Breastfeeding: Surprises!

Breastfeeding: Surprises!

Before having my son I read an entire book on breastfeeding, cover to cover. It was a long book and I thought I knew it all. Right after giving birth, I stopped thinking I knew it all. Here are some things I wish I had known.

Pillows, Pillows, Pillows
You will need a lot of pillows. A lot of pillows. Did I mention a lot of pillows? Breastfeeding pillows don’t lift a newborn up high enough for proper positioning. It’s helpful to have an extra pillow under or on top of your breastfeeding pillow. You may also need pillows behind your back and under the sides of the breastfeeding pillow. I think I may have had four or five pillows that I positioned for every breastfeeding session. It may feel like you’re building a kindergarten-style pillow fortress every time you sit down to nurse your baby, but after a few weeks one pillow is all you will need. The awkward positioning of the first days will gradually turn into the natural-looking, pillow-free hold you imagined.

You need a drink!
No, not that kind. But you do need to keep yourself hydrated. Making milk takes water and that water comes from you, leaving you one thirsty mama. Bring a glass of water with you to your breastfeeding location or make your husband or other helper bring you one. My mom told me to pick a special glass or mug and make that the one I drank from while I was nursing. It was good advice. While you are waiting for your milk to come in or if your supply seems low drink a fenugreek tea. I like Organic Mother’s Milk® Tea from Traditional Medicinals®.

Be careful what you wish for.
You will have WAY too much milk at first – keep towels handy. When my milk came in, I could not get over my breasts and the way that they were the size of basketballs. I also couldn’t get over the way they managed to soak my clothes, bedsheets, furniture, and firstborn child. I had bought washable nursing pads thinking that they would be adequate for soaking up the few extra drops that might leak out. They did not survive the deluge. Neither did the several shirts a day that I soaked through. I recommend Johnson & Johnson disposable nursing pads for at home. They aren’t individually wrapped so they don’t travel well, but they are the most comfortable and absorbent ones I have found. Cloth diapers or burp rags also work if you just need to shove something in your shirt while the baby nurses on the other side. Oh yeah, that’s another thing I didn’t know about. When your baby is nursing on one breast, the other one will leak or even spray. Be prepared. It may be several months before you can break out the eco-friendly nursing pads without fear of having to change your shirt. It’s OK. I won’t tell the green police.

Hello, ladies
Be ready to kind of forget what caring about modesty feels like. Of course, birth will pretty much prepare you for this. Laugh at yourself. It’s fine. I did the first time I noticed I had been walking around the house (without pants) for hours with one breast exposed and a cloth diaper stuffed into the other side of my bra. Nursing tanks rock. No shirt lifting required and the bra is built in. Get at least three, but skip the white one for now. It will probably (definitely) get stained. Pants are optional.

Help!
I was very committed to breastfeeding but I was a big worrywart too. Soreness, pumping, milk supply, thrush, latch–the worrying went on and on. I had nothing to worry about. It was all fine and, most likely, it will be fine for you too. If you do have any problems, there is help out there. Many hospitals have lactation consultants that will see you and do an in-depth analysis of your problem even to the point of weighing your infant before and after feeding to see how much milk she is getting. La Leche League leaders are more than happy to help, day or night. They’ve been there, done that and have most likely heard it before. Give them a call. Talk to other moms, even ones you don’t know. If a stranger asked me about breastfeeding, I would talk all about it and not even think it was weird that a stranger asked me about breastfeeding. Seriously.

Breastfeeding is amazing. It’s sometimes silly, sometimes painful and often confusing. It is also always perfect, always beautiful and always worth it. Be ready to breastfeed. Seek out as much information as you can and then get ready to be surprised.

By Naomi Marotta

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113 Responses to “Breastfeeding: Surprises!”

  1. amanda royal says:

    LOVED THE article I was not prepared for the amount of milk that came in at first either. I was walking around with baby wash cloths in my bra LOL> thank you for the wonderful article.:)

  2. Ziona Hull says:

    Fabulous article! I wish I had had this when I started nursing! 9 months and still going strong!

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  4. Karena Dato says:

    I loved your article post.Really thank you! Awesome.

