6 Tips They Don’t Tell You About Breastfeeding
How mothers are going to feed their baby is a hot topic in motherhood and everyone has an opinion on the best way to nourish their little one. Many say “breast is best” while others say “fed is best”.
Disclaimer: I’m not here to persuade you to either side. I merely want to give you a reality check on the process of breast feeding. There were many things I was shocked about when I first started breast feeding and I want to eliminate that shock factor for you.
Overall, I have enjoyed the breastfeeding experience and when done right there are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding for the baby and the mother. Breast feeding can be a very positive experience and I recommend it to any mother who wants to do it.
This is only my experience and the experience of other mothers I have talked to.
Here are the expectations versus reality of breastfeeding. The things no one tells you about.
Expectation: Mothers who breastfeed talk about breast feeding like it’s the easiest thing in the world. I thought it was the most convenient and comfortable thing as a woman. Before I had my son I didn’t think about the aestethics of breast feeding. I thought I could wear what I wanted, when I wanted and milk was a portal that would only flow out when the baby was latched on. I heard that your breast will leak at times, but only for the first month.
Reality: Your breast will leak everywhere! I have been breast feeding for 6 months and they still leak at the most inconvenient times. There is a constant hassle to wear breast pads to ensure your shirt isn’t soaked when you go to that event you’ve been waiting for. Some women even have to worry about leakage when a baby cries that is not their own. Your baby may not even be around and your whole situation can be exposed. Leaking is a real issue and has to always be considered.
Insider Tip: Get some breast pads that stay in place and last throughout the day for leakage. Lansinoh breast pads worked wonders for me. Need some? Click here.
Expectation: The expectation is that your baby can just switch back and forth from the bottle to the breast at their leisure. After being home for 6-8 weeks and going back to work; the baby will just adapt and start taking a bottle at daycare. It is completely effortless for babies to take a bottle after being breast fed for weeks.
Reality: Bottle feeding a breast fed baby is a TASK! You have to train them to take a bottle and be consistent in doing so. If you do not introduce the bottle at just the right time and keep introducing it on a consistent basis your baby will completely reject the bottle. My son would go hours without food just so he could eat from the breast.
Expectation: They always claim breast feeding is such a great bonding experience between the mom and baby. The baby and mother stare into each other’s eyes the entire feeding as he drifts off to sleep. The baby and mother will be inseparable and he can smell her when she walks in the room. Because she breast feeds the baby knows her and only her.
Reality: While breastfeeding can initially be a mutual bonding experience between you and baby eventually it turns into a one way street. The baby will want to breastfeed for comfort, such as when they’re teething, and you will want to do other things.
I usually will multi task while breastfeeding , so sitting and staring into his eyes while he drifts off to sleep sounds promising but not realistic most of the time. Also, the baby will want to feed on any breast they see, they will not always wait until mom is around to try and go for the gold.
Finding a Babysitter
Expectation: It takes a village to raise a child. It is so wonderful that mothers are able to have their child’s grandparents and other family and friends to help with the baby and give them a day off. Even though the baby is breastfed it is so easy for them to handle her when she gets hungry and the mother doesn’t have to think about breastfeeding while she is out of her sight.
Reality: Whether you are with the baby or not, worrying about whether he/she has eaten is a constant thought. If you are exclusively breastfeeding the baby eats more often which in turn means you have to be there when she is hungry. You can’t get more than a 3 hour break before getting a call that your child needs to eat. This can be very inconvenient.
In addition, your breast can become engorged and start to leak if the baby doesn’t feed for long periods of time which can be very uncomfortable. In the first few months, it is easy for you to lose your milk if the baby is not feeding on a consistent basis.
Insider Tip: Pumping is a great way to have other people feed the baby. The Lansinoh pump is great! I read so many reviews I wasn’t sure what to do but I’m so glad I got this one. The suction is great. Just click here to get one for yourself.
It’s Hard to Wear Cute Clothing
Expectation: After being pregnant for months, it is great for moms to be able to wear whatever they want. They have slowly started to lose the baby weight and are able to wear what they want including cute bras with all the frills. It is great they are able to feel like themselves again, right?
Reality: My wardrobe is very limited when breastfeeding. I have to consciously think about what I wear. It is a lot more convenient to wear nursing bras, tank tops, and loose clothing so that I can breastfeed in peace at the drop of a hat. It is also better to wear dark clothing in case some milk leaks through. I thought it was difficult to find something to wear before pregnancy; It is nearly impossible now!
Insider Tip: Find a good nursing bra that is supportive and comfortable. It will save you so much heartache later. These worked great for me. Just click here.
Breast Feeding in Public
Expectation: When you watch movies or commercials it seems so simple to breast feed in public. The mother always has a blanket over their shoulder and the baby is eating in complete silence and no one has any idea what is going on. Easy, right?
Reality: Most babies hate being covered up while eating. If they are hungry they will cry very loudly and everyone will watch as you try to quiet them down and get them situated to eat. If you try to cover up, they will grab the blanket and throw it around making it even more awkward. Even if you are able to cover up, babies drink milk loudly and they will let you know they enjoy it, so everyone around you knows what is happening.
Is there anything that surprised your when you started breastfeeding? Comment below!
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