The biggest surprise that I encountered about parenthood was that it takes a huge amount of commitment to breastfeed a child. I read a lot of information about breastfeeding and not one book seemed to describe the challenge, frustration and pain that I was in for. I support breastfeeding and hope to prepare new moms with the information that is rarely spoken about.
TIME: As a newborn, my son needed milk every couple of hours. Translation: I could not be away from him for longer than about an hour at a time. If I did leave the house and my son happened to cry, I would get the frantic phone call from my husband. “Come home! He is hungry!” There were more than a few times that my sleep deprived state, I would hang up the phone in frustration, rush back to my car and sob to myself, “he just ate 15 minutes ago. “ Not to mention, when the mother is the food source, babies don’t really want to be away from her, ever.
AWKWARD: Breastfeeding is uncomfortable and can be painful for the first six to eight weeks. This was true for me with all three of my children. It is helpful to know that it does get better. During those first weeks, I couldn’t stand the fullness of my breasts. They ached, and leaked and would become so hard as they filled with milk that my son would have a hard time latching on. I was continuously buying Lansinoh to sooth my painful nipples. But don’t give up hope! Once you cross that first stage, breastfeeding finally becomes as natural as they say it should be and the discomfort becomes a distant memory.
DIET: When you are breastfeeding, you need to eat as well as you did when you were pregnant and continue to eliminate things from your diet like alcohol, caffeine, and foods that cause discomfort for your baby. If you dare to eat spicy foods or happen to consume something that gives your baby a tummy ache, be prepared to be up with him or her screaming all night long. With some foods you might not know unless your baby has a reaction. My general rule was to stay clear from alcohol, coffee, soda, anything spicy, garlic or large quantities of any one food.