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  6. Becky says:

    LOL… Laughing about the pillow part! I swear I have a pillow behind my back.. a pillow under the head area under my LO…but under my boppy. A pillow under my butt, since I nurse and sit so often, that my side of the couch is… well… a little deeper than it used to be..:)

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  10. […] Breastfeeding: Surprises! « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Naturally! […]

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  14. […] Breastfeeding: Surprises! « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Naturally! […]

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  16. Bruce says:

    Happy that you retweated the post so others could read :)))

  17. Happy that you retweated the post so others could read :)))

  18. Melanie says:

    Oh the horror of the “trained” nurses in the hospital! Apparently, the awesome lactation consultants didn’t work weekends AND being that my twins were born the day after Christmas…slim pickings on the good staff. BUT, eventually with enough tenacity and the help of a very amazing LC (DO take the class before giving birth!) after 2 weeks of using the SNS (read: straw attached to boob for sleepy sucker) both twins (born at 5lbs) are now excellent nursers (4mo) and to my dismay, now refuse a bottle! Bottom line – have an LC in your phone BEFORE giving birth and remember that it’s a lot of work at first…but it gets easier 🙂 Oh, and having a pediatrition who supports BF is also a great idea. Oh, one final thought — don’t take those free formulas from the hospital…they look mighty tempting at o-dark-thirty!

  19. Richard says:

    This post made me laugh out loud! Especially the part about shoving a diaper into your nursing tank and walking around the house with one boob out and no pants. Been there, done that!

    Two things that surprised me (and that I hadn’t read about in the books and have to dig a round online to find information about…) were oversupply issues and excess lipase. I have had to deal with both and am glad to finally have a handle on it, but I had never heard of either issue in the books I’ve read on BFing. Like most new mothers, I was worried I wouldn’t have enough milk to feed by baby, let alone pump and store. Turns out, I have A LOT of milk that made baby choke, sputter and cry when latching at first. I also had a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance that made her fussy and have green poops.

    We figured all of that out (turns out my pumping to create a stash before heading back to work exacerbated this problem) only to discover that all of my stored milk had excess lipase and made it taste horrible. My DD wouldn’t drink any of it. And this was 5 days before I went back to work! So I had to trash my stash and start over with heating my expressed BM to kill of the lipase before storing it. DD will take it now, but she absolutely refuses the bottle (which she was introduced to at 4 weeks and took until 8 weeks of age)…she she now gets my lipase-free pumped milk in a cup from daddy or grandma when I am at work.

    She’s 12 weeks old and I have nursed her since she was less than 2 minutes old. We’re going strong, despite these BFing “surprises”…

  20. Ian says:

    I was surprised at how easy it was to leak milk EVERYWHERE and how useless most nursing pads were!

  21. Sean says:

    I was surprised at how easy it was to leak milk EVERYWHERE and how useless most nursing pads were!

  22. Kelly says:

    I was surprised that I had an inverted nipple on one side–which my daughter did pull out eventually, though she was mad when I first had to make her take that side every second time! I’m also amazed and surprised at how wonderful it is, and I don’t plan on weaning her (now 2 yr old) — after all, some old advice I got given is that although a lot of people seem to think breastfeeding is the problem when it comes to whinyness and clinginess… you can stop if you want but that’s not going to go away!

  23. Simon says:

    I was surprised at how easy it was to leak milk EVERYWHERE and how useless most nursing pads were!

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  26. Alan says:

    What surprised me the most was how pushy the nurses and lactation consultants were about it. I had already committed to doing it, and I have breastfed my son for over a year now. Before my milk came in, they were in my room every few minutes, forcing me to keep a detailed log about everything and watching every time my baby nursed, manipulating his head and my breast to how they thought I should be doing it. In one way I was appreciative of their help, but it honestly stressed me out so much that I was in tears practically one whole day, thinking I was doing everything all wrong. I think it would be better for them to go a little easy on new moms. My son didn’t even have any problems with his latch and they were still so pushy about everything-the way I held him, if he was on too long or too short of a time, etc. It was honestly so much easier for me to nurse him without the “experts”!

  27. Steven says:

    What surprised me the most was how pushy the nurses and lactation consultants were about it. I had already committed to doing it, and I have breastfed my son for over a year now. Before my milk came in, they were in my room every few minutes, forcing me to keep a detailed log about everything and watching every time my baby nursed, manipulating his head and my breast to how they thought I should be doing it. In one way I was appreciative of their help, but it honestly stressed me out so much that I was in tears practically one whole day, thinking I was doing everything all wrong. I think it would be better for them to go a little easy on new moms. My son didn’t even have any problems with his latch and they were still so pushy about everything-the way I held him, if he was on too long or too short of a time, etc. It was honestly so much easier for me to nurse him without the “experts”!

  28. Rick says:

    I was surprised at how easy it was to leak milk EVERYWHERE and how useless most nursing pads were!

  29. Lori says:

    This post made me laugh out loud! Especially the part about shoving a diaper into your nursing tank and walking around the house with one boob out and no pants. Been there, done that!

