Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Things they don't tell you about breastfeeding.

  • It hurts. Everyone may tell you that it can be painful, especially at first, but they're referring to the actual pain of breastfeeding from the baby latching on, sensitivity, etc...  I'm referring to the pain that occurs when you are nursing in the first few days after birth, the pain of your uterus contracting back to shape.  Of course, everyone would love for their uterus to return to normal, but sweetmotherofGod, I felt like I wanted to beg for an epidural for my waist up for the times I had to nurse Liam in those first 3 days or so.  I vaguely remembered being uncomfortable with Jake (but I was also all drugged up on the magnesium drip, so my entire memory of those first few days is very foggy), but nothing like what I had with Liam.  It was so bad that at one point on day 2, I actually asked a nurse if I was ok when she came by to do rounds. I really thought that I was hemorrhaging or something, it just didn't feel like what was going on could be considered normal.  Her response was, "Oh honey, totally normal with #2. In fact, it actually gets to be MORE painful for each child.  I just had a woman in here last week who was on baby #4; she was literally screaming into a pillow and clutching the bed rails with each feeding.  Could I get you some more ibuprofen, that would help!"  Um...yes, please to the ibuprofen, no thank you to baby #4 with the screaming, writhing pain.
  • You will feel like you're starving to death.  If people think that pregnant women can put food away, they have never witnessed a breastfeeding mother do some serious damage to a pantry.  It makes sense; you can burn up to 700 calories a day from breastfeeding, so you have to replace that somewhere!  And I felt like I needed to replace those calories every hour or so.  I was hungry all.the.time.  My advice to new breastfeeding mothers is to have lots and lots of snacks nearby, and make sure you can easily consume them with just one hand.  Oh, and always check your baby's head after your snack sessions; I will not admit to the number of times I would find a stray piece of cheese or pretzel somewhere on the kids.
  • It's hard to stop.  Liam easily dropped his mid-morning and mid-afternoon bottles the week of his 1st birthday (and didn't seem to miss nursing at those times a few days later when the weekend rolled around).  So that left us with him nursing when he woke up and at bedtime.  I didn't really have a plan for dropping either of those, but he actually stopped nursing at wake up on his own.  One day he just started playing with Jake when he woke up, never got fussy for it, and was content to just eat breakfast instead.  So we dropped that one and never looked back. He's now 13.5 months and still nursing before bedtime, and honestly, I don't know who between the two of us is the one holding onto that session.  I'm sure for him it's just become a part of his bedtime routine, and for me, it's become something that gives me guaranteed quiet time every evening, with this child who is becoming less and less of a baby with each passing day.  Could I stop soon?  Probably. Do I want to?  I'm not sure yet.


Parental Control Software said...

Well breastfeeding is best for babies.

Sara said...

Stopping was tough for me too...Great job, Emmy,

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