5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Breastfeeding
Looking back on this past year, I was just thinking how incredibly grateful I am for the past 17+ months of breastfeeding my son... Today I'm reflecting back on my breastfeeding journey + sharing 5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Breastfeeding. I poured my heart and soul into this one & I hope it encourages you on your own breastfeeding journey or brings back fond memories of when your own baby was little!
5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Breastfeeding
#1 Breastfeeding is actually kind of hard!
It takes so much discipline and sacrifice, but every second is absolutely worth it. Anyone who tells you otherwise, either has never breastfed or just doesn’t remember correctly! It’s definitely a commitment. But if your able and willing, I think it’s one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and your baby. The special bond. The amazing health benefits for both mama and baby. And the extra time spent together is absolutely more than worth every late night pumping session, sore nipple, milk blister, or millionth nursing bra you try on!
#2 A good nursing bra is everything!
When I was pregnant, like most expecting mamas, I quickly outgrew my existing bras and had to invest in a few new ones for the remainder of the nine months. I never gave it a second thought or felt guilty because I figured I would still wear them after baby arrived. I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that I would also need a few nursing bras, but I didn’t think I would be wearing them all day long. Haha, so naive. Even if my husband and I did go on a date night or I spent some time away from baby (which let’s be honest happened maybe twice in baby’s first 6 months of life... a topic for another post, haha) I still wanted to be ready to nurse baby as soon as we got home and running to my closet to change into a different bra the minute I got home seemed kind of ridiculous! So while I spent money on new bras for the 9 months of pregnancy, I only got 2 nursing bras bras for what’s ended up being a 17+ month journey of breastfeeding! Eventually I upgraded and finally found some great nursing bras, but man I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I know they’re crazy expensive, but you’re more than worth it and I promise it’ll make you feel so much better!
#3 Cluster feeding is a real thing!
Cluster feeding: when a newborn baby nurses pretty much constantly for hours on end... This may not be true for everybody, but my little guy went through a cluster feeding phase around 2 months old where he would eat for 30-45 minutes every hour on the hour from 5 - 10 pm every night. I felt like I had enough time for bathroom breaks and maybe a quick snack. I actually really enjoyed those quiet evenings at home. My husband and I would just relax and watch tv or marvel at how amazing our little baby boy was, but they definitely caught me by surprise and I sometimes wondered if I was producing enough milk. It was so reassuring to learn that it’s completely normal. It also helped that I knew to expect it to continue for a few weeks, so I could be prepared with some snacks, food, or the tv remote before the cluster feeding began every night.
#4 Your boobs will change— like a lot.
Engorgement, saggy boobs, bigger boobs, boobs that fluctuate in size, dark veins, painful lumps, milk blisters... the list goes on. Some of these things I expected (bigger boobs) and some of them were only temporary (engorgement and milk blisters) but some of them completely surprised me! Not everyone experiences all of these things, but becoming a mama definitely changes you in more ways than one. And when it comes to the amazing things our bodies can do as women — like grow a baby and then produce the exact food baby needs to nourish and grow — I think it’s best to celebrate the magnificent changes our bodies have gone through and embrace the reminder they leave for us of how amazing we are as women (even if that reminder is saggy boobs and all).
#5 Breastfeeding is like experiencing a little tiny miracle everyday.
After 7+ years of ongoing chronic health struggles and so many things that my body still can’t do yet, the fact that my body was/is able produce the exact food that my baby needs to nourish and grow is nothing short of a miracle. And every time I look down and see him comforted and satisfied as he nurses, I’m reminded of this amazing miracle of breastfeeding and how grateful I am that I get to experience it.
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