Ah! Still basking in the pregnancy glow? Bask away. Soon that baby is going to make a grand appearance and you will have no idea what to do with it. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Ever see those brochures, or magazine ads or images where a beautiful woman is breastfeeding an angelic baby? Throw them away. For the first month, it will seem anything but.
1. Breastfeeding is hard
Breastfeeding comes naturally to like one in hundred women. To those who have even breastfed before, it still takes a long long time to get the “hang” of it. Baby wants to sleep, baby wants to latch. Then baby wants to sleep while latched on. This is the scenario while you are still in the hospital. You are tired, you are achy, you are feeling everything but exuberantly happy, and all you want to do is sleep. Then the baby cries. Baby suckles for five minutes, then drifts off. You unlatch the baby, and put him down, and straighten your back a little… the baby cries again!
2. Breastfeeding hurts
You have no idea. The tiny little mouth is capable of packing a great suction. Better than any electric pump. But that’s not it. All the sucking leaves your nipples dry. Cracked. Bleeding. Sore! And still… you have to feed. It takes some time for you to get used to it. Kind of like getting used to a new shoe till it fits comfortably.
3. For the first one and half months, all you seem to be doing is breastfeeding
You have no time to do anything else. Even when you are having a bath, just the sound of a baby crying, any baby, even the neighbor’s baby two flats below yours, will stimulate the let down reflex. And when you see all that milk being wasted, you feel like cursing yourself.
4. Forget bra, you don’t even feel like wearing clothes!
You are breastfeeding so often, it feels like such a waste to wear a bra. Initially you do, having brought the pretty little nursing bras. Eventually you give up. You are just so sore that the touch of fabric is highly irritating to say the least.
5. Baby is always crying for the boobie
Or so it seems.
6. Why can’t husbands breastfeed once in a while?
Is a question you will ask yourself time and time again. You will see him relaxing, sleeping peacefully, scratching his bum. You will want a break too. It is natural.
7. Feed in public, or stay home.
You either have to let go of your embarrassment of feeding in public, or forget it and stay at home. At least here you can breastfeed in peace without having total strangers give disgusted looks in your direction!
8. You will be judged
Whether you do, whether you don’t. You will be judged. If you do breastfeed, you will be judged for eating something that gave the baby the colic. If you are breastfeeding, you will be judged about not doing the right things to increase your milk supply. You are starving the baby. You are not doing it right.
9. Everyone you know will have advices for you
Invest in a pair of good earplugs. You are going to need them to field unsolicited advices from everyone around you.
10. People will feel it is their duty to “help” you!
Nurses, female relatives, mothers of friends… will all inspect your feeding relationship closely and tell you, “hold the baby this way, hold the baby that way.” And God forbid, if the baby is still not latching well, they will just grab your boobies and shove them in the baby’s mouth. It happens. No really, it happens.
And if you are having twins. Well, God help you!
Okay, don’t mind me, they are cute as buttons… 😀