Newborn Advice

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Breastfeeding

When I taught high school I couldn’t stand when my kids would say things like, “haters gonna hate.” I was like, (insert kid’s name here), you sound like a fool. And yet, when it comes to breastfeeding, never have I found that phrase to be more true.

For some reason, when you’re pregnant, people come out of the woodwork with horror stories. People just feel the need to tell you awful things that happened to their friend’s mom’s co-worker’s sister, and you’re like, thanks? Before summer rolled around at work, people would randomly stop me to ask about how I was feeling and my plans for the baby. With that always came questions about breastfeeding. Why did people want to know this? Not a clue. So they would ask if I planned on breastfeeding, and I would say, of course. The reactions. Oh dear friends, the reactions.

“That’s what you think” – “Good luck with that” – “I thought I was going to, too”

And I’m sitting there 8 ½ months pregnant, thinking, what is wrong with you? The only response here is, “haters gonna hate.” Breastfeeding is all about perseverance. Don’t let anyone try to talk you out of it.

So when your little blue alien pops out and you attempt a feeding only to feel like: holy bananas this creature is ripping off my nipple, you could imagine why most people would call it quits. But don’t. Call a momfriend for support, meet with a lactation consultant. Google it (WebMD doesn’t count). Just promise yourself you won’t give up.

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Breastfeeding

Today I’d like to share these pieces of wisdom I so desperately wish I knew beforehand because sharing is caring and because breastfeeding is a beautiful experience.

  1. There is no single right position to feed. Laying side-by-side was a lifesaver during the first few weeks of recovery because sitting was so not my jam.
  2. Just because you’re doing it “right” doesn’t mean it won’t be extremely painful
  3. It can be REALLY hard to feed a newborn baby because they are SO sleepy. Get that baby in just their diaper, make it cold, and attempt a feeding.
  4. Enlist your spouse because at first, breastfeeding is a 4-hand job. Your newborn is like, “mom, my hands are delicious” and it’s hard to compete with their delicious little hands.
  5. The never-wake-a-sleeping-baby thing? What my lactation consultant told me: in those first few days of life, the goal is for your baby to gain weight. If your baby is supersleepy and not waking to feed, they can’t gain the weight they need or have wet/poopy diapers. Def consult your own pediatrician, just sharing what I learned.
  6. Coconut oil can fix pretty much anything.
  7. At first, going anywhere takes 3 times as long. Doesn’t matter if you’re going 5 minutes down the road, if your baby is anything like Harper, you’ll be stopping to feed and change multiple times, turning even a quick trip to the doctor into a 3 hour adventure.
  8. You can breastfeed anywhere. I used to try to plan everything I did around getting back home to feed her. At first it was so hard to feed her to begin with, I just wanted to be on the comfort of my couch. Now? Looking back it seems silly, but hey, first time mom.
  9. Breastfeeding a newborn is a round-the-clock, 24-7 job. When everyone wants to “see the baby,” be sure to tell them that the baby is attached to your boob. We’re being real here, remember?
  10. I know you’re hoping I’ll end this with a cheesy one-liner like, “breastfeeding is the greatest bonding experience” (which it is), but this is not that kind of post, so here’s my last tip: if someone comes up to you at work, in the grocery store, in line at TJ Maxx, and asks you about breastfeeding, just say “do I know you?” and walk away.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor (although I’m 99% sure my Jewish parents wish I was one…or married one?) so please consult your pediatrician if you have any questions.

Have any breastfeeding wisdom to pass on? Share and help a fellow new mom out!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    chrystievachon
    September 7, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    This is a great list….and new moms should definitely pay attention to #2 because it is soooo true. I feel like other moms do not talk about how extremely painful breastfeeding can be in the beginning!

    • Reply
      Marla
      September 7, 2016 at 9:51 PM

      Thank you! That is why I wanted to put this out there. I had no idea it would be that painful!

  • Reply
    Angela Kim
    September 13, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    I’m breastfeeding my 5-week old son around the clock right now. After nursing two kids I thought it would come easily but it didn’t. But it’s definitely worth the pain and sleepless nights. Thanks for sharing your story. It is very relatable.

    • Reply
      Marla
      September 13, 2016 at 9:39 PM

      It is so worth it! But you’re absolutely right – it doesn’t make it any less difficult. It’s always good to know you’re not alone!

  • Reply
    theforeverteacher
    September 24, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    I tried to breast feed and it was such a struggle for me.

    • Reply
      Marla
      September 24, 2016 at 7:13 PM

      I feel your pain! It was so hard for me at first. Luckily it got better!

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