    Two things that surprised me (and that I hadn’t read about in the books and have to dig a round online to find information about…) were oversupply issues and excess lipase. I have had to deal with both and am glad to finally have a handle on it, but I had never heard of either issue in the books I’ve read on BFing. Like most new mothers, I was worried I wouldn’t have enough milk to feed by baby, let alone pump and store. Turns out, I have A LOT of milk that made baby choke, sputter and cry when latching at first. I also had a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance that made her fussy and have green poops.

    We figured all of that out (turns out my pumping to create a stash before heading back to work exacerbated this problem) only to discover that all of my stored milk had excess lipase and made it taste horrible. My DD wouldn’t drink any of it. And this was 5 days before I went back to work! So I had to trash my stash and start over with heating my expressed BM to kill of the lipase before storing it. DD will take it now, but she absolutely refuses the bottle (which she was introduced to at 4 weeks and took until 8 weeks of age)…she she now gets my lipase-free pumped milk in a cup from daddy or grandma when I am at work.

    She’s 12 weeks old and I have nursed her since she was less than 2 minutes old. We’re going strong, despite these BFing “surprises”…

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  32. Talia says:

    I was surprised that I had an inverted nipple on one side–which my daughter did pull out eventually, though she was mad when I first had to make her take that side every second time! I’m also amazed and surprised at how wonderful it is, and I don’t plan on weaning her (now 2 yr old) — after all, some old advice I got given is that although a lot of people seem to think breastfeeding is the problem when it comes to whinyness and clinginess… you can stop if you want but that’s not going to go away!

  33. Nancy says:

    I was surprised how much it weirded people out. I was substitute teaching and took my pump with me. Some people were really odd when I told them I needed a place to pump. In the 9 months that I nursed my son I only ran across 2 people who were super supportive and wanted to help. I figured more would be willing to help me out.
    It also surprised me how hard it was to pump and keep up when you only get 1 break while substitute teaching. Only pumping once in 8 hours can KILL a supply. If and when I have #2 I will nurse, nurse, nurse while at home and never pump if I’m around him/her. I’ll need the little one to help me keep my supply instead of just pumping all of the time. Hopefully I’ll go the full 12 months (or longer!) next time.

  34. Andrea says:

    I was surprised to learn after many lactation consultants that I had insufficient glandular development, so I really did have major supply issues. I didn’t know that existed since all of the many many many breastfeeding books never mentioned it could happen. I guess I’m one of these “rare” cases, but it was nice to know I was doing everything I could to make enough milk for my daughter and it was actually necessary to supplement.

  35. Allison says:

    What surprised me the most was how pushy the nurses and lactation consultants were about it. I had already committed to doing it, and I have breastfed my son for over a year now. Before my milk came in, they were in my room every few minutes, forcing me to keep a detailed log about everything and watching every time my baby nursed, manipulating his head and my breast to how they thought I should be doing it. In one way I was appreciative of their help, but it honestly stressed me out so much that I was in tears practically one whole day, thinking I was doing everything all wrong. I think it would be better for them to go a little easy on new moms. My son didn’t even have any problems with his latch and they were still so pushy about everything-the way I held him, if he was on too long or too short of a time, etc. It was honestly so much easier for me to nurse him without the “experts”!

  36. Monica says:

    I was surprised at how easy it was to leak milk EVERYWHERE and how useless most nursing pads were!

  37. Melissa says:

    The thing that surprised me most about breastfeeding is how often it would happen. Before my little one was born I heard all about how they would nurse 8 times a day or more but nothing actually prepares you for it until you’re doing it. Lol, I feel like I’d spent months walking around topless before I’d no sooner finish one nursing session and snatch something to eat and maybe go to the bathroom and she would want to eat again! We just left burp rags laying around the house and I would stuff one on the other side when she nursed – my let down was super strong too and no one told me that when you nursed from one side the other would start too!!!!

  38. Becky says:

    What surprised me the most was I am not super mom! 🙁 Nursing twins is not an easy thing to do. I struggle every day to give them all I can but still need to suppliment 🙁 They are 3 1/2 months old and I refuse to give up!!!!

  39. Sandra says:

    What surprised me most is how much it hurt in the beginning and how strong my letdown is. Thank god for lanisoh lanolin cream, it helped a lot. I can feel my letdown every time and if my daughter doesn’t drink fast enough it chokes her and she has to unlatch. When she unlatches, she gets a milk shower, lol, along with myself and the bed, chair, etc.

  40. Andrea Z says:

    I guess I should also say I plan and hope to BF baby #2!

  41. Andrea Z says:

    What surprised me most was that I was completely unable to do it – my milk never came in. Sadly, since this was my first, I had no idea my daughter wasn’t getting anything til she was admitted to the hospital nearly starving to death. I did learn a lot about fenugreek and other supplements though!

