what no one tells you about breastfeeding but you need to know

My Experience

It hurts – like a lot.  No I’m not kidding it’s not all joy and bliss like you see other women out carrying on a conversation like normal while her child quietly nurses under a tent.  Well we can get to that but not at first.

WILL FEEL LIKE RAZOR BLADES!!!!  Especially the first week or two and then will be okay as long as the latch is good.  HOWEVER you need to be prepared with the right equipment otherwise you will be depressed & quit.

A girl in my pre-natal class had her baby first thank god and luckily I went to visit her a couple days before I delivered.  Why you ask?  Because she was honest – the first thing she said was ” breastfeeding really hurts – it’s like your slicing off your nipple with a knife.”  So I was like in my head . . . no she can’t be doing something right . . . that’s not possible no one tells you that . . . maybe she has a low threshold of pain I won’t be like that surely.  But that phrase stuck in my mind so I was mentally prepared for the possibility that this thing I’m supposed to do so naturally may kind of hurt.

Well I’m here to tell you the truth – it felt like razor blades were slicing my nipples no joke. Now I’m telling you this so 1 you don’t get freaked out when it happens like something is wrong with you and 2 because it does get better to the point it can just be a minor discomfort or unnoticeable depending on the latch.  Once you try it you will completely understand why there are sooo many women who stop breastfeeding after 3 or 4 weeks – I’m pretty sure it’s like 60% of those who started stop by then.  So pain is the first hurdle before you can even get to whether or not you are producing enough milk etc.

What I did: 

  • Position – I found a position in the hospital with the help of the midwives that I liked with a pillow in front of me and my baby laying on her side on top of it and then when I was home I used my widgey pillow.
  • Nipple shields – must have, to allow you to feed when it’s so sore you want to cry and scream and you have cracking/bleeding.  I went 2 days in a row using these to get back to feeling okay and havent needed them much since because I pump during the day to save my nipples and nurse 2-3 times only at night.
  • Breast pads – I bought the Bamboobies washable day & night pack which I have used at night a couple of times & will need to keep the day ones in my bag in case I’m out for a while & may leak I did have to use the nighttime ones for the first couple weeks while your body sorts out how much milk to produce.
  • Nipple cream – absolute must the first 3 weeks.  Use it after every time you feed & make sure its in your hospital bag.  I use Honest & co nipple balm which I can’t complain about other than it’s a little greasy & leaves stains on my cotton night bras but they get trashed anyway!
  • Breast pump – I started using it because my baby was deemed a ‘barracuda’ for her feeding style in What to Expect the First Year.  Pumping allowed me to skip nursing her and give her a bottle of expressed milk instead allowing my nipples a much-needed longer period of healing and rest.
  • Night Bras – I have 2 night-time bras that are like a wrap top and super comfortable (Pea in the Pod) I would highly recommend as the regular clip ones are a pain in the middle of the night & you’ll need support with HUGE boobs!
  • Bathrobe – while I was still breastfeeding at night I wore a bathrobe to bed over my sleeping bra. The reason I did this was because there was no easy way to breastfeed with a shirt over the bra without having to pull it up and fidget and if you bought a top or pjs with a built-in breastfeeding bra it was clips which are annoying at night and wasn’t supportive enough and I wasn’t going to wear that over my sleeping bra. So I recommend two bathrobes regardless because you will need them to answer the door in your pjs and there will always be one that has baby puke on it. I didn’t mind sleeping in a bathrobe for two months I just wished I’d had a lighter one so I got this Victoria’s Secret one as well.
  • Day bras – I have 2 supportive clip bras I wear everyday WITH underwire even though everyone says not to let’s face it they are waay more supportive and saggy boobs happen when your ligaments have no support so I’d rather prevent the saggy boobs later on & I’ve had no issues with my breast tissue being affected.

 

Tell me if this has helped you prepare at all or your breastfeeding experience or tips!

 

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