9 Things Everyone Should Know About Breastfeeding
A few weeks ago we found out I’m pregnant! Among the hundreds of thoughts floating around in my brain, breastfeeding this new baby is one of them. At this point, I have had one baby and I breastfed him until he was 15 months old. Overall, I would say breastfeeding was a wonderful experience for me. Now that I am pregnant again, all of my initial worries and concerns about breastfeeding are back in full swing when thinking about feeding this new babe.
1. Breastfeeding was a full-on mind game for me for the first little bit.First was the nurse handing me my babe when I was going to try feeding him for the first time, and she had barely started telling me what to do when my little guy just took matters into his own hands and started eating like a pro. Definitely not what I was expecting. Second, was when I woke up from a nap the next morning and sat up to find my breasts incredibly heavy from my milk coming in. That’s not a moment you forget. Third, I was discussing a slight concern to a nurse and she oh-so-casually said I had an inverted nipple. A what?! I had never heard of such a thing and certainly didn’t know I myself had one. Apparently he would be able to ‘fix’ this by sucking on it enough. This all took place in the first 24 hours of being a mom! Such a new world.
2. How often do I need to feed him?I had multiple nurses and my pediatrician tell me to feed baby every three hours, even if that meant waking him up, for the first two weeks of his life. I stuck with this rule as best I could, but it was rough! Luckily, this was only for the first few weeks of his life to ensure he was getting enough and gaining enough, fourteen days-easy peasy.
3. Are you sure he's getting enough?One nice thing about bottles is the ounce markers on the side. These let you know how much there was to start with and exactly how much baby has eaten. If only breasts could have some sort of measurement besides ‘extremely full’ (and painful) and ‘empty’. There’s no way to know exactly how much baby is getting and at times that can be very stressful! But after a little time, and trust that my babe was doing just fine, my stress level lowered and I quickly began to enjoy the process a whole lot more.
4. Pumping is not always necessary.
Medela Pump In Style Metro Bag
Finding time to pump in between feedings was tricky for me! Even though I love the pump I have, I didn’t pump often. Being at home all day didn’t require me to need milk on hand all the time. The Medela Breast Pump Accessory Set has some great items which definitely make pumping easy and doable, they are amazing products that I would use them all the time if I needed!
5. Is this weird?I had a hard time not feeling really weird as this newborn child drank milk from me, until one day my husband reminded me that breastfeeding is one of the most natural actions in the entire world! After that I wasn’t as weirded out. Our bodies are amazing!
6. Sometimes, it hurts. A lot.I never got cracked or bleeding nipples like some of my friends, but even still, the first little bit HURTS! Especially in the first couple of days. Not only were my nipples sore, but breastfeeding causes the uterus to shrink down which means more painful cramping! Luckily there’s medicine for cramps and a beautiful thing called time, which got me used to the new sensation and my nipples were used to it in no time!
7. Never ending hunger and thirst!I swear I was parched if I didn’t have a glass of water near while nursing. And keeping healthy snacks around the house became a must! On the flip side, I could eat and eat and eat and throughout the duration of nursing my metabolism was on point. Speaking of food, I was amazed at how picky my little buddy was when it came to what I was putting in my mouth. Milk products made him fussy, broccoli made him gassy, and he hated the taste of my milk after I had eaten something with even the tiniest amount of garlic in it! As with any food issue, I decided the effects weren’t worth it and after that decision was made, it wasn’t hard for me to opt out of certain food options.
8. No sleep can be a good thing.I’ve heard from a few people that their babies don’t sleep through the night until they’re done breastfeeding. While this proved to be true for me as well, I happened to love and cherish the time spent in the nursery in the early hours of the night with my cuddly babe while the world slept. He’d fall right back asleep, I’d fall right back asleep, and all was well.
9. The nursing cover can be fun. Or not.
Covering up in public wasn’t always the most fun, but after a little practice I got it figured out. Or I just wasn’t in public around feeding time! But can I tell you how excited I am for new babe just for the excuse to buy me a Covered Goods Multi-Use Nursing Cover?? I don’t know why these weren’t around with my first, but you can bet I’ll have at least one on me at all times with number two!