Pregnancy and childbirth are as natural as the sunrise, but that doesn’t make either of them any less stressful or confusing. There’s so much conflicting information and general wisdom out there that it’s sometimes not even worth opening a baby book or asking your friends for advice. When it comes to breastfeeding, everyone has something to say, except there’s a lot that no one talks about. If you’ve had children, here are some things you probably wish you knew about breastfeeding:
It’s Not as Easy As it Looks
Everyone says, “our ancestors use to breastfeed just fine! Why can’t you do it?” While this is true in most cases, it ignores the fact that women who are having children today are a lot different from women living a couple of hundred years ago. For one, some women employed wet nurses to handle their children’s nourishment. Telling someone that she should be able to breastfeed doesn’t change the fact that breastfeeding isn’t as easy as it looks.
For breastfeeding help, seek advice from the hospital’s lactation consultant. A nurse or midwife will undoubtedly give you great tips, but a lactation consultant is a pro. Don’t be afraid to ask them about anything. They’ve heard it all before.
Breastfeeding Really, Really Hurts
You may be surprised by how much breastfeeding stings. The initial latching phase is new to both you and your new baby, so it’ll take some time for you both to adjust and (in your case) move past the initial pain. It should, however, subside after a few days. You may also notice some severe cramping in your uterus as you breastfeed. As your milk supply increases, your body produces oxytocin and prolactin which causes your uterus to contract to its pre-pregnancy size.
You Won’t Stop Eating and Drinking
In a single day, breastfeeding alone can burn up to 500 calories. That’s a lot of energy burned, which means, that’s a lot of calories you’ll start to crave. It’s no wonder that you hanker for extra nourishment at this time. Your body is producing an entire meal source for another human being, so it’s important not to ignore those hunger pangs. Be sure to drink plenty of water and other fluids, as breastfeeding can make you extremely thirsty.
It May Not Always Happen
There are many reasons for not breastfeeding your child. It might be a matter of choice or convenience, but whatever the reason, you should feel free to nourish your baby as you see fit without judgment. One thing that many nursing mothers say is that breastfeeding can be an isolating experience, especially in the beginning when your baby is hungry all the time. There will come a time when formula or pumped breastmilk will save you in a pinch. You can schedule your baby’s feedings ahead of time with a breast pump. This also gives your partner a chance to take part in their feedings.
Healthcare Solutions has many practical maternity products to help you with your breastfeeding needs. Come and visit our Edmonton locations or shop online for the maternity products you need.