outfit will be governed by easy boob access.
- It is a cause of anxiety. You’ll constantly worry if the baby is latching right and if he/she is getting enough to eat.
- Modesty, what modesty? Sure we have fancy covers nowadays to cover up as we nurse and they work. Well, they work until your child decides they don’t feel like being under the cover and keep trying to get out while screaming. You just get to a point and prioritize feeding your child and let anyone who cares to judge, judge. Maybe the nurses pinching your nipples to check for supply and grabbing your boob as they teach you to breastfeed is them preparing you for this reality.
- Teething and teeth make nipple a chew toy. You don’t know how painful a toothless bite can be until you experience teething for the first time. It’s important to teach the baby not to bite you to avoid this from frequently happening.
- Your food choices are limited. Particularly in those first 3-4 months when your baby’s digestive system is still immature, your food choices will be determined by what may make him/her gassy and what he/she is allergic to. Your meals will also be guided by what maximizes your milk supply.