This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and then make a purchase, I may get a small commission from that sale, at no extra cost to you.
As I sit here nursing my seven month old reminiscing about the challenges we faced in the beginning of our breastfeeding journey, I felt compelled to turn all these thoughts into written words.
As a first time mom, I was inundated with the opinions and unsolicited advice from many, but these right here are 39 truths about breastfeeding no one prepared me for.
If you're a new mom, old mom, any mom really, .. and you're struggling with breastfeeding... please know YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
- You will have sore nipples, so sore.
- Breastfeeding may not come naturally.
- Baby might latch right out of the womb, like a freaking pro.
- Baby might not latch at all.
- It is a learning process – for both you and baby. Remember, baby has never breastfed before either. Have grace.
- You might cry (read: sob) while nursing your baby (mostly from the toe-curling pain but also, hormones).
- You might have an oversupply.
- You might have an undersupply.
- You might have to pump. Most health insurances have to provide moms-to-be with a FREE breast pump. Make sure to take advantage of that and get your free pump just in case you need to use it later on. In this post I explain step by step how to get a free breast pump from your health insurance.
- You might have to formula feed.
- The challenges will mess with your mental health.
- You will love feeding times.
- You will dread feeding times.
- Your overactive let down might cause baby to choke on milk. He'll cough, he'll spit, he'll push away from the boob. Give it time, they eventually grow bigger and can handle the flow. In this post I talk about how I managed my overactive let down and what were some tips that helped me and baby!
- Tethered oral tissues can affect breastfeeding. Tongue ties and lip ties make it very painful for you, and baby can't feed effectively. Get them checked out.
- You might be doing everything right and baby still won't gain back their birth weight in a week.
- Your nipples will leak when a baby cries. Any baby, not just your baby. And you'll freak out the first time it happens. This is real look it up. It happened to me.
- Everyone will see your boobs, and you won't even care anymore.
- You won't want to wear a shirt, and even less so, a bra for weeks after delivery.
- Nipple shields can be very helpful for when you do have to go out in public and are forced to wear a bra/shirt (I'm looking at you, baby's first doctor's appointment two days post delivery).
- Showering is going to hurt. Wear a sports bra or nursing bra to protect your sore nips.
- Nipple cream is your best friend. Apply it from day one. Don't wait.
- You may leak from the non-nursing boob and waste a ton of milk. Get a haakaa.
- When baby starts sleeping for longer stretches – you can get mastitis or a plugged duct.
- Mastitis feels like your dying.
- Breastfeeding may become your absolutely favorite part of motherhood.
- Breastfeeding may become your least favorite part of motherhood.
- Breastfeeding might go effortlessly flawless for you.
- Breastfeeding might be the most difficult part of motherhood for you.
- You might have a rough start and end up breastfeeding past a year.
- You might have no challenges and still want to quit after six weeks.
- It can get better.
- It does get better.
- Breastfeeding might not work out.
- None of it is your fault.
- None of it determines your worth as a mom.
- Your baby will still grow up loving you.
- The health benefits of breastfeeding are worth the challenges - but losing your inner peace and mental wellness is not. A fed baby with a happy mama is what is best. Don't lose sight of that.
- You're doing great mama.
Tell me mama friends, can you relate to any of the things on this list?
What would you add?
Breastfeeding is not all rainbow and butterflies. Sometimes it's pain, sweat and tears - let's normalize that. <3