Let’s start with a DD-cup-sized truth bomb: Breastfeeding may be the most natural thing in the world, but that doesn’t guarantee it’ll be easy.
Luckily, we’ve got five real-life tips from Nested Bean moms that’ll help you get baby fed and serve as a reminder that “normal” doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means.
1. You won't have milk right away
Most women won’t produce milk until three or four days after their babies are born. Until then, babies feed on colostrum, a thick, concentrated form of milk that’s packed with awesome stuff like protein, sugar, fat and immune factors.
You may worry that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat in the interim, but get this — a newborn’s stomach can only hold about a teaspoon at a time. Chances are, she’s plenty full!
2. Breastfeeding can hurt
All those kumbaya, communing-with-Mother-Nature, bliss-filled moments other mamas talk about? They exist, but they’re interspersed with moments when you feel like your nipples are on fire and your boobs might actually fall off.
There is an adjustment period at the beginning while everyone figures out how this breastfeeding thing works, but painful nursing could also be linked to:
- Shallow latch
- Lip or tongue ties
- Plugged ducts
While baby-safe creams and time help in some cases, other situations call for a professional. Contact your doctor and/or an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) if you experience any of the following:
- Intense pain that doesn’t subside over time
- Pain between feedings
- Cracked or bleeding nipples
- Breasts that are hot, red and sore to the touch
- Burning or shooting pains in your breasts
3. Nursing is messy
Waking up in a pool of your own milk is a new-mama rite of passage.
You’ll go through tons of breast pads, unexpectedly soak your shirt in the middle of the grocery store, and probably wish you had double the amount of nursing bras no matter how many you bought.
Embrace the soggy clothes and linens. They’ll wash up easily enough, and besides, there’s no stain in the world that can overshadow a sleepy baby in a milk coma. #allthefeels
4. You'll be exhausted
Newborns eat every 2-3 hours 'round the clock—and you're their 24-hour milk vending machine.
While the whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" idea is great in theory, most parents know that it doesn't always work out. In reality, you're tending to your home, taking care of your other children, checking off your mile-long to do list, and maybe sneaking in a catnap—it's exhausting!
Don’t panic if you see a thick, yellowish flow when you begin nursing. This first milk, or colostrum, is the nutrient-dense food that will sustain your newborn for their first few days. When people reference milk “coming in” two to five days after delivery, they’re referencing a whitish, thinner fluid that follows.- Enfamil
Zen Sleepwear™ is gently weighted to mimic your touch, so you can make the most of your time between feeds. You'll spend less time helping baby fall asleep and make sure they're getting the quality rest they need, which means you'll have a little more time for yourself, too.
To avoid some serious sleep deprivation, wrap baby in their Zen Sleepwear and make sure you're penciling in time to rest and relax between feeds. Taking care of yourself is just as important as providing for your new babe.
5. You may resent your husband — and bottles
As a breastfeeding mother, you may soon find yourself glaring at your sleeping husband for not having functional nipples at the same time you hate on your baby’s bottle for acting as a substitute when you’re at work or otherwise unavailable.
Just remember; your job is one-of-a-kind. While hubby snores, you’re literally giving your sweet baby what he or she needs to not just live but thrive.
6. You’ll want to build a nursing lair
Once you get baby latched, nothing short of a tsunami will come between you and getting that hungry kiddo fed. Before you settle in, make sure you have all of the following within arm’s reach:
- Pillows for lumbar, arm and baby support
- The TV remote (binge-watching your fave shows is the #1 way to get through cluster feeds)
- Your phone
- Snacks — nursing makes you HUNGRY
- A huge bottle of water — the more you hydrate, the more milk you make
- Burp cloths
- Clean/dry nursing pads
- Nipple cream
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