Yes, breastfeeding is hard, and yes, it will hurt at first (sometimes really bad!) but it’s so worth it- and every breastfeeding mother will tell you that. Here’s some things I either didn’t take seriously or didn’t anticipate about breastfeeding:
Your boobs will leak. A lot.
And those reusable pads suck because they stick to your nipple and you have to rip them off, which is actually painful. Either get really nice reusable pads (like these) or get several boxes of disposables and be prepared to take them everywhere. Also, be prepared to do a lot of laundry- shirts, sheets, etc.
All of your fashion choices will now revolve around how easily and discreetly you can whip out a boob.
Lots of button downs and stretchy thing, Oh, and nursing tank tops will be your best friend. I have 2 and I wish I had one in every color.
A pretty nursing cover will make a world of difference.
…especially if you want to go anywhere but also want to stay covered! While I don’t have any problem with uncovered nursing in public, I do cover myself out of respect for my husband and other males. I got myself a fun cover and now I can nurse anywhere- and I do. Wherever I want. This makes life a lot easier, too, especially because Halle is a cluster feeder and comfort suckler- I can nurse at the store, nurse at church, nurse when we have friends over, whatever! If you need a cool cover on the cheap, these are FREE, you just pay shipping:
Be prepared with a breast pump and all the necessary accessories.
I figured we wouldn’t use a breast pump until Halle was older and I wanted to go places, so I had it tucked away- but when she had trouble nursing on one side (and still does) the pump came in handy really fast to keep up my milk supply and relieve engorgement on that side! Also, when your supply is high in the beginning, build up that freezer stock! You won’t regret it 🙂
You will be constantly thirsty. And hungry.
I mean, I eat like a horse! I have to make sure my water bottle is near me when I’m nursing because I am instantly thirsty- and it’s not uncommon for me to eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting. I eat all. day. long. That said…
Have your house stocked with healthy food.
Yes, you can basically eat whatever while you breastfeed and still lose weight, but you’re not going to feel as good eating junk, and you really don’t want that getting to your baby, either. Think healthy, nutrient-rich foods- fruits and veggies with hummus, trail mix, popcorn, real food bars (these are my fave), soups, smoothies. Binging on these is much better for you both. NOTE: We had a friend bring us a huge bag of health snacks the day after Halle was born- best. idea. ever. Such a blessing for a new nursing mama!
Co-sleeping will make your night infinitely easier.
I know there are co-sleeping haters out there (and there are good reasons not to co-sleep, too) but my life is really much more enjoyable with baby in bed. Nursing is as easy as pulling out a boob, latching on, and both of us drifting back off to sleep. Halle may still wake up 2-4x a night, but it’s never for long and we sleep the rest of the time!
Sometimes, you don’t have supply issues.
In fact, you might make too much milk. I always hear people talk about trying to up their low supply- and certainly that is much more common- but that might not end up being your issue, so be observant! When my milk first came in, Halle would struggle because so much would come out so fast! I was using all kinds of supplements to up my supply- I had to cool it for a bit and let her get better at nursing. Now, I am slowly starting to up my supply again- but now, she can keep up!