It may not come naturally
You read all the books, went to all the pre-natal classes (including the optional breastfeeding one) and practiced with a doll. But your teensy inverted nipples, or giant boobs, or baby’s tongue-tie or just total lack of patience to learn how to latch has made breastfeeding damn near impossible. We’re here to tell you THAT’S OKAY! As long as your baby gets the nutrients they need, whether it’s via pumping, formula, breastfeeding or otherwise, you’re smashing it!
You’ll finally understand the phrase “hurts like a mother”
Most definitely coined by a nursing mom with mastitis, this phrase will spring to mind when you’re in the depths of an internet search rabbit hole finding cures for a blocked milk duct, considering whether you try a slice of raw potato on your boob or asking your partner to suck out the blockage. Dare we even mention the jaw-clenching pain of cracked nipples and the horror of realizing your beautiful newborn has a blood moustache after feeding?
It’s a full time job
Hate to shatter your dreams of nipping out for a long lunch break, but your calendar is totally booked, mama. When we say fulltime job we mean it, we’re talking 24/7 milkshake machine. Your newborn is going to feed for at least eight hours every day, whenever they want to. That kind of on-demand service seriously limits many activities that can be done sans baby. Plus, if you’re in the throes of cluster feeding prepare to feed for a loonnng time – drain the right boob, switch to left boob, repeat. If you’re struggling through the night shift (with no overtime perks to sweeten the deal) here’s a word to the wise: strap into a podcast to keep yourself awake and entertained.
You’ll live in comfortcore
Not only are you in full birth recovery mode, you’re also dealing with the realities of your new role as chief dairy technician so you’ll need a suitable uniform. Leggings, breastfeeding-friendly tanks and a dressing gown are the look du jour for new moms but there’s one hero piece you can’t go past – the nursing bra. Clip-down construction is a must, but even better to have fabrics that lower your body temp and design that deals with both engorgement and weaning. Do yourself (and your boobs) a favor!
When the milk comes in, oh boy does it come in!
In month nine of pregnancy you probably thought your boobs were as big as they’ll ever be, right? Wrong! After three days of existing on a colostrum-heavy diet, your baby has awoken the milk monsters, triggering a tsunami-like influx of liquid. Prepare to be amazed at the size and shape of your boobs. Continue to be amazed as said size and shape constantly fluctuate over the next little while.
Brace for ‘humidity’
No use sugar-coating it: it’s gonna get wet. At some point you don’t even realise the perpetual state of moisture you now reside in until you catch a glimpse of your sodden top in the window of your local café (#coffee). Think a bra will stem the tide? Absolutely not, you need to go big or go home (and change your top). Reusable nursing pads are a must-have from the get-go, we’re talking ‘have them in your hospital bag’ important. Ours are eight times more absorbent than the best-selling pads on the market and their antimicrobial treatment eliminates odors…just sayin’
Your baby may play favourites
It could be personal preference, it could be that one produces less milk, it could be mercury in retrograde – for some reason babies may favor one breast. Just another of those head-scratchers that can get a little frustrating, particularly when they’ve drunk their favorite dry and they’re still peckish. You can attempt to boost the other boob’s profile by always offering it first, but beware losing track of which breast you last fed on and facing the horror of serious asymmetrical boobage – we’re talking different ends of the alphabet in cup sizes.
You’ll feel like you have a superpower
Because you do! Breastmilk is literal magic. If your baby is sick, your body will produce antibody-rich milk and breastmilk produced at night is flush with the “drowsy” hormone melatonin. And the list goes on! Even if you don’t continue to breastfeed, it’s pretty mind-blowing to know that your body is capable of creating, sustaining and nourishing human life. What a gift!
This to shall pass
Look, breastfeeding presents challenges. Truthfully, feeding at all hours, regardless of whether it’s via a breast or a bottle presents challenges! We know you’ve heard it from your mama crew, but you will come to love breastfeeding. Once you’ve found your rhythm and sampled from the buffet of ailments and issues, you’ll cherish the sweet, quiet moments you and your baby have together. However you feed, that moment your baby settles as they drink with abandon is bliss – a really special experience that won’t last forever. Enjoy it while you can, mama.