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  44. Kristine says:

    I was surprised how difficult it was. All my sister-in-laws were so natural and carefree about it and how wonderful it was. I wanted to soooo bad. I made it 6 weeks until I had to pump to keep my supply up. When I dried up, I was so sad. My son loved it and enjoyed the snuggling at night during feedings, but he would get cranky because he was never full. I am determined next time I will be more diligent.

  45. Sandra says:

    I’m pregnant with my first – and plan to breastfeed after having had a breast reduction. As I do my best to prepare, I’m surprised that there’s really no way of knowing if I will be able to breastfeed, or at what level! I’ve done a lot of reading, connected with local LCs, and am planning an herbal regiment – but really all I can do is wait and see what my body does!

  46. Tiffany says:

    We had our first little one in Germany and I was surprised at how open and public they were about breastfeeding. It didnt bother me, it actually made me feel so much more comfortable feeding our daughter whenever and wherever I needed to. I covered up unlike most people I saw, but not freaking out about feeding in public with our first child made the experience more relaxing and special!

  47. Tamara Glenn says:

    I was surprised my first time by how uncomfortable a good strong latch really is, at first. I thought since BFing was natural, it wouldn’t hurt at all. Well, I was wrong on that note. I was surprised my second time around with how abundant my milk supply was. My breasts were HUGE even though he seemed to nurse constantly, and I was always leaking. I mean, always, and yes spraying too.

  48. Dani says:

    i was surprised at how unnatural it felt at the beginning. I was expecting to instinctively know what to do and that my son would latch on with no problems. I was fortunate to deliver in a breast-feeding friendly hospital with knowledgeable nurses – at first it was odd to have a stranger helping me, but I am SO glad that I asked for help that first day. Breastfeeding began to feel more natural with each feeding and by the time we left the hospital, I felt confident and comfortable thanks to all the help the nurses provided.

  49. Mary M. says:

    what surprised me was how little milk there was at first! 🙂

  50. Heidi says:

    The first time around I was surprised at just how much milk I was producing and that the mere sound of my baby crying would open the floodgates to milk literally POURING out of my breasts.

    THe second time around I was surprised that it wasn’t just like riding a bike. Definitely had some latch issues the first whole week – to the point of me actually eyeballing that sample can of formula in the cupboard. But we persevered – and even though some feedings it took longer to get a good latch than it did to actually feed.

  51. Amy B. says:

    What surprised me most was the pain despite a good latch! It went away around 4-6 weeks just like everyone told me though. I’m glad that I persevered and that my daughter is still nursing at 11 months.

  52. Callie says:

    I was surprised at how funny a hungry baby can be when hunting for boobies. My daughter keeps banging her head around my boobs until she finds the nipple, and then watch out! It’s like a rabid wolverine descending on a family of cute fuzzy bunnies.

  53. Kate says:

    I am pregnant with my first, but have been surprised at how few nursing bras and good nursing tanks are available for moms whose ladies have grown during pregnancy to outside the normal sizing! It seems almost impossible to find any bra in a store that is larger than DD, and the flimsy tank tops do NOT give enough support. You’d think that most places would recognize that breastfeeding mammas have larger than normal cup sizes!

  54. Ashley says:

    I am currently pregnant with my first child, but I plan on breastfeeding. I am surprised how many people don’t breastfeed anymore (most of my friends do not/have not), and they seem to think I’m crazy when I say it is what I want to do! Thank you for posting all of this, I am definitely bookmarking it as I embark on this journey

  55. Sara says:

    Everything…so true! Especially about the pilllows! And the leaking…I leaked horribly for 6 months! Just random let downs…sigh. Being a new mother, I was distraught at first with the typical anxiety about whether or not my baby was getting enough since there weren’t ounce lines on my breasts indicating how much she’d eaten! I will not lie, the first 4 weeks were rough. The sore nips, the engorgement, the painful let-downs…But 9 months later, I wouldn’t trade that special, quiet time we have for anything!

  56. Amber says:

    We had a rough first few months. It turns out that there was still debris in my uterus so the milk wasn’t flowing well. The tremendous pain every time I nursed (which was 20+ times/day) was just unreal. We stuck with it and I still have a nursing 15 months old. It’s still not easy and I don’t have an overwhelming amount of milk like it seems others do, but I’m doing what I can.

