Breastfeeding will be painful at least during the first month. Take any movie for instance, after the baby is born, we see the mother holding her just born baby in hand like a Madonna with a serene expression and an angelic baby suckling at her breast. Do not believe what you see! I doubt if there is any mother with a few days old baby who could suckle her baby without grimacing with pain.
Breastfeeding can put a spanner on your sex life. Some men are basically put off by breastfeeding. Some women experience low libido basically because of hormones or exhaustion and sometimes both. Don’t worry, it is just a temporary phase. It will pass.
You will feel guilty when you give the baby formula milk. You might have begun the breastfeeding with all good intentions. But giving formula milk once in a while is fine especially if you are unable to breastfeed the baby due to engorgement or soreness. Some babies want a marathon feed, which means more than 4 – 5 hours at your breast. You are only human. So don’t feel guilty about giving them formula milk while you recuperate.
You will soon be feeding your baby in public without any care. All new mothers are inhibited about feeding in public. It is natural and it will take some time for you get used to it. Soon you will amaze yourself by not think twice about feeding your baby on the bus, train, in the park, while at a party or at a restaurant. Breastfeeding by then would have become a daily or rather hourly affair for you so you will stop noticing other people and become focused on your baby.
Don’t get scared when you see the breast pump. It does look like torture device but it is very helpful. Expressing milk will solve many problems at one go. It gives provides the baby with your milk even if you have to get back to work and it also helps you to know how much milk your baby is getting.
Breastfeeding will make you very hungry. When you are nursing your baby you will be burning up to 500 – 800 calories every day. So you will feel hungrier than you were when pregnant. So eat lots of food but avoid fatty and junk foods. Eat lots of protein, fiber, calcium and iron.
You will become paranoid about your baby’s weight and whether it is getting enough to eat. You may actually pop this question to everybody who has had a baby. It is normal to worry. Trust your doctor. If the doc says that the baby’s weight is fine then leave it at that. Don’t stress yourself too much.
Once your baby gets his first teeth, he will first try it out on your breast. So brace yourself. He might even draw blood. If your baby bites while feeding, reprimand him and tell him not to do that. If your nipple is badly hurt and is bleeding, stop feeding immediately and get a tetanus shot.
Breastfeeding can delay your periods. Seriously you don’t need that on top of everything. Breastfeeding can delay your periods by about 3 to 4 months. It is nature providing you helping hand.
And lastly, if you are pregnant for the second time, you will find the going much easier than your first. Reason being that you have already learned your lesson and have perfected the art of nursing and breastfeeding with your first child. So the second time around, you will remember the lessons that you learned hard