Friday, January 17, 2014

Things no one tells you about breastfeeding

So this post is going to get a little real.  I'm going to talk about breastfeeding, so if that makes you uncomfortable, walk away right now.

I am breastfeeding Oliver.  I am fortunate that he took to it well - but that doesn't mean it's without it's challenges.  Yesterday and last night was one of those very challenging moments and it was while I was nursing him after only 2 hours of sleep that this post started writing itself in my mind.  So here are the things no one told me about breastfeeding that I wish I had known.

1. Growth spurts happen and they will be your hardest days and make you want to stop nursing all together.  I'm 90% certain we just went through that and holy crap.  It's like there wasn't enough milk in the world to satisfy him.  Also - after the growth spurt ends, your breasts somehow catch up.  It's strange.

2. Draining an engorged breast - whether by having baby eat or by pumping feels as good as emptying your bladder when you really have to pee or even as good as the big "O".  Yes I just said that but it's so true.  I'm happy when he sleeps longer but holy cow.  Relief when we empty is amazing.

3. You can have an OVERsupply.  They talk so much about you having an under supply and what you need to do to boost your supply - they never tell you that you could have so much milk in one breast that you can end up with it spraying your baby when he pulls off your breast.  Yep, that has totally happened.

4. Drink your water.  They will tell you this in breastfeeding classes and at the hospital but it's not a joke.  I had a day where I didn't drink as much water and guess what - my supply tanked that day.  Flood yourself with water.

5. Breastfed babies still need to burp.  You may think only formula fed babies have problems with gas, but no, breastfed babies can too.  And on that note, Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops are a god send.

There aren't all bad things about breastfeeding though.  Here are some things I love.

6. You really will save money.  I am not putting down formula - I was formula fed in fact - but man alive, the savings for nursing are really not a joke.  We have chosen to do disposable diapers though - sorry Mother Earth, I know - so we do spend a fair amount there, but having to not spend money on feeding him is kind of awesome.

7. Nothing beats the sweet looks you receive when your baby knows he's with you.  I can't get enough of those sweet eyes watching me while he eats.

8. 3:00 am can actually become your favorite time of day.  It's often when he's the most calm while he eats and is in the mood to snuggle.  Sure I'm completely wiped, but it's special time for just he and I.

9. It will help you lose weight.  I know it hasn't worked for everyone....but at my six week post partum check, I was my exact pre-pregnancy weight.

10. You will develop a bond with the baby you just can't put into words.  I was told this before hand but I didn't truly understand it until we started doing it. 

Overall, I am so glad I am able nurse him even with the challenging days like yesterday.  We have never had trouble latching and only had a few days with my oversupply problem that we needed to make adjustments.  I have even mastered the "nursing in public" for the most part and I may even blog some tips about that at some point.  Again, I certainly am not putting down anyone who formula feeds - you do what you need to do to feed your baby, end of story.  We hope to get to a year with breastfeeding if we can, but I'm going to let baby kind of dictate how that goes.  I know they sometimes self-wean when you introduce solids.  We have months to go before that time though!


  1. with both eva and henry i was a cow...and by that i mean i had to often pump after feeding them. when i went back to work and had to pump, i would oftentimes pump 2 full full-sized bottles worth. it was crazy. good points, beth...i totally agree with everything you said! except the losing weight part cause it didn't work for me at all!!

  2. I had no idea about any of this! How informative! :) The more you know...

  3. I'm so glad you're experiencing this natural process with Oliver. I've studied breastfeeding and can't sing its praises high enough. It benefits the baby and the mom in numerous ways, including the bonding you mention. Nature designed us to do this, so it's preferable to using man-made formula. Great post, Beth!

  4. I love real posts like this. I'm so happy you get to experience all of these things with your baby boy!

  5. Did you notice as your baby sleeps through the night more that you sure leak a lot? I did. Yes nobody mentioned oversupply. Yesterday I had some spraying all the way to the crib a few feet away. In the past 12 hours I've soaked through 6 nipple pads. Oh what fun.

    Another thing nobody told me was that I'd wear a bra 24/7 and get sick of it.


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