Everyone has heard that breastfeeding is best for your baby because of a, b, and c. There are a ton of benefits that I could start naming off. Breastfeeding also has some things that no one really tells you about.
Deciding to breastfeed is a wonderful, but hard decision to make because society was used to everyone using formula. With the change back to nature some people aren’t prepared for it.
If you want to check out the benefits of breastfeeding then head over here.
You may have to supplement with formula
When you are at the hospital your milk might not have come in yet. There is no need to panic though. Many women will give their baby formula until their milk starts to come in and then go on to breastfeed exclusively.
Other mothers may need to give their baby formula every now and then just to make sure baby gets enough nutrients. Sometimes mothers themselves don’t get enough nutrients that the baby would need so they decide that formula will add what they lack.
Now do not feel ashamed if you have to supplement for formula at any time! You are a superhero for every session of breastfeeding that you do or have done. Every little bit has helped your baby already and you just want to make sure that they get everything they need to grow healthy.
You will need to take prenatal or supplements
Prenatal vitamins and supplements will help out when you are lacking in nutrients for your baby. You may not like having to remember to take all of these every day, but it is for your baby.
Otherwise, they will steal all of your nutrients and you may start to get weak from losing them. Remember you have to be healthy to be able to take care of them, so make sure you have enough nutrients for you and enough for baby.
Drink a lot of water to produce milk
The biggest thing that you need to produce milk is water. You need to stay hydrated as well for your own health, but you need more for the production of milk.
Just know that your body will keep producing milk even if you aren’t well hydrated. It will try to at least and that will make you feel pretty sick because it is draining as much water from you as possible.
Pumping might be necessary
Pumping breast milk vs directly breastfeeding has pros and cons, but you shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed of pumping. At times it is necessary and you can still directly breastfeed as well. It just makes it easier for other people to help you with feedings and can relieve a lot of pressure on your boobs as well.
You may need to pump if you are going back to work, have too much milk that it is causing you pain, or even if the baby has a hard time latching.
May get pretty painful if not emptied often
If you don’t breastfeed often enough or pump your boobs will swell with milk and it will hurt. When your boobs are full of milk it makes it even more sensitive to even be touched.
Be prepared for the pain of it swelling and the pain just to pump it out or from baby latching. It will feel better afterward but will hurt in the beginning. Try to pump or breastfeed on a regular basis to avoid this.
Your breasts may crack, bleed or get clogged
You boobs are sensitive in general and can be cracked by baby sucking on them. This may lead to bleeding, but don’t be alarmed because it is only natural.
They might even get clogged ducts. This usually is caused by not completely emptying your milk during each session. These may be hard to get out and can hurt while trying to get them out. This may even cause feedings until it gets unclogged to be painful.
Latching is learned
Babies are born with the reflex, but they have to truly learn how to latch properly. It may take time and a lot of practice to even get baby to latch well.
You may have to see lactation consultants to help both you and baby learn to breastfeed. Even if you have breastfed another baby, each baby is different and you might have to relearn for this baby. Be patient with the baby because they are a baby after all.
Latching at night is harder
When you and baby are tired everything gets more difficult. That includes latching. Even if the baby is a pro at latching it might be harder for them at night to get it in the first attempt.
Take deep breaths and be patient. Remember that you got this and you are a superhero for breastfeeding.
Cluster feeding during growth spurts
Your baby may love to cluster feed when they start going through a growth spurt and it may hurt you. The more times you breastfeed the more your body adapts to their needs. So when you up cluster feeding your body produces a lot more milk.
This can hurt once baby cuts back on how much they eat because your body was prepared to feed more than needed now.
Their nails will hurt your sensitive breasts
Once they start getting used to moving their arms and hands they will try to hold your boob. Just like how they would try to hold the bottles if bottle feeding. The problem is that their nails are like daggers even when trimmed which can cause scratches.
Be prepared for some cuts or being pinched from the baby trying to hold onto you.
They may clamp down on your breast
Some babies love to bite down (with or without teeth) on your boob. They might not at times and may at other times. It also depends on the child.
If your baby does this then be prepared for it to happen when they gain teeth as well.
Adjusting their latch can hurt
They might not always latch on perfectly which causes them to adjust their latch. Now you are supposed to get as much of your areola as possible in their mouth.
When they adjust they may take out more and more of your areola. If they get down to just the nipple itself you are going to be in pain.
The pain comes from your nipple hitting the hard palate in their mouth instead of the soft palate.
Babies love to pull on the breast
Babies get tired and need to stretch or change their body position. But they love to do this while still breastfeeding. Which means your boob will get pulled in all sorts of directions just for them to stretch.
This may hurt as well so be prepared. It will hurt even worse if baby only has your nipple in their mouth because they are pulling directly on your nipple.
Your nipples may point in different directions
When breastfeeding your baby pulls on your nipples and if pulled on long enough in a certain direction they will point that way.
You may notice that depending on the positions used for breastfeeding will start to alter where your nipples point. Just know that if you change it up it can go back to being more straight than point outwards or inwards.
There you are!
That is 14 things that they don’t really tell you about breastfeeding. Many mothers have had a huge shock when they found out these things while breastfeeding without being told.
Help out other mothers be aware of what is to come by sharing this post!