Here are some things that no one told me that I really wish I would have known:
- you are encouraged to nurse nonstop (on demand) in the hospital and the first several weeks of your child's life
- it can take days, even up to a week, for your milk to come in
- if you have a bigger baby (my guy was 9lb 9oz) keeping up with demand is even harder
- you have to drink water like you never have before, but good luck peeing because you will constantly have a little one attached to you
- your boobs will hurt and I don't mean they will be sore, I mean they will HURT!
- your nipples will take on a shape you have never seen before
- modesty will go out the window
- you may never make enough milk to support your child's needs
I know that not everyone experiences these hardships, but for those that do know that you are not alone. It wasn't until I started talking about how difficult of a time my little guy and I were having that I learned almost everyone I knew struggled with breastfeeding to some degree.
The most vital piece of information I have learned from talking with others is that there is NOTHING wrong with giving your child formula. I had the hardest time accepting this, but your child's health and weight gain are the number one priority, along with your emotional and physical health. If you have to supplement no biggie. You are doing what you need to do for your child!
To date, I am breastfeeding on demand and supplementing with 2-4 ounces of formula a day. It took my son almost 3 weeks to get back to birth weight and continue to gain weight at speed that made the doctors, lactation specialist, and this mama happy.
Did you struggle with this or have a friend that did? What has worked for you?