10 Things I Didn’t Know Before I Started Breastfeeding
In this article, I’m going to go over things I didn’t expect and I feel like a lot of women really don’t expect to happen when going into breastfeeding. Cause these are things that no one REALLY tells you about breastfeeding!
So here are 10 things to know about breastfeeding!
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Things I Didn’t Expect When I Started Breastfeeding
SO MUCH LEAKING
THE LEAKING. It was probably silly of me to NOT expect any breast milk leakage, but no one really tells you that your shirt will be drenched (like literally soaked) in your own titty milk. I mean I would leak so much breast milk that Me and Baby would get completely covered in it! Both of us would have to change our clothes sometimes cause we’d get so wet!
And every morning I would wake up with my shirt all milked up and our bed completely wet. Sometimes even Dad became victim to it.
So that’s when nursing pads (and burp rags and receiving blankets) came to the rescue! Breastfeeding pads will save your shirts, your baby, your bed, and yourself!
Your Nipples Won’t Just Hurt…
I knew there would be nipple pain, but they REALLY hurt! And they weren’t just sore they scabbed and bleed. It was no fun.
Now nothing is gonna help with the bleeding and scabbing but, they do make nipple creams to help reduce some of the pain from breastfeeding. I used this organic nipple cream and I really liked it! Of course, it doesn’t take away ALL your pain. It’ll still hurt, just less.
Arm and Back Soreness
It never did occur to me that breastfeeding would be tiring on the arms and back. But after a couple of feedings, I realized how much it actually is on your arms and back!
Even with this tiny newborn baby my arms would get tired and sore. I used pillows at the hospital to help prop the baby and my arms up. Which helped remind me to sit up straight and avoid more back pain!
Then it hit me.
This is why they invented nursing pillows! So when I got home from the hospital I started using this breastfeeding pillow. I love it! It works really well and is my favorite kind of breastfeeding pillow to use!
Milk Over Load!!
I remember when I first started breastfeeding and I was just producing milk like crazy!! I would pump 4-5 ounces every time I pumped! And out of BOTH sides (which I suppose wasn’t a bad thing)!
If my baby didn’t eat when they were ready, my breasts would literally hulk out (it looked like I had muscles for boobs). My skin would get super tight and my breasts would get super firm from all of the milk it had. Then eventually, they would just leak everywhere. It was like this ALL the time.
This is what breast engorgement is and it sucks. And it was pretty painful at times.
I hear a lot of Moms like to use these to help with breast engorgement. I’ve never used them though since I didn’t hear about them til later.
One second it’s regular normal feedings, then out of nowhere, they’re just nursing. All. The. Time. I mean, I thought I wasn’t producing enough milk and baby just wasn’t getting full!
Nope. (Well I guess in a way yes)
Just cluster feeding. Cluster feeding is what happens when the baby goes into a growth spurt and needs more food in his belly. When baby nurses consistently like that, you’ll start to produce MORE breastmilk that your growing baby needs!
Nursing for Comfort
Babies don’t just nurse to eat. They nurse for comfort and to be comforted. When my baby gets scared or sad she wants to nurse every time! This is something I didn’t really expect to be a thing (I really don’t mind though since it makes her feel better). But I suppose it makes sense. They’ve been around us, connected to us, and growing in us for 9 MONTHS!
They are the most familiar with US! And breastfeeding is just another way for them to be close and connected with us again.
This article talks about the psychological benefits of breastfeeding for newborns and mothers.
Yep, the baby is gonna have a favorite side. So even though you may have nursed on your (let’s say) right side last time, the baby probably won’t corporate or will try going to back to the right side again (if that’s their favorite side).
I remember how determined my little baby use to be to ALWAYS nurse on just the one side. She wouldn’t do a feeding, or complete the feeding, and sometimes had trouble latching onto the other side.
But we kept doing both sides and practicing and now no probs with either side. Still has a favorite of course but I can always get her to take either side now with no problems.
Latching Doesn’t Happen Magically
I always heard of women having trouble with this part. But for some reason in my mind, it didn’t apply to me. I had it planted in my head that when she was born we were just gonna breastfeed into the sunset and that she was just gonna latch on right away with no problems what-so-ever.
Hahaha…Oooohhhh silly me.
Well, we did have trouble with latching in the beginning. And it was really upsetting… we were having A LOT of trouble with latching in the beginning. But after much patience and practice, we got it!
So moral of the story is, latching doesn’t magically happen. You’ll probably have some trouble at first with it too. I mean you AND baby have never done this before!
But just remember it WILL happen! And when it does it WILL be magical!
Related Articles: The Secret to Getting the Perfect Latch
Breastfeeding Isn’t Just Hard
We’ve all heard from anyone who has breastfed and all the articles on the internet say that breastfeeding is tough. And it is. But I never expected it to be THAT hard.
I mean having breast and nipple pain is hard. Just trying to learn and figure out breastfeeding is hard. But it’s also hard being the only one getting up every 2 hours all night to feed your baby.
You’re also the one who’s gotta keep track of the feedings, be conscious of what you eat and shouldn’t eat, making sure you’re producing enough, and that they’re getting enough food.
Breastfeeding isn’t just hard. It’s EXHAUSTING. And it IS a commitment.
How Worth it Breastfeeding Really is
I know breastfeeding is hard but it really is worth it. I am so grateful that I chose to breastfeed.
Earlier when I mentioned that “magical moment”, well I had that magical moment. When my baby finally latched on and actually nursed for the first time, the feeling was indescribable. I had such an abundance of happiness, pride, love, accomplishment, and just motherly feeling.
It was just magical!
And I love how I can provide amazing benefits from breastfeeding and bond together all while feeding her. Breastfeeding not only comforts her but it also comforts me as I feel calmer and closer to my baby when we do.
Yes, breastfeeding may be hard and does come with quite a bit but it is (at least for me anyway) sooo worth it. I’m completely happy with the decision I made to breastfeed.
Related Articles: Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby
Related Articles: Must-Have Items for Breastfeeding and Pumping
(Please keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor or breastfeeding consultant/specialist. I am only a Mom who’s going off of her own experiences and research. If you’d like to know more you can read my full disclaimer policy here.)
What’s something that surprised you when YOU started breastfeeding? Let us know in the comments below! And if you liked this post, give it a share! Thanks!
Omg the leaking! I remember being at my gynecologist appointment and I started leaking into the paper gown they had me wear. Lol. She asked if it was time to feed
As I am reading this my 1 y/o is latched to me lol. All of this is so true, I produced so much milk in the beginning. We spent a ton of money on nursing pads. Thanks for sharing.
These are some great breastfeeding tips. Breastfeeding is so much harder that it seems.