Another guest post for all of my past brides who are expecting their first (or second) child… by my Mom! As a mother of six, I consider her to be an expert. Hopefully one of her six stories will help make the process a little easier so you to know what to expect when you are expecting.
6 things they don’t tell you about breast feeding:
So you want to try breastfeeding your new baby? Congratulations on a great decision. I do believe all the hype about bonding and nutrition and immunities and allergies. I believe it, because I tried to breast feed my 6 babies. All are very healthy adults.
My decision to feed baby #1 was because it was a very cheap way to feed my daughter. George was in the Army, and the pay was lousy. Back in the early 70’s, no one breast-fed her baby. They didn’t know much back then. Since the Angels were smiling on this ignorant 19 year old, All went really well the first time.
- Prepare!! Start toughing up your nipples a couple of months ahead of time. Rub them up good and then use lanolin. It does seem to help a little to get you through the first months. Otherwise, you may hurt and bleed. It is not unusual for that to happen. There are a ton of blogs and resources that will offer modern solutions to this part of breastfeeding.
- Baby 2 hurt like hell. He would latch on so hard I would pass out. We tried a shield, but that didn’t really help at all. So I bought the only available breast pump at the time. It was manual and half glass, and never worked. I would pump and pump, and get half an ounce. Do not waste your $$ on those. Go ahead and get a really good electric set. If you plan to go back to work, get the extra bottles and start filling them as soon as you can. The best way is to pump right after the baby feeds, continuing for 10 -15 minutes after there is no more milk. Then freeze it.
- Some babies are poor nursers in the beginning. They may be super sensitive, or sleepy, or regurgitators. That is exhausting! They want to feed every 1-2 hours for weeks. Keep pumping, or you will get monster rock hard boobs that will not let you touch them, and nipples that don’t want to fit in your baby’s mouth! Pump so daddy can feed the baby and let you have a 3-hour nap.
- Nursing in public is an art. Blankets are OK but they can slip down, blow off, etc. I found a really nice nursing cover for my daughter at an on-line place called Mother’s Lounge. It has a plastic curved rod in the top to allow you to see what you are doing, and a strap that goes around your neck so it stays on.
- Work places should allow you to pump somewhere cleaner than the rest room. An empty office is good.
- Make your own decisions on how long to nurse. If you are tired and stressed, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty if you decide to stop. If your milk dries up, it is nature’s way of saying stop. If it hurts too much, it is OK. Just like your pregnancy and delivery, this is your body, not hubby’s, girlfriend’s, or grandma’s body.
Oh, and be sure to kiss that sweet baby for me,
~ Yach Y Da!
(Here’s to you – in Welsh)