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I Wish I Had Known That Breastfeeding Was Not Always Rainbows And Kittens

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Well, I made it. We made it. My son officially passed his one-year mark and we are still going strong with our nursing relationship. For mom’s who breastfeed, you know this is a huge accomplishment. The road was not always easy and even though he is my second child, he was my first exclusively breastfed. My older son never quite figured out the “latching” thing, and I was a clueless new mom who felt like a fish out of water. I spent all my time preparing for his birth – that I forgot to learn how to feed him after. I was under the assumption he had that part covered. I was wrong. Lesson learned the second time around.


(photo credit: Sylvia Stutz Photography)

Knowing what I know now, I wish I would've pushed through or at least had thought to ask more questions. I also wish someone would've told me what to expect the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Because I was a bit blind-sighted, I thought I would share my experiences with you. Hopefully this will minimize any surprises because as a new mom – don’t we have enough of those already?

What to expect when breastfeeding:

  • In the beginning it hurts. Like hell. Then after a few weeks it gets better – much better. Eventually the numbness sets in and the pain subsides, so power through momma. You can do it!
  • Know that every day you’ll eat like it’s Thanksgiving. You lose a ton of calories a day just from nursing, so you’ll feel famished all the time. Take advantage of the vast amount of calories you'll lose and sneak in some cake.
  • There will never be enough water to quench your thirst. Keep a bottle of water by your bed because you’ll wake up feeling as if you spent all night crawling through the Sahara.
  • Be sure to line your bra with nursing pads. It’s all fun and games until you look down and see two large wet spots.
  • One breast will always be bigger than the other and it’s very noticeable, especially after you nurse.
  • When you experience the “let down” your nipple becomes a shower head and anything in its path will get sprayed – beware.
  • Your breasts will never be the same again. Let the dream go.
  • When your breasts are full they can knock out Evander Holyfield with one hit.
  • Prepare yourself for Mastitis or clogged ducts. It feels like the flu – times a thousand. If you feel like your breasts are on fire and they start to turn red DON’T wait, get on antibiotics immediately. Keep nursing, massaging, and use a heating pad.When teeth come into play don’t scream when they bite you because it makes them bite harder. Learned that one from experience.
  • When they become mobile, nursing sessions turn into baby acrobatics complete with thrashing arms and legs.
  • All of the above are worth it because of the indescribable bonding experience. Those precious moments will stay in your heart forever.

I know my nursing days are coming to a close and I will admit the thought makes my heart heavy. I’ll miss when he holds my hand or rubs my face during sessions, and I’ll miss the feeling of being truly needed. I know my schedule and body will eventually thank me once the floodgates are closed, but until then I’ll just continue to savor the bonding – and eat lots of cake.


(photo credit: Sylvia Stutz Photography)

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