  57. […] Breastfeeding: Surprises! « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Naturally! […]

  58. Christine Williams says:

    I went into breast feeding very well prepared. I had read lots of information on the internet and in books, took two breast feeding classes which I did not find very helpful but I was as prepared as could be. What surprised me was how unhelpful my lactation consultants were! My little girl and I had mastered one of my breasts without any problems, the other though had been pulled flat by a scar from a surgery years ago and she just could not latch! I asked several times for a nipple shield and the LC’s were very resistant about it and made us struggle to use the flat nipple telling me to change positions or a different hold. I was very surprised they were so reluctant to give me an aide if it had not been for the research I had conducted on my own I would have given up. Needless to say I did not give up and 12 hours before they discharged me they finally granted my request! We had to work a little bit to get the supply on my one breast right and it was painful dealing with the engorgement on the other that had been the sole provider of milk until that time but now we are doing great!

  59. Carra says:

    I expected it to come naturally to me and my baby. It did NOT! We got through it though and he nursed til my milk dried up due to pregnancy at 17 months.

  60. […] You will need a lot of pillows . A lot of pillows . Did I mention a lot of pillows ? Breastfeeding pillows don’t lift a newborn up high enough for proper positioning. It’s helpful to have an extra pillow under or on top of your …Next Page […]

  61. Joanna A says:

    I expected to love it, but not at all the way I did. I worked as an infant teacher for years prior to having my daughter, and breastfeeding helped form a special bond that my shared lil’ ones didn’t have! I’m looking forward to breastfeeding our adopted lil’ blessing soon!

  62. Alexandrea says:

    The thing that surprised me the most was that it was not natural for me. I never thought that breastfeeding would make your breasts crack and bleed if you did not have a good latch! Thank goodness for my husband who would help and encourage me. Also, I called our local Public Health Nurse who spent a long time with me on the phone. Basically, all I needed to do was make sure that her mouth was open, as big as possible, before latching.
    Thank goodness that I stuck with it because she nursed until 1 1/2 years old (which was half way through my second pregnancy) and I was successful in breastfeeding second child from the very beginning! I love breastfeeding and a good latch…for me and my children!!!

  63. Beth E. says:

    What surprised me is that sometimes when your milk comes in you run a low grade fever. I ran one every night for about 5 days when my milk came in. In fact, I went to the Dr. for it and there was no other reason. Another surprise is that we’ve continued to nurse for longer than expected. My little one is almost 17 months old. I’m really grateful nursing has gone so well for us 🙂

  64. Sarah says:

    I am surprised by just how much I love breastfeeding my son. I love that it is a bond that just the two of us share. I am kind of selfish in that I don’t want anyone else to feed him. I am pumping and storing milk for when I have to go back to work (which I am dreading), but I am having a really hard time with letting anyone bottle feed him. The idea of someone else feeding my son (even if it is my milk-and it would be my mother or my husband feeding him while I was working) just breaks my heart-it is actually making me tear up just thinking about it! I never thought that I would have such overwhelming emotions for breastfeeding.

  65. Jennie says:

    I was suprised how many people are negative about nursing in public, why look and stare at me?

  66. Heather says:

    I was surprised at how different two babies could be when it comes to nursing! My son latched on great and never had problems, then when my daughter was born, she had a horrible latch and screamed every time she was nursing and it HURT soooo bad! I felt as I was failing in the beginning with her, but with patience and a little help from a LC, she turned quickly into a pro. She’s 21 months old and still nursing now. 🙂

  67. Heather says:

    I was surprised that I rarely leak and don’t need the nursing pads I bought!

  68. Shilo Wheatley says:

    I was surprised how many people look at you crazy when your just feeding your baby!

  69. Erica K. says:

    A few things surprised me . . . and I have some advice . . .
    1. It didn’t come easy or naturally. I had visions of my baby being plopped on my chest and this fairy-tale-like moment of bonding breastfeeding bliss. It took us over 2 months to really get the hang of breastfeeding.
    2. I had to SEARCH for help. I am ‘blessed’ with an abundance of milk and a powerful let down. As a result, baby would not open very wide and was constantly pulling away with my nipple in her mouth – OUCH! I FINALLY read a suggestion on the Internet that said it may help to recline a bit and let the baby lay almost on top, slowing the let down and helping baby to have more control over her intake. This worked wonders for us! I had been all propped up with pillows and sitting straight and trying to follow the typical advice, but that didn’t work for us! Find what works for you, even if it is not what you read everywhere else.
    3. You CAN use washable breast pads! I was constantly wet with cheap reusable nursing pads. I finally ordered a pair of Clover – Organic Wool/cotton Nursing Pads. When my little one started sleeping through the night, they saved me from leaking all over my sheets and soaking her in the morning! They are on the thick and large side (not so much a discreet ‘outing’ pad) but effective and worth it!
    4. You need to BE PATIENT – it will get better! There were a couple incidents that I locked myself in our room and cried. My husband held our hungry, wailing baby while I pouted and dreaded feeding her because of the pain, frustration, hormones, exhaustion, etc. I resolved to work it out – I threw out the sample formula that the hospital so ‘kindly’ supplied as part of the ‘breastfeeding package’ (ha!) and vowed to myself to keep going. I am so glad I did! Aside from all the health and bonding benefits breastfeeding is a HUGE cost-savings and more convenient then mixing up formula and sterilizing bottles. I feel so earthy, empowered and almost animalistic (in a good way) when feeding our baby – it truly is (eventually!) wonderful!

