The Top 6 Things Moms Want YOU to Know About Breastfeeding
If you’re pregnant and looking for some real breastfeeding tips, I’ve got you covered today, Mama! I polled my followers over on Instagram to find out what they wish they’d known before they started nursing their babies and it’s not all about breastfeeding pillows and covers!
Nope, these moms have been there and done that: and you’re going to get all the benefits from their collective experience today.
So pull your baby bump in closer and read on, Girl.
The question I asked them was:
“One Thing Nobody Told Me About Breastfeeding Was….”
It’s so hard!! But keep trying and get help because it gets waaaaay better! Hang in there!
This mama has a great point-
breastfeeding is a learned skill not an instinctive thing that all new moms just “get”.
The first few times you latch your baby you may feel pain and frustration and that’s normal. Your baby may be super-sleepy from medications you received during your labour and birth and may not be too interested in teaming up with you.
I always tell new moms to: try to latch the baby in the first hour following birth, do all the skin-to-skin possible and to relax if feeding isn’t taking off in the first 24 hours. That baby is going to wake up hungry on the second day!
Take advantage of your nurses' expertise and get a lactation consultant to visit you right away if you have any condition that may make breastfeeding more complicated like inverted nipples or a history of breast surgery. (By the way, I’ve watched women with both of those conditions breastfeed very well with no issues!)
The first time my milk came in my breasts were porn-star worthy!
About 3 or 4 days after you have your baby, your milk is going to “come in”. Your body is pretty fucking amazing because it knows that a newborn baby only needs very little milk and a LOT of protection in the first few days, so it makes milk just for that. But as your baby’s needs change SO DOES YOUR MILK! Like, what?! How cool is that?
But as your milk changes, so may your breasts. And if you haven’t been getting your baby to latch on well, your breasts may blow up like a couple of balloons ready to pop! If you want to be really well prepared for this, grab some cabbage and put it in your fridge before you have the baby. Weird, right? If you're curious, click here to learn more:
Cabbage Leaves Can Help ALL Postpartum Moms
That if some milk is tainted with blood it’s ok- my midwives called it Rusty Pipes! Happens to some women even when everything is ok!
This is true. A small amount of blood in your breastmilk is probably not a sign of anything serious. It’s usually caused by a broken capillary inside the breast or nipple or a common, usually harmless bacteria. Neither of these are harmful to the baby. Girl, if you could see the inner workings of your boobs, you’d see how easy it could be to break a capillary or two! If you’re worried about your blood-tainted breastmilk, let your doctor check it out to put your mind at ease.
I wish I knew how to prevent mastitis.
Some experts believe that a clogged duct and mastitis are the same condition at different degrees. Ask any woman who’s had mastitis and I’m sure she’d tell you how sick she felt! Most feel fever, pain in the breast and body aches when they have mastitis, but a clogged duct is generally just a lump in the breast.
A lot of women with a great milk supply experience mastitis because the milk isn’t all being drained by the baby. So the way to prevent mastitis is pretty simple: a good latch at every, single feeding. If you have sore nipples at any point, you need to fix your latch. Look, inside your breasts is a complex network of “pipes” and if they aren’t constantly flushed out, they’re gonna back up.
Things that vibrate break up clogs!
Alright ladies- I bet you never thought that you’d get some use out of your vibrator during your postpartum recovery, but I’ve got news for you: they can be an excellent way to break up a clogged duct.
Let’s be really clear here, though. The best way to prevent them in the first place is to make sure your baby is latched well and you’re feeding often. But sometimes clogs happen and breast massage doesn’t do the trick. But, vibrating the lump while your baby is feeding can work wonders. And while unclogging a blocked milk duct doesn’t feel as good as an orgasm, it can still feel pretty damn good to get things flowing again.
That it’s okay to feel like giving up on it one day and then love it the next!
Feeling like giving up on breastfeeding isn’t unusual for women. In fact, it’s pretty common! Expect to have good days and bad days because that’s the reality of a breastfeeding journey.
But if breastfeeding is super-important to you don’t give up on the bad days! Get help and support and give yourself a break. Remember how I said breastfeeding is a learned skill? As your baby grows and your journey continues, you’ll be learning new things about breastfeeding.
The answer to most common breastfeeding problems is the latch. Learn how to latch your baby effectively and get lots of help while you’re in the hospital. It seems pretty simple to get milk from your boobs to your baby's mouth, but lots of moms struggle with it every day.
If you’re looking for more information about latching a newborn at the breast, check out my free download:
8 Steps to Launching Your Newborn at the Breast
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!