Saturday, March 28, 2015

What No One Tells You About Breastfeeding

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed here are all opinions and not necessarily facts.

1. Breastfeeding Hurts

I don’t care what anyone says!! Good latch or not, in the beginning it does hurt! 

When I first started breastfeeding Christian, it was hard, he didn’t want to nurse at all! When he finally latched it was wonderful!! Then a few days in I started getting pain. Horrible fist clenching, lip biting pain!! IT HURT! Yet LC’s would say that breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt and the pain that I was feeling was due to a bad latch. Boy, did I want to quit. No matter how he latched nothing seemed to subside the pain I felt. I dreaded feeding my newborn, knowing that soon I would feel utter pain. I even cried! It was really that bad! But I didn’t quit! I pushed through it! After 3 weeks, the pain lessened until there was none at all! I convinced myself that I must have gotten used to his bad latch. We went on to breastfeed for 19 months! Woo-hoo!

…AND queue in Alice. I thought to myself, heck yea it’s going to be EASY this second time around! I got this!!! She latched right away, super eager to eat. I was IN LOVE!! I was elated! All seemed to be going perfect. Then again… a few days in… the pain! It seriously felt worst the second time around! I was no pro! Those 19 months of breastfeeding Christian meant nothing! Was it my breasts preventing a good latch?! LC’s said the same: Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt, its a bad latch. DAMN IT kids! Why can’t you latch right?!? So I waited and guess what? The pain subsided. Did I get used to it again? Yes and No. Seriously, my kids have an awesome latch, the problem is that your nipples will be sore when you first start breastfeeding. Some more than others! I hated hearing that its not supposed to hurt, it seriously made me want to quit because I felt like a failure at breastfeeding! 

Do a search on “sore nipples while breastfeeding” or “breastfeeding hurts”. I can guarantee you that many other women experience the same thing. Every women is different, no advice is going to be a one size fits all! And yes, some pain will be due to a bad latch but I believe it is common for women to initially feel the pain of sore nipples when they first breastfeed. ADMIT IT LCs!!! 

2. Breastfeeding Makes Some Nauseous and Depressed

You know… breastfeeding.. yeah well it makes me sick! At first I thought I had Postpartum Depression. It was a feeling of extreme nausea and depression that would just come down on me like a very heavy wave-like sensation. I felt like throwing up. I felt ANGRY! I felt anxiety! I felt depressed! I just hated the world. Did I get help? NOPE! I am one of those people that refuse to get help, thinking I can do it on my own. And then one day after feeling like this many times I realized what was happening. Every single time I had a let down I had this feeling. So what is a person to do? Call the doctor? Nah… I got my google degree… I googled! Come to find out I had this condition called D-MER. (Oh, yes! I self diagnosed myself!) D-MER stands for Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. It is believed to happen because of the sudden decrease of dopamine. Yup! Nobody really tells you that! It does subside fairly fast as soon as you feel a let-down, so thats a good thing!

3. CRAP!! I’m having a let-down!

Sometimes let-downs hurt!!! It is not a pleasant experience! You’re happily strolling around feeling happy and then all of a sudden D-MER happens… as if thats not bad enough you all of a sudden get a strong sensation of heaviness and a pins and needle feeling in your breasts! You know that feeling when your leg falls asleep? Well this is similar. That’s not cool man, thats not cool! Luckily it only lasts a few seconds just like D-MER. Phew!

4. Nursing Strikes

Oh they happen! You didn’t eat anything wrong, your baby “UNIONIZED” with your breasts and they are HAVING A STRIKE!! I kid, I kid. :) But really, babies go through a few nursing strikes. It’s normal! Lots of things cause this, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out. Instead trick that baby into nursing! With my son I used colic calm… put a few drops in his mouth and when he starts to suckle, pop in the boob! It works! DISTRACTION! If there is a toy your baby really likes, show him/her the toy and sneak the boob! They will latch! MOVEMENT! For some reason when you are patting them, they seems to want to latch. Fine with me! 

5. Cow Milk Protein Sensitivity 

It happens! More so for us. My husband couldn’t handle regular formula as a baby and had to be put on soy formula. I was breastfed as a baby but have a lactose intolerance. Its really not that bad with me, well except when someone at the coffee shop forgets to give me soy… yeah its not pretty! Well, when I had my son he cried and cried and cried AND CRIED and did I mention CRY!? Actually it was more like screaming. I had no idea what was going on, I thought newborns just cried a lot? But this was just different. I was really bad about my diet when I had him. I usually do soy or almond milk but with having a newborn and no time to cook I was eating whatever I could find. You know what that was? My husbands Cap’n Crunch!!!! All that with regular milk… It didn’t take long for me to notice that when I gave in to these foods Christian was a lot more colicky than usual. I googled that shit…”eating dairy while breastfeeding”, cause remember I got my Google Degree a while back. They said to stop dairy and wait at least 2 weeks to see a difference. Well 2 days short of 2 weeks its like I got a new baby! 

6. Nursing Covers

I’m sorry but do these even work?!?! Unless you are some kind of yoga-posing-buddha-loving person how can you actually keep that on without that baby snatching it off! I do a better job at nursing without a cover with no one knowing what I am doing. But with a cover? Its like I just whipped out my huge “breastfeeding flag” and shot off a flare gun! Get a comfy loose sports bra with a tank and a t-shirt on top, it covers everything and no one knows what you are doing! Unless of course they’re one of those nosey people coming around being all up in my business!! Back off homey! 

7. Losing Weight While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding burns 200-500 calories a day. You need to burn about 3,000/cal per day to lose 1 pound. A lot of people say that breastfeeding is like running 5 miles a day, so that baby weight is going to melt off. I call bullshit. You know why? Cause your body is going to demand you feed it extra calories in order to have an ample milk supply and don’t feel like an angry mess. Talk to any nursing mom, ask them how their diet is going. Screw diets while nursing. Your body thinks you need to keep all those fat reserves until your baby is in college.

8. Losing Freedom

If you nurse a baby, that is all you will do until they are weaned. You get no breaks. You will schedule everything around nursing your little one. Oh and if you forget? Your body will remind you… You will hear babies cry and run the other way. You will feel guilty for being away and think your baby is going to starve! Not only that but sometimes your baby decides they want to be a snacker. They don’t want to nurse for more than 5 minutes at a time. What does that mean for you? Well you’re gonna be nursing ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT… ever single day. Of course you can always pump but then you’re also going to lose time pumping and cleaning out the pump parts every single day. 


I don’t see how some people would love to have fuller breasts… milk juggs don’t defy gravity people! They don’t look like those perky DDDs some women are rocking. IF they do… well then I hate you. All that heaviness isn't just suspended in midair by some sort of magic, it weights down. Forever pointing down. 

10. Its a love/hate relationship.

If you stick through it you will love it. If you don’t for any reason its ok! There is no rule book! There is nowhere that states that you are FORCED to do anything with your body. Breast milk is best for babies but that doesn’t mean that formula is bad. Both nurture your baby. Both will help your baby grow. You do whatever feels right for you. If you aren’t happy, NO ONE WILL BE HAPPY! You don’t cross a mother with a newborn, you just don’t. They are dangerous and you don’t want to suffer the consequences. No one should have input in your child’s life, unless of course the child is in danger. Then its my business. But also no one should just stare and watch when they have the opportunity to guide someone in the right direction.

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