After the truths about pregnancy, it was high time to tell the truth about breastfeeding, whether they decide to get a nipple pump, or not. But as with pregnancy or parenthood, there is a certain omerta around this subject, which is a shame. Let’s try to restore the truth a little, taking into account of course that these are not generalities, since the first thing to know is that each woman is different (if you have understood that, we will have already taken a big step forward).
1. It can cause pain like contractions
Because of the hormone nicely called “oxytocin”. When a baby suckles, the brain produces this hormone which causes contractions in the uterine muscle fibers in particular, which causes what are called “trenches”. Well, the advantage