  70. […] Breastfeeding: Surprises! « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Naturally! […]

  71. Robyn says:

    I was surprised that the nursing experience with my son and daughter were soooo different from each other, both wonderful, just different. My son was a long, lazy nurser who stayed on a two hr schedule for 6 months. While my daughter is very quick and efficent, and came into this world on a three to four hour schedule, lol.

  72. Corinne W. says:

    The spraying definitely caught me off guard (my husband too LOL) on more than one occasion!!!

  73. Laure says:

    I couldn’t believe that my nearly-A chest could give my DD sister’s a run for her money.

  74. rebecca says:

    I had a tongue tied baby and was surprised by the differing opinions on how to best deal with that. We had quite painful nursing for sure, and it was MUCH improved by clipping his frenulum. If it hurts THAT badly, get help! It won’t “just get better on it’s own!”

  75. Evelyn Masters says:

    I was surprised that I would feel so proud to look at both my son and my daughters chubby legs and know that it was MY milk that helped them to grow. I also am surprised that I love to breastfeed so much!! I don’t understand why everyone who possibly can doesn’t!

  76. Heather says:

    My SIL & I were just talking about the pillow issue. I wish that Boppy made thicker nursing pillows for tall women!

  77. Heather says:

    What surprised me the most was that it is not always a positive bonding experience. The hospital had me start supplementing, but my milk had already come in… so I became extremely engorged and became injured on one side. I had a private lactation nurse come to the house when our baby was five days old and she said she has never seen any one keep nursing after an injury like that. She didn’t tell me that at the time, but I continued to nurse every couple of hours through the injury which finally healed after six weeks. I thought taking a shower was going to be extremely painful for the duration of nursing. I hated nursing the first 6-8 weeks due to the pain. And to maintain my supply on the injured side, I always started on that side. Now my daughter is 6 months old and I am so glad that I stuck it out, but in the first couple of months I didn’t like nursing.

  78. Lucinda says:

    I’m surprised at what a good nurser my 11 month old son is, even with eight teeth! After we had figured out nursing when he was a newborn, I began to dread the days when he would get teeth, because I’d heard of so many people who stopped nursing when their child got teeth. My little sweetie did bite me a few times, but he quickly figured out that mommy did not appreciate that! I’ve also been surprised at how fun it is to nurse him now that he’s older and able to interact more.

  79. Melissa says:

    I was surprised by how often I had to nurse in the beginning. It seemed like my daughter would finish up just in time to start again, and she nursed half hour to an hour every time. She would fall asleep and was impossible to rouse to finish up. After a couple months when she was more aware of the world she turned BF pro and now nurses in record time. I didn’t think I’d have a life beyond being a feeding station ever again.

  80. tasha says:

    I was surprised at what different experiences you have breastfeeding your second child. It wasn’t nearly as painful as my first daughter who I suffered with for 6 weeks before it got easier. This time around there was very little pain. Both times there was an amazing bond that developed so quickly between my daughters and I. I’ll be really sad when my daughter weans herself!

  81. Holli says:

    I had assumed that since I was going to be a SAHM, I would only need a small hand pump for those occasional bottles. Little did I know that I would be using that thing around the clock for the first week or so. By the time the double electric pump got here (that DH ordered for me after watching me cry, God love him), LO had finally mastered the breast.

    I was also very surprised at the roller coaster of emotions I would feel about BFing. I’m usually pretty laid back & don’t fault anyone who chooses to formula feed, but I was wracked w/ guilt over the few times I just couldn’t make it through the night w/out giving LO some formula. I was exhausted from around the clock hand-pumping, and that didn’t help the emotions.

