I thought I was prepared. I took a 10 hour prenatal class covering everything from labor and delivery to postpartum including how to breastfeed. I learned the different breastfeeding positions and how to latch.
Within the first five minutes of seeing my baby girl and trying to breastfeed her, I realized I knew nothing. I should have asked more questions at the prenatal classes. I should have asked my friends who had breastfed their babies.
Here are the top 4 things I wish I had known about breastfeeding.
Related Note: Here are the things I could not live without in my baby's first 6 months. Some of these things are related to breastfeeding. Here are my 6-12 month baby essentials for introducing solids, keeping the baby safe (as she or he is becoming more mobile), and nurturing development.
1) You could get mastitis.
It's a painful feeling of being engorged and it's usually accompanied with the flu. I was lucky to be diagnosed early on. I just so happened to be at the doctor's for my baby's first appointment when she asked how I was doing. I got the antibiotics right away!
2) Breastfeeding hurts!
There's the biting for when the baby starts getting teeth closer to 6 months, but then there's the whole initial learning process. Sometimes it takes time to get the right latch. In the meantime, as you and your baby are learning how to breastfeed, it could be extremely painful. In those first two weeks, I would dread the next breastfeeding session! You just have to get through it. Just know that it won't be as painful in a week or so.
3) You're hungry and thirsty all the time!
After every breastfeeding session, I felt like I had run a marathon. I was constantly drinking water and eating food. One tip is to always have a water bottle and snacks nearby. Drink and eat while your baby's breastfeeding. Don't forget to keep yourself nourished. If you're not healthy, you can't take care of your baby.
4) You might not need nursing pads.
I had no idea that some people just don't leak very much. Save yourself the money and wait to see if you're one of those people. You could always put a small cloth in your nursing bra just in case while you assess whether nursing pads are necessary.
If you want to read more about my journey, check outt www.mommoneymap.com. I write about making and saving more money, frugal living and parenting money tips.