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Now that my breastfeeding adventure is nearing the end of the weaning phase, I look back in amazement at the fact that I successfully breastfed for this long.
If you had asked me in the first few weeks postpartum how long I would nurse, the answer would have been, "I'm trying for three months." At three months, I would have solemnly sworn that I would never go a full year, much less fifteen months.
I thought I would celebrate this achievement by writing advice to first-time moms planning to breastfeed, but a glance around the internet reminded me that there is already plenty of advice written on the technicalities and benefits of breastfeeding, including basic troubleshooting guides. All of those sites seemed so interesting back in the day when all I could think about was imperfect latch and delayed infant weight gain.
In retrospect, all the information offered is rather repetitive, and though necessary and uplifting to those in need, it barely scratches the surface of what really happens when you breastfeed your baby. Therefore, I thought it might be more fun to do a little tongue-in-cheek tribute to all the mothers who have survived the not-so-text-book breastfeeding phase of child-rearing.
4. What Happens If You Produce Too Much Milk?
You might be asking, "What could possibly be wrong with having too much milk?"
My heart goes out to women struggling with low supply, because it is a serious issue. That is why I won't laugh at them. I will laugh however at those of us on the other side of the spectrum.
An over-supply of breastmilk makes for some unusual issues. It can be very uncomfortable to carry around those extra gallons, the weight of which no nursing bra was designed to handle.
If you pump to save milk for whatever reason, those two cute little bottles included in the pump kit probably won't do the trick. Luckily the 12 oz standard size bottles screw onto the kit, but don't even think you will look glamorous while pumping quarts of milk into bottles covered with dancing elephants.
Storage is an issue too. If you have gone through all the hassle to fill up 5 or 6 bags a day, you probably want to freeze them for future use. It doesn't take long for those bags to add up and take over the freezer.
Six freezers later, you might be wondering why you are hanging on to all that extra milk. Are you kidding? What if there is an ch as a national milk shortage because all the dairy cows went on strike? You are prepared!
3. Newborn babies can crawl to their first meal
The breast crawl isn’t a myth. If given the opportunity, most brand new babies will literally crawl up their mother’s abdomen to the breast for their first meal. Researchers believe that moms’ breasts emit an odor right after birth that is attractive to their baby. In fact, some research suggests that the breast secretes a smell that bears an uncanny resemblance to amniotic fluid and that this odor guides the baby on their crawl to the breast. If you’re an expectant mom, request immediate skin-to-skin contact for at least the first hour after your baby is born to up your chances of witnessing this phenomenon firsthand.
8. Breastfeeding moms actually sleep more than bottle-feeding moms
It’s easy to assume that moms who bottle feed are able to get more sleep simply because they can pass feeding responsibilities on to their partner during the middle of the night. The opposite is actually true. If the goal is to clock as many hours of sleep as possible in the postpartum stages, exclusive breastfeeding is a better choice when compared with mixed feeding or formula feeding, since breastfeeding mothers report getting more hours of sleep each night, according to the journal Clinical Lactation.
A Word From Verywell
As you decide whether breastfeeding is right for you and your baby, consider contacting a breastfeeding group, such as La Leche League, to learn more and find a breastfeeding coach before your baby is born.
Though natural, breastfeeding can be hard in the beginning and you will need support to get through the first few weeks. In addition, if you find you cannot breastfeed, remember that a fed baby is best. Don't feel guilty if you need to feed your baby formula.When Breastfeeding Isn't the Healthiest Choice for Baby