Little B is almost 3 months old. That means every single day, multiple times a day, I’ve put her at my breast to feed and nourish her. After the first few goes at it, you tend to get to know the ropes and it becomes second nature. Here are six things that I’ve learned from my very short time breastfeeding.
It can hurt
But then it gets better! For the first 6 weeks or so, every single latch made me wince in pain. My body would tighten up, my face contort, and sometimes I would cry. My nipples started flaking skin, and from the second day, they were cracked and bleeding. Regardless of what they say, it wasn’t due to poor latch. In fact, the midwives were very impressed at how quickly Little B got the hang of it. Imagine someone giving you a hickey in the same place every day multiple times a day – there would be some kind of damage, yeah?Breastfeeding
Thankfully, one of the midwives at the hospital suggested lansinoh cream. That stuff is the bomb. Healed everything within hours. No more cracking or bleeding. Sah good y’all! I eventually discovered that putting a hot compress on my boob before offering Little B a feed helped immensely with the pain.
Your Boobs Go Rock Hard Your Milk Comes In
Pretty much what it would feel like to have implants.
The ‘Let Down’
While I was pregnant I kept hearing the words ‘let down’. I never knew what this was…and then I started breastfeeding. Basically, it’s when the hormones are released to signal to your body to A) to push the milk through to the nipples for baby to drink and B) to produce more milk. For me, it happens in BOTH breasts meaning the unoccupied boobie leaks everywhere. It also hurts. But it’s a different hurt to the latching hurt. I spoke a few of the ladies in my mothers-group meetups and none of them said they could feel their letdown happening. Maybe a slight tingling sensation, but other than that, nothing.
It’s hard to explain, but for me, it’s like an uncomfortable, heavy, pull; like all of my milk is trying to squeeze itself into a tiny space really quickly. Yeah..that sounds about right. Moral of the story, no matter what type of let down you get, it causes some kind of hurt.
It can get boring
Some babies take 15 minutes to finish a feed, some take over an hour. No matter how long it takes, after the first couple of weeks, the wondrous uncertainty wears off and it just becomes a tad monotonous. Your smart phone is now your best friend. I will be the first to admit that I’ve hurried Little B with a feed or two just because I got SO BORED #guilty (TIP: don’t do it. They’ll wake up 30 minutes later hungrier than before and you’ll have to start the process all over again).
You worry if your baby gets enough milk, you worry if you’re producing enough, you worry if you’re eating the ‘right’ foods, you worry if baby is latched properly. Breastfeeding is this crazy emotional roller coaster where you second guess pretty much EVERYTHING to do with it because everyone has a different opinion that they’re trying to enlighten you with. Just trust your mama-instincts. No one knows you and your baby like you do.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Doing it in Public
Regardless of what anyone else says, your baby has a right to food (hello, basic human right??) and if you have the food in your lady pillows of goodness, you have a right to flop them out and offer them to your baby wherever you happen to be. In Australia, there are laws protecting the rights of women to freely breastfeed in public places. Any place that discriminates against you or asks you to move/leave/stop is BREAKING THE LAW.
Breasts are primarily made for feeding babies, their secondary function is for fun times. I decided when I was pregnant that no matter what, I would never shy away from breastfeeding my baby when I needed to. I wanted to do it for all the women out there who feel ashamed or uncomfortable because society has placed some sort of taboo on a completely natural act. Parading them around in a sparkly diamante studded bra to sell beer is not a natural act. But which one is considered ‘indecent’? Most of the time, it’s breastfeeding #logic
So there you have it! Six things I’ve learned in the three short months I’ve been breastfeeding. What do you think? Did I miss something? What are some things that you’ve learned about breastfeeding?