If you’re planning on breastfeeding Baby, and you’ve never breastfed before, there will probably be a lot of ‘firsts’ for you once Baby arrives. Every breastfeeding experience is different and there really isn’t a way to know ahead of time what those ‘firsts’ will be for you. But in the meantime, here are seven common things that might come as a surprise.
Hunger and thirst
You might be extremely hungry and thirsty while breastfeeding. Many women report getting the breastfeeding munchies while nursing; others say they were thirstier than they’ve ever been while breastfeeding. Make sure that you’re getting enough to eat in the weeks following the birth of Baby, and try to keep a glass of water nearby, especially when you sit down to actually breastfeed Baby.
The weight loss theory
You might lose weight – but you also might not. Some women lose some pregnancy weight while breastfeeding, but others do not. If you fall into the second category, don’t be disheartened; just focus on getting you and Baby enough to eat right now.
Changing sleep habits
You might not be able to sleep on your stomach. If your breasts are particularly sore from breastfeeding, it might be uncomfortable for you to lie on your stomach at night. Dedicated stomach-sleepers might find some comfort rolling a towel under their stomach to make sleeping more comfortable.
Sharing baby time
Your partner might get jealous of your time with Baby. Breastfeeding can be taxing, but there’s no denying that it’s a wonderful opportunity for you to spend time with Baby. This can upset partners who aren’t breastfeeding, as they also want some special time with their baby. Be empathetic if your partner expresses these kinds of feelings, and try to find a way for both of you to get in some quality time – there are plenty of ways your partner can bond with Baby other than feeding.
Nipple stimulation and arousal
It might sound a little, well, strange, but the nipple is an erogenous zone. This basically means that your nipples are sensitive, and any stimulation might make moms feel aroused. If this happens, try not to feel weirded out; it’s completely normal and lots of moms report feeling this way when breastfeeding.
During this time, you’re going to hear other people’s opinions about breastfeeding. If this hasn’t already started happening to you, then get ready to hear how a lot of people feel about breastfeeding. It’s completely up to you how much of these comments, if any, you want to take to heart.
The breastfeeding connection
Last but not least, you might be surprised to find that you feel a strong connection with other breastfeeding moms. There’s no guarantee that you’ll feel this, but many women report it as one of the most surprising things they experience during and after breastfeeding. There’s a shared sense of camaraderie that comes with a lot of things about being a new mother, and one of these things is breastfeeding.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics. “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk.” Pediatrics. 129(3). Web. Mar 2012.
- Jahaan Martin. “Nipple pain: causes, treatments, and remedies.” Leaven. 36(1):10-11. Web. Feb-Mar 2000.
- Stacelynn Caughlan. “What Should I Eat When I’m Breastfeeding?” MotherandChildHealth. Mother & Child Health, 2017. Web.
- Jeanne Spencer, MD. “Common breastfeeding problems.” UptoDate. Wolters Kluwer, UpToDate Marketing Professional, Apr 2016. Web.