Hey! Congrats mama on the pending arrival of your little bundle of joy. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re at the point where you may be considering if you plan to breastfeed your baby or not. I may be biased but I’ve always been a fan of liquid gold for fresh out the womb little ones for various reasons – one being that I’m a crunchy mommy + I enjoy the road less traveled. However, if you also feel you may not breastfeed, IT IS OKAY! There can be many reasons why a woman chooses to not breastfeed as well. One good reason…
THAT SH*T HURTS!!
Well, for most of us it does in the first couple of weeks. Teehee.
Other than that, with baby comes LOTS of changes within and outside of bodies. Thumbs up for bigger boobs though, right? If you’re planning to breastfeed for the “recommended” 6 months to a year or if you plan to do so exclusively, here are 6 things you’ll need to know – or better yet, expect.
Again, it just may hurt ya!
… in the beginning. No one ever told me this when I had my first born. Then again, it may also not hurt you – it depends, I’m sure. But for most new moms, once our “real milk” begins to come in a few days after baby is born, you should prepare for some engorgement. No woman enjoys pain but the things we do for our babies…
Yes, your boobs will feel full, swollen, and with a newborn sucking on your bosom, a terrible latch along with other things can create a disaster. From sore boobs to cracked and hurting nipples. Ouch! I’ll be the first to say that I don’t remember having this pain with my first kid but with my newborn daughter… O M G! I literally have to re-learn how to breastfeed because of the pain I’ve experienced. After week 2, for many of us – it’ll get better. Like they say, “you gotta push through it – if you can.”
Moisturiz! Practice! Moisturize again!
With cracked and hurting nipples, comes the need to get them healing. You’ll hear time and time again that you should continue to feed through the pain. After all baby still has to learn how to properly latch on without hurting you. Practice makes perfect. For some women, it’s just not worth it and that’s totally understandable. Some mamas try while using nipple shields. You could also pump instead of putting baby to breast for a short time to encourage healing.
If you want, nipple creams such as what hospitals give can be used but there is nothing better than freebies – your own breastmilk. You can express some of your own milk to apply to your nipples to get them back to normal. Almond or olive oil are good too.
Becoming a nudist may be an option
Don’t worry – only do this in the comfort of your own home if you choose. When breastfeeding, you will be partially naked a lot of the time. In my opinion, it’s better this way because you never know with your breastfed baby – they could eat around the clock!
Invest in tank tops and comfy nursing bras too. Those will be your new best friends. Specifically because they will have detachable straps and such to make accessing the boob much easier without you having to destroy your good non-nursing bras. I’m loving these.
Pump for convenience, not for show
So, there seems to be some mommy who-can-pump-the-most-milk cult going on. I’ve seen quite a few women be obsessed with pumping huge supplies of milk to store and show-off. Don’t be that mom. Then again, there are also women concerned with whether they have enough milk for their baby. To me, what you produce is more than enough (unless you’re not caring for yourself properly and drying up).
I think it’s great to be able to breastfeed but to also be able to pump milk when needed for days where you want to get away for a few hours and interact with actual adults or allow daddy to do some extra bonding through bottle feeding. If your insurance won’t cover a pump, this double, electric pump has been the bees knees for me and doesn’t break the bank either!
Stay hydrated mama!
It’s quite obvious, okay. You want to make sure you’re taking care of yourself too. Drink PLENTY of water and always be sure to eat. I drank a lot of water during my pregnancy but slowed down after baby arrived so I had to fix that feeling of dehydration quick.
You can feel a bit woosy after giving away so much to feed baby so keep hydrated at all times and your belly satisfied, even if you choose to eat one big meal a day and snack in between.
Free the nipple!
Don’t be ashamed to breastfeed in public. You’ll be surprised at how quick you end up not caring what others think when you find yourself in a situation where you either forgot a bottle or baby refuses to wait. Do what makes you comfortable though, so although your nipple may be free, it’s okay to cover up if you wish.
I would find it quite rejuvenating to breastfeed in public without a cover-up most times. No one would be foolish enough to say something out of line to your face, right? If they are, this just gives you a great opportunity to burn off some good old post baby stress with shutting them up.