Breastfeeding isn’t easy, especially after the first pregnancy. Here are my Confessions of a Nursing Mom from 2013.
WARNING: This post is about breastfeeding. That means I’m talking about cracked nipples, sore boobs, and massive amounts of breast milk.
I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed our baby for many reasons. For one, it is natural and inexpensive. Two, breastmilk is light on the tummy. And three, nursing is a great way to bond with your baby.
I thought breastfeeding would be easy. If your baby is hungry, you just pull out your boob and baby eats. Right?
Breastfeeding is hard!
I actually met with the lactation consultant three times while I was in the hospital because I had so many questions. Plus, little A didn’t like to latch on my left side properly. She still has difficulty and my poor nipple is suffering. There is so much more to breastfeeding a baby than you, your breast, and the little one.
You need a special bra, special breast pads for leaking, special tops with easy access, lots of water, extra calories in your diet, and… in my case: a special diet.
Following a Fussy Baby Diet for Breastfeeding
I am currently following a fussy baby diet that pretty much eliminates half of what we have in our pantry: dairy, citrus, caffeine, chocolate, whole grains, leafy greens, broccoli, red meat, etc.
No one told me that whatever I eat can affect my baby’s stomach. Or if something makes me sick, it’ll probably make her sick too. Seeing that I already have a bad stomach, my poor little girl’s belly might not be a steel trap like her Daddy’s. The fussy foods list seems so long. I am managing by living on cheese, pancakes, fruit, and carrot sticks because I know they don’t upset her belly.
Note: A few months into my breastfeeding journey I switched to a Dairy Free Diet. Read about Breastfeeding on a Dairy Free Diet.
Nursing Moms Can Produce Excessive Milk
I mentioned earlier in my pregnancy that I started lactating around 21 weeks. The doctor laughed and said my body was going to be more than ready to breastfeed after the baby was born.
The doctor was right – I produce enough milk for two babies! I am constantly pumping or changing the breast pads in my bra because they are filled with milk and I’m leaking through my bra and shirt. Someone needs to create a wetsuit tank top for breastfeeding Moms. I have dried milk everywhere!
Breastfeeding hurts the first 100 times you do it – especially when your little one likes to smash your poor nipple with her gums. Breastfeeding also hurts when your milk comes in. My breasts turned to rock hard melons for two days when my milk came in. Then they started softening after feedings – only to turn right back into rock hard melons again.
If I don’t pump or nurse every 2-3 hours, then it’s only minutes before my whole shirt is soaked. I did not know I was going to be walking around with leaky time bombs on my chest.
When we were in the hospital, they had me supplement her diet with formula because she wasn’t going pee. I actually cried... I did not want to give her anything, but what I had to offer. I felt inadequate. I felt like a bad Momma. But I did what I had to do for my baby. The formula made her so sick – extra gassy and extra miserable. We only had to give it to her for three days, and then the doctor said she was good to go back to strictly breast milk. I was so excited.
WARNING: Sometimes Mastitis can appear from a clogged milk duct, especially when nursing moms make a lot of milk. Read all about the signs and symptoms of Mastitis and my experience with it here.
Final Confession of a Nursing Mom
When all is said and done – breastfeeding is worth every little pain, ruined t-shirt, and sleepless night. The bond I feel with Annabelle every time I nurse her is hard to describe. Is it weird to say that I love how she ‘needs me?’ Plus, I know she doesn’t have control of where her little hands go – but when she reaches up and touches my face during a feeding, my heart bursts with love.
I know that breastfeeding is a controversial topic. Some Moms are PRO-Breastfeeding while other Moms don’t see the anything special about it. My stance about breastfeeding: Do what you want. I don’t judge anyone!