Everyone who discusses breastfeeding tells about the sore nipples and says to just stick with it because it gets better. That’s the standard info we seem to find all over. I told you about my adventures in breastfeeding, and how I now love breastfeeding. Before starting I read a lot about the process, and spoke to moms who had breastfed their children for various length and despite all my research I feel like there was so much left unsaid.
Here are a few things “they” don’t tell you about breastfeeding:
You will be starving and thirsty. All. the. time. – I thought my third trimester appetite was a beast, but it’s nothing compared to my breastfeeding appetite. I can eat full meals one right after another. And I do. As for the thirst…it’s unquenchable. I’m getting my money’s worth from my overworked Brita filter these days.
That whole “you drop weight quick” is a lie – As I write this I’m looking down at a pot belly, after 2 months of exclusively breastfeeding. I look the same as I did a week after giving birth despite breastfeeding on demand. (maybe this is because of my insatiable appetite) Mom’s shouldn’t rely on breastfeeding to take the weight off.
You’ll grow to love it despite the pain – Everyone mentions the nipple pain, but doesn’t explain how awesome breastfeeding becomes after the initial aches. It took about 4 weeks of cracked, raw and tender nipples before things eased up for me. And after this, breastfeeding became a joy to do.
You’ll spend most of your life doing it – Seriously, you can start to feel like breastfeeding is all you do. Especially if you’re feeding on demand instead of on a strict time schedule. You may start to cringe when you notice your baby rooting….45 minutes after you finished his last nursing session. It’s endless.
You’ll be treated like a pariah in public – I’ve never received dirtier looks than when I was in K-Mart nursing my baby boy in public for the first time. And he was under a cover. And I was in a corner! Some women looked at me with simpathy and “aww”ed at me. But the men either looked at me like I was gross or like they were embarrassed to be caught looking at me doing something so “private.”
You’ll catch titty attacks – That’s so not a technical term. It’s the word my husband used to describe my “let down” of milk before I start lactating and leaking. Some women don’t feel their letdowns, and for some women it’s a subtle feeling. For me…it hurts! (The first time it happened I was convinced I had mastitis or something)
Your leaking is irrational – After the letdown usually comes a bit of leaking. For some women it happens when your baby cries, or when it’s time to nurse. For some women, like me, it happens randomly with no rhyme or reason. Wearing nipple pads is a must.
Your baby can “regress” – Rohan was a champion nurser for a good 6 weeks and then suddenly decided to act brand new! He started taking just the tip of my nipple in his mouth (which leads to soreness) and I’d have to readjust him a few times before he’d latch on properly. I googled and apparently that happens to some babies around this time, and again around teething time.
What are some things you discovered about breastfeeding that nobody ever told you?
Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Month!