Truths from the trenches: breastfeeding

standard February 8, 2008 8 responses

1) Your newborn child will take forever to nurse, sometimes more than an hour per feed, and will nurse often, sometimes every hour or two. You will worry that it’s because you aren’t producing enough milk.

2) Eventually your child will feed faster and one day your 6 month old will nurse for mere minutes before losing interest in you and your breasts. You will again worry that it’s because you aren’t producing enough milk.

3) When you are struggling through those marathon nursing sessions with your newborn, people will tell you that you will one day miss those endless hours spent feeding your baby. You won’t believe them. You will be wrong. Except for the part about worrying about the milk, that you won’t miss, because it will never stop.

4) The only thing that will ever convince you that your child is actually drinking your milk and not just using you as a pacifier is the little dribble that runs down her chin when she releases your nipple.

5) When you are starting to think about weaning your baby you will still worry about not producing enough milk. Even though the aim is to reduce the amount of milk you are making, just the thought of making less will cause you to break out in a cold sweat. It’s Pavlovian. I think. Or just messed up. Either way, you just can’t win.

Any other nursing truths you want to share?

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8 responses

  • I had the opposite problem. I had one small baby, but enough milk for triplets. Undoing my maternity bra was enough to cause milk to squirt in mini geysers across the room. The milk flowed so fast that it choked Fizzy. In protest, she fussed and hit my poor, sore aching mammaries with her little baby hand, which made more milk course forth in time with her pummelling fist.

    Right up until I weaned when Fizzy was nine months old, I still had to wear nursing pads all day, every day, unless I wanted to find myself in a cold puddle of milk at some inopportune time. Months after weaning, I could still produce some milk.

    I can’t say I miss breastfeeding – I hated having to sit still, having to try and keep Fizzy’s attention enough to empty my aching breasts, having her pull off, using her teeth, and flashing my boobs to the entire population of Greater Hobart. It was nice actually having boobs though, as well as dropping lots of weight without trying.

  • Another truth,

    You will know that your child is teething by the pain in your breast before seeing the teeth.

  • I love the milk dribble!

    Another one to add is that when your baby starts sleeping longer stretches (even thru the night!), you worry that you’ll have enough milk. Then, when your baby is teething or sick and back to nursing 2x/night, you’ll again have squirting geysers. I feel like I could feed a small country some days!

  • I weaned Ladybug a little over a year ago, and I miss it so much. Once I left the hospital, I never really worried about milk production. I knew that she was going to get what she needed and that I was capable of LOTS of milk.

    I actually loved sitting and nursing her. It was a time that made me actually sit and be still. I knew I didn’t have anything better to be doing with my time, either.

  • If you thought you were ambivalent about breast-feeding, the day your pediatrician tells you it’s time to stop because it’s making your baby sick will make you realize that in fact, you are not ambivalent. You care very much. And are very, very said.

  • Breastfeeding is NOT a natural skill for all women, it has to be learnt by both mother & baby. Just because you are a woman doesnt automatically mean you can nurse your child, sometimes, it just simply doesnt work. Don’t listen to other parents and professionals when they make you feel like a failure.

  • I would say – You cannot control how much milk you can produce.

    I would beat myself up with guilt because I was barely able to get 2 oz per breast. I really felt inadequate, like I couldn’t care for my child.

    It was hard.

  • The first time you try to nurse your first baby, s/he probably won’t catch on from the get go. You will stress that s/he does not like you. This is not the case.

    If you have your gallbladder out 6 weeks after your baby is born, and cannot nurse nor pump for like 12 hours or more, your breasts WILL be hurting by the time you can do anything about it. Then, when you step in the shower and the hot water hits, it will look like an explosion in a milk factory! :p

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