Now I’m not trying to discourage any of you out there, by any means. Breastfeeding is a totally awesome thing that you can do for your little one. The satisfaction you feel after your baby is full is beyond words. The bond you share with your baby and all that other butterflies and rainbows kind of fun is amazing. There are just some things that I didn’t know before I started breastfeeding and would like to be a gem and share with all of you.
1. Your milk supply, aka baby nourishment, doesn’t come in right away. After you bring that babe into the world, you expect that milk to come flowing in like a gall dang river, your baby suckles and all is well, but not exactly. Do NOT be alarmed if 2, 3 or even 4 days pass and there is no flow. You’re empty. Every woman is different and milk comes in when it is ready to come in. When it does come, it usually comes!
2. It’s just a boob, ya know…so thinks everyone else around you. People you aren’t used to seeing your breasts are going to be up in your boob business. When you are in the hospital trying to get used to this idea of breastfeeding, there will be nurses, lactation consultants and even your mother or mother-in-law right up in your bosom trying to help get the babe attached to you. Um, Awkward…especially if you are the modest type.
2. Breast Enlargement/Engorgement: After your supply comes in, why yes, your breasts do get larger and luscious looking and even though your significant other may like the way your new chest looks, you also may too…for a little while. Heck, your girls look great in low cut shirts now! Having larger breasts isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Your breasts are larger because they are filled with milk and when they get too full, to put it bluntly, they feel like they could be used as weapons…milk taser guns. Eventually when the milk is gone, it’s almost like someone stuck a pin in them to deflate. What goes up, must come down. And trust, they do when all is said and done.
3. Chapped/Chafed/Cracked Nipples=PAIN: Breastfeeding hurts sometimes! If the baby isn’t properly latched on or you are not properly hooked up to the breast pump, that 24/7 breastfeeding job could be ripping apart your breasts.
4. Which leads me to… Breastfeeding is a JOB in itself. You will feel like it is all you are ever doing. After you get done feeding the baby, he/she falls asleep all cozy on your breast, you realize that you didn’t get that baby fed on the other side. So, you aren’t done yet. Guess what time it is, yo? No, it is not time to pump up the jam while your feet are stompin’….it’s time to hook up that breast pump while your babe is slumbering. Pump it up! Then usually just as you are finishing up with the last breast, it’s time to whip those milk machines out to feed that little cherub. And so begins the cycle.
5. Supply isn’t always great. Some women do have problems with supply and when it seems as if your baby isn’t getting enough, it really is okay to top off your baby with formula to keep him/her satisfied until your well fills up.
6. Here’s a myth for ya: You will lose weight so quickly! Heck you won’t even have to work out. Those breasts are working out for you! Sure, there are some health benefits for you while you breastfeed, but don’t expect to drop pounds and pounds just because you are breastfeeding. When you are breastfeeding you are encouraged to eat a healthy diet and keep hydrated and to pay extra special attention to your own health and what you consume. THAT alone will also aid in weight loss, not just the act of breastfeeding. You won’t lose it all because your body will actually KEEP a fat reserve on hand
7. Why don’t guys have breasts full of milk again? You are going to question the birds and the bees. You are going to maybe even question why you are the gender that you are.
8. The guilt and selfishness you are going to feel when you decide to quit breastfeeding. Trust me, you are going to feel this feeling no matter what you do and whenever you decide to do it. Don’t let other moms or lactation nurses make you feel like a loser when you decide to quit. You can’t nurse forever. There will be a time when you quit and you’ll most likely feel some sort of sadness because of it.
9. You are probably going to get annoyed with your partner. They are going to wonder why it is taking you so long to nurse. They are going to immediately think because the baby is crying that they are hungry. They are going to pass the baby off to you without saying a word assuming the baby is wanting to nurse. You are going to want to tell your partner to try whipping out their chest to see if the baby starts rooting around.
10. Your breasts will tingle when you hear your baby cry. Yes, an actual physical response to your baby being hungry! I felt this and was kind of creeped out by it.
So there you have it. Ten things they don’t tell you about breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is a hard, sometimes painful, exhausting job. If you decide to nourish your baby with your milk, kudos to you. If you decide not to or decide to quit for whatever reason, don’t beat yourself up about it.