Breastfeeding my biggest nursing surprises

Breastfeeding for a new nursing mother.

My breastfeeding journey began moments after giving birth to my daughter. She learned very quickly and began nursing like a champ within her first hour of life. That doesn’t mean we did not have some surprises along the way.

Breastfeeding surprises for the new nursing mother. My biggest nursing surprises. Visit shortsweetmom.com to read about my experience as a new mom or pin for later.

The breastfeeding tradition, like mother like daughter.

My mom nursed me until I was a little over two years old. One of my dads favorite stories to tell was how I would wake up every night around two am, stand in my crib and say ,”nurse, nurse, nurse.” Over and over until he would come and get me and bring me to bed. Before my dad died of cancer almost two years ago he told me those are some of his most cherished memories. Fast forward 30 years. I now have a munchkin that likes breastfeeding even more than I did!

There are some things that no amount of reading will prepare you for.

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 Chapped nipples

People are not kidding when they say your nipples may hurt. Starting out, breastfeeding was very painful. My midwife gave me Lansinoh and it was a total life saver!!! Like chapped stick for your nipples. After a few weeks I needed it less and less until I noticed I wasn’t needing it at all. That was a happy day because I felt like we made it past the newbie nursing stage.

Waiting for your milk to come inBreastfeeding surprises for the new nursing mother.

My milk took 5 days to fully come in. My breasts looked like alien creatures trying to escape my body and my chest felt like it was full of cement. It wasn’t pretty.  But my mom told me, “just keep nursing.”  And sure enough, finally my milk started to flow.

Leaking

When you are a new mama, your babies crying can cause you to lactate. The first time this happened I was changing the munchkins diaper and she began to cry. When we were finished the front of my shirt was soaked. At first I thought she had somehow peed on me. After looking in the mirror I noticed the wetness was from my nipples down. That is when I realized the need for breast pads.

Plugged ducts

I remember my first plugged duct. Ouch!!! In my mind it was much worse than they made it sound in in the book. I took a hot shower then massaged my breast to help unplug the duct. Suddenly my nipple began to spray across the room like old faithful. Mind blown! Soon, I became a natural at mastering the clearing out of the plugged duct. Experiencing these type of challenges really make me appreciate my mom and all the time she spent breastfeeding me!

Pumping only to dump

I remember thinking of how nice it would be to have Genevieve use a bottle so I could have a break sometimes. Faithfully, I began to pump after the 4am feed to build up my stash. A nice supply was slowly growing in my freezer. Genevieve was not a fan of the bottle but I was sure she would come around. Then our diet change messed with my perfect plan. I practically cried when I realized I could not use the milk I had spent so much time pumping. Genevieve never liked the bottle so I gave up on pumping all together.

Growth spurts

Breastfeeding surprises for the new nursing mother. My biggest nursing surprises. Visit shortsweetmom.com to read about my experience as a new mom or pin for later.
My sweet sleeping munchkin.

One of my very first posts was made during one of Genevieve’s growth spurts. I’ll be honest, growth spurts can take a lot out of you. I remember Genevieve’s early growth spurts and she would eat all day and all night long, at least that is how it felt! I learned to stay extra hydrated and eat lots of snacks to keep my energy up.

Biting

Genevieve only bit me a few times and good gracious it is painful when she really chomps down! Most of the time my reaction from the pain was enough to let her know biting was not a good idea. Every so often I get a little nibble but nothing to bad.

How do I feel about breastfeeding now?

My munchkin still nurses off and on at night. At one point I had her sleeping in her crib and it was lovely. My husband almost died last year (another blog post for another time) and it threw a wrench in the sleeping schedule thing and I have not readdressed it yet.

Breastfeeding surprises for the new nursing mother. My biggest nursing surprises. Visit shortsweetmom.com to read about my experience as a new mom or pin for later.
Someday I will miss these moments.

Sometimes I really just want a night to myself with no one touching me at all. But then I remember my dads story. Even though I woke my parents up every night for over two years that is a memory he truly cherished. I know I will feel the same way someday.

Years from now I will miss my munchkin sleeping next to me, snuggling close and feeling her sweet curls brush against my arm. So for now I am enjoying every moment of this nursing journey because before you know it she will be a young woman and I will be telling her stories about how she used to keep me up at night, just like the stories my dad told me.


Where are you at in your breastfeeding journey?

Are you an expecting mama hoping to breastfeed? Are you a breastfeeding mama who has the nursing thing down? What were your biggest nursing surprises? No matter where you are in your breastfeeding journey we can always learn from each other and should always encourage one another.
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This post is part a Blog Hop. Are you a blogging mama looking for a group of women that care and support each other? You are welcome to join the Mom blog tribe on Facebook. Be sure to checkout the stories and tips from some of the awesome mamas of the tribe. 

Tapped out Travelers – Breastfeeding while traveling 
Lactivist in Louboutins – Intimacy and the Breastfeeding Mother
Sophia says Hello – Early Days of Breastfeeding
Happy Healthy Thrifty Family – Challenges with Breastfeeding a Toddler
Mamma June Bug – Lessons in Breastfeeding

20 comments: On Breastfeeding my biggest nursing surprises

  • I can relate with all of these! Great post!! I have been nursing my girl for 9 months now- she also would never take a bottle! What you said about the growth spurts is spot on too!

    • Mine won’t use a pacifier either. Isn’t it funny how some munchkins do not want anything but mom. It is flattering but just a bit exhausting. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • I can totally relate! My first self weened before 1 year and I will be breastfeeding #2 when he arrives. Its such a special time but I also remember wanting to have my body to myself at times.

  • I kind of miss nursing. Our youngest nursed the longest–until she was 2—and that seems like so long ago! Sweet memories. Except the boobs like rocks. Don’t miss those!

  • Yes, I can so relate! The lactating while crying thing was such a surprise to me haha!

  • Great post! I am currently nursing my third nursling and one thing I will add is that each baby is different, so even though a mom might think she’s learned all about it – it can be totally new and overwhelming with a different child! My second was way harder to learn to latch right than my first and would only nurse on one side!! So even if you have “been there done that….” there are still surprises!

    • I have had a few friends tell me this. That is really good advice to keep an open mind, always be ready to learn something new and know that every baby is different. Thank you for commenting.

  • I LOVE that story about your dad!!! Breastfeeding is such a beautiful experience. I’m glad he was able to cherish it, too. 🙂

  • Pumping is my enemy haha! I don’t know why I hate it so much, but I just do. I’m nursing my second baby right now. I just love it!

    • I was not a fan of pumping either! That is why I never started up again after I had to toss my stash. I am so glad nursing is going well with your second little.

  • The milk coming in thing really surprised me!! One morning, on day 3, I woke up to a SOAKED t-shirt. I was so confused. And, I had family over that day and was just leaking all over the place. It took a bit for my milk to really regulate. so the breast pads helped me out a ton!

    I absolutely love how that is one of your dad’s favorite memories. How absolutely sweet, and I know you must hold that close to your heart <3 Thanks for sharing!

  • Hey Tiffany,
    You never know what you’all get out of nursing… I can tell you, having done it twice, you’ll likely be surprised with every new experience. Both my babies were drastically different!! In fact, I just posted about this yesterday on my blog.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. You’re right … you’ll have moments to cherish forever 🙂

  • I wish I read truths like these before I started breast-feeding. I had many of the same experiences. I’m really thankful for a close friend of mine who warned me and gave me the advice to stick with it for a month. It was during week 4 that everything clicked for Evie and I. I was able to breastfeed for a year. Here’s to starting all over again in May.

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