    I had a wonderful LC, and I have tried to help all of my friends who want to give BFing a try. I’ve shared my experiences w/ them (growth spurts, nursing strikes, mastitis, clogged ducts that were so bad they had to be lanced; but also the amazing feelings, bonding, ease of BFing once I caught on). We’re still going strong at 14 months. 🙂

  82. julia says:

    i read all these breastfeeding articles and i am so sad i couldnt breastfeed my daughter.
    i do give her breastmilk, but i have been exclusively pumping since her second day. I just wish I could have had the bf experience

    My body shape makes it impossible to breastfeed. Yes its true – 3 lactation consultants and 1 dr told me its not going to happen. but at least she gets the milk

  83. […] Breastfeeding: Surprises! « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Naturally! […]

  84. Heather B says:

    What surprised me was that with each birth you go through, the uterine contractions that happen during breastfeeding, are more painful than they were with the previous child. I had no idea! I refused the pain meds thinking “this is my 3rd baby, I know how this goes. I won’t need it.” I was WRONG! I needed them! The nurses and the doctor all confirmed that what I was feeling was quite common. I guess no one warned me since nothing could be done about it. Ouch!

  85. Laura says:

    I knew nursing might be a little challenging, but my biggest surprise was how challenging it turned out to be. I gave birth to a reluctant nurser, and we left the hospital with gadgetry.. It took months to get him weaned off of it. He’s fifteen months old now and has no plans of stopping breastfeeding. When I was sitting in the hospital struggling, I would probably have been pretty surprised to learn just how well things would turn out.

  86. Stephanie says:

    I just had my 3rd baby 2 days ago, I’m actually still in the hospital 🙂 What has surprised me the most is how different each experience has been. You can read so much before hand, but even when you’ve been there done that it can be completely different with the next baby. Specifically this time, my milk came in about 12 hours after she was born (by c-section even!). I guess my body just really likes making milk and was very efficient this time.

  87. Jessica says:

    When I was pregnant, I had heard all those things about sore nipples and engorgement, I was scared to breastfeed.

    Once I started breastfeeding…It all happened. The surprising thing, I didn’t mind. I love breastfeeding and I look forward to tandem nursing. It’s strange how you can make a great latch, use a million pillows for comfort, drink dozens of bottles of water in a day, and flash more people NIP than you ever did in college – but, it’s all okay. You don’t care about the milk stains on the bed sheets or the need to stuff your bra with pads. It’s all okay and it’s all worth it because you have that small angel in your arms and you know that you are doing the best for both of you.

    I didn’t care about anything but him.

  88. Juliana says:

    What surprised me is that even at 8.5 months in, things are still changing! We had a painful start with latch issues, but then we hit a smooth period where BFing was pure euphoria! Then we went thru the distraction phase when he would whip his head around with my boob in his mouth (!) at every little sound… then everything was great again. Then teething hit, along with biting (OUCH!)… then smooth sailing. Then developmental milestones hit and he was waking up 5+ times a night, only to be nursed back to sleep… I want to nurse past 12 months, but now I’m just taking it a month at a time to take the pressure off me. You just never know what’s coming up but it has been so worth it for those sweet, quiet moments when he’s looking in my eyes with so much trust and love.

  89. Paula says:

    I was surprised that my determination to breastfeed outweighed my pain. Working through latch difficulties was extremely hard. I’m now happy I have a very stubborn streak.

  90. Julia says:

    I was surprised that after nursing my daughter for 2 years I had lots of problems with both my sons. It goes to show that every breastfeeding experience is different, I just hope that if I have another I don’t have any problems.

  91. Theresa says:

    I was so surpised after days of waiting on my milk to come in that without warning i would look down one evening and see my nightgown soaked. It looked like I took a bath without taking off my nightgown.

  92. Kellista says:

    What surprised me is how much I love it! I thought it would feel more like a task but it really doesn’t. I already dread the day my daughter decides she’s done, I know I’ll cry and immediately want another baby!

  93. Tamara Sz says:

    What surprised me most is that the first month or so would be so difficult. I was VERY committed to breastfeeding and had a good support system (thankfully!). I was also surprised how “easy” it became later! I always tell new moms “don’t give up!”. At the beginning it can be hard to get the hang of it, but it will come!

  94. Denise J says:

    I was surprised at how much breastfeeding HURT! That was my initial surprise. After that part was finally over… I was surprised at how many people just give it up because it’s “not easy”. I love breastfeeding my babies and knowing that they are getting the best possible food they could ever be given!

  95. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve had 3 children and breastfed them all. What suprised me most has been my lack of modesty with it. I thought I’d be very concerned about when and where I would feed my babies, but in reality, if they are hungry, I feed them. Doesn’t matter where, who may be watching, or if I’ve forgotten my nursing cover. To keep them fed is much more important than a bit of modesty.

