I truly didn’t know what to expect when we started down the road of breastfeeding. There are many things I’ve learned as we go. Here are just a few of what I had no idea about.
I’m thirsty: I understand that I am producing and expelling a lot of liquid throughout the day but I never really understood what it takes to produce milk. I never expected to be so thirsty! It’s almost as though they don’t make glasses big enough! I will gulp down glasses and glasses of liquid- water, milk, juice, diet ginger ale, I always have a drink next to me and it doesn’t last long!
I’m starving: It seems like all I do now is eat. Luckily I tend to crave healthy items but I am seriously hungry – worse than my pregnancy! I feel like even after I eat a full meal, two hours later I’m ready to eat again. Despite all that, it seems my body needs it to produce milk because it’s not storing it as fat like I’m used to (thank goodness)!
Weight Loss: I was trying very hard not to have expectations of weight loss post baby. I was overweight prior to my pregnancy and was advised to gain only 20 lbs but ended up gaining close to 35 when it was all said and done. I wasn’t trying to lose the weight and didn’t expect to but three weeks postpartum I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Now I think I have unrealistic expectations that more weight will fall off!
Let Downs: TMI Alert – I still remember going to get into the shower one of the first days home with Madeline and wondering what that odd noise I was hearing was. I thought for sure I hadn’t closed the curtain all the way and water was dripping on the floor. It took me a second to realize it was actually me! Let downs are no joke, you hold a lot of milk! I have sprayed Madeline in the face by accident and I have woken up in a lake full of milk. I now understand why nursing pads were invented and why they come in such large boxes! They’re a life saver. That being said, there are other symptoms associated with let downs that I just didn’t realize. The first is fatigue. A let down is your body’s way of completely relaxing. As a sleep deprived mom this is dangerous, I find myself nodding off while feeding her sometimes. The second symptom I’ve noticed is a tingling sensation. When I am getting really full and need to feed her, I feel a painful tingling sensation. It feels similar to when your foot is asleep and trying to regain feeling. Let downs are a relief of that feeling, I am always looking forward to them!
This journey has been full of unexpected moments – I’m sure there will be more as we continue!