7 Things To Know About Breastfeeding Before You Have Your First Baby

Regardless of all the preparation and learning that you have in your mind about breastfeeding, nothing could keep you ready for the long rollercoaster ride that awaits – breastfeeding! There are so many things that you will wish you had known before, even after all the classes that you attended and the books that you had read about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding can be time-consuming, overwhelming, exhausting, annoying, confusing, joyful and lovable experience – all at the same time. If you are planning to exclusively breastfeed your baby and do it as long as possible, well, get clear about quite a few things.

Before we put things out there for you, just know that breastfeeding is not an easy task, period! Until and unless you get to feed your baby, it certainly will appear like an easy-breezy feat.

7 Things You Should Know About Breastfeeding

1. Breastfeeding Hurts – YES, It Does!

Let’s face it. Whether it is your first baby or fifth, your breasts are going to hurt. Nipples will get sore and cracked. Your nipple needs to get adjusted to the aggressive sucking. It need

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not necessarily be latching issues. Once you get the hang of nursing technique and latch, your body will get adjusted to it and you will feel comfortable. Add a nipple cream into your hospital bag and apply it after every feed, even if you don’t feel the need. It helps with the pain tremendously.

2. Get To Know About Clogged Milk Ducts

Breast milk flows through the milk ducts. It clogs when milk flow is restricted, or when there is poor drainage from your breast. This can back up milk flow and cause a tender lump. Don’t stop breastfeeding because of plugged ducts. If you notice a tender, small, and red lump on your breasts do not panic. Mastitis will probably happen at least once. Fever, chills, and the horrifying pain during nursing are the result of mastitis. Get to know what causes and avoid it.

3. Find Your Breastfeeding Position

There isn’t one position to breastfeed your baby. Try out nursing with cradled arms, tummy to tummy, or lying down position. To avoid neck or back pain, sit upright while feeding, even at

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night. Keep a pillow – your breast friend –while feeding to feel comfortable both for you and baby. There are many positions which can relax the body and you can enjoy your bonding time with your baby.

4. You Will Be Extremely Hungry

You will be ravenous, thirsty, and might even doze off while feeding during the first few weeks. This is due to the hormones prolactin and oxytocin being released while breastfeeding. To keep yourself hydrated and the milk flow going, drink lots of fluids and have healthy snacks.

5. Timing Doesn’t Determine The Milk Flow

Don’t count on your little one’s time to take feeds to determine your milk flow. They can go from 45 minutes feed to 15 minutes. It doesn’t mean that they are getting less milk or you are not producing enough. You have not turned into an alien – it is all normal. It is only that your baby has become efficient and has got stronger ability to suck. Weight gain and behavior will let you know if your baby is happy or satisfied at the breast.

6. Keep
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Extra Shirts Handy

You will soak through your shirts and sheets when you start breastfeeding. Keep extra clothing handy for yourself and your baby for a change.

7. Lactation Consultant Will Help You

Nursing breasts can change shape before, during, and after feedings. Your lactation consultant is your God. Trust her completely and contact her if you have any concerns. They are there only to help you.

Breastfeeding can be incredible and it comes down to each mom and her baby to know what works best for them. Enjoy your breastfeeding experience.