  96. Jen B says:

    I was surprised, and sad, that I was one of the few that despite having lots of help, reading the books, and seeing various LCs, I still had awful problems! Like others, I thought… how hard can this be? It just seemed like one issue led to another, and I was in constant pain from the second day and for the first few months. It all worked out in the end, my daughter is almost 2.5 and STILL nursing, and I have a 2 month old too!! Nursing the second baby was a dream!

  97. Melissa says:

    I was surprised how hard it was to pump and keep up my supply! When I went back to work even part time I had to do a lot to keep up.

  98. jessica says:

    I think my biggest suprise was the bond and how empowered I felt. I made MILK!! There was real MILK in my boobs LOL!! Not only can I grow a human in my belly, but I can make the milk that feeds her. Pretty amazing feeling!!

  99. Renee says:

    I was and still am surprised at the number of people who are uncomfortable ( or even downright disgusted) with a mother breastfeeding her baby , I guess since formula has become the norm people have forgotten that breasts were made for feeding babies and it is the way it is supposed to be. I try to ignore all the negativity because nothing will keep me from feeding my baby the way nature intended her to be fed but it still surprises me. So thank you so much for this blog maybe with enough info and support we can get more women to give breastfeeding a chance!

  100. Melisa Montgomery says:

    What surprised me most about breastfeeding was that we actually made it past 6 months. My daughter is just 4 weeks shy of her 1st birthday and we’re still nursing strong…YAY!!!

  101. Ceri says:

    I was so surprised by how many people want to talk about breastfeeding. When my daughter was 9 days old, we moved across the country (military family 🙂 ) and so many women stopped me to talk about nursing, one woman even ducking under my cover to help me with my latch! Since then, I’ve heard from hundreds of women (most of the comments have been very positive!) and not a week goes by without a new conversation being initiated by a stranger about my breasts!!!!

  102. Christina says:

    my wayyyy overactive let down, I felt so bad for my little girl, but it’s only on one side. Who knew? Oh and my Left side which is my overactive side is way easier to pump so I hardly ever pump the right!

  103. Audrey says:

    What surprised me was even after talking about it to anyone who would listen (mostly my mom) and going to the classes and reading and reading, is still didnt come to me right away. She had a good latch, but oh my did it hurt the first couple of days before my milk came in. I was so worried it was ME, that id done something soo wrong. Im happy to say i didnt give up, but i did break down a few times! But it been almost 3 months and we’re A+ and Im so in love with breastfeeding my lil lady!

  104. Kari says:

    I haven’t actually started breastfeeding yet, my little one isn’t due until July, but I’m determined to succeed. So I don’t have any experiences that surprise me, but what does surprise me is the number of excuses I’ve heard about why some moms don’t breastfeed, and the number of people who try to talk me out of it. Why oh why wouldn’t you want the absolute best for your baby? I want to do everything possible to make sure my son is as healthy as he can be, breastfeeding will help me with that goal. Thank you for sharing your experiences with those of us who haven’t ventured into breastfeeding quite yet, but plan to soon. 🙂

  105. johanna says:

    DEFINITELY the crazy letdowns before my milk regulated. One time my son came off the breast because he was sputtering and it sprayed him in the face. Oh, did I laugh and after he got over the shock, he grinned too.

  106. Jennifer says:

    I would have to say what surprised me the most and my daughter was when she went to nurse and she unlatched real quick and my milk came spraying at her like a squirt gone the poor girl.

  107. Felicia says:

    My biggest surprise with my son was that I could actually get nursing right after the trama that my daughter and I went through when she was born.

  108. What surprised me is how much I missed it when my son weaned himself. Now I don’t ever want my daughter to stop. Luckily shes only 7 months 😉

  109. Jennifer Hewson says:

    I was surprised that it wasn’t EASY. I mean all mammals do it, why was it so hard to figure out? Well, I’m on #3 and I’ve NEVER STOPPED NURSING. So almost 4 years of continual nursing has brought some wisdom 🙂

  110. Lexi says:

    I’m breastfeeding number 5 now so nothing is too surprising anymore… two things that surprised me the first time around 8 yrs ago:

    1. i would look down and be soaking wet with no knowledge that I was leaking at all… I would suddenly notice while sitting down my thigh felt a bit went and see i was soaked
    2. that i could “squirt” the milk. my husband hated this… LOL i wont go into all the details of what i did when i learned this 😉 but i learned by accidently shooting myself in the eye once…

  111. Lisa says:

    What surprised me is that I’m still breastfeeding and my son is 17 months. I knew I wanted to do it until he was a year, but I didn’t know we’d still be going strong now.

  112. Laura says:

    I was surprised that the milk would come GUSHING out! My poor baby would get overwhelmed, and I would feel like a fire hose. But we toughed it out and now my 23 month old is still very addicted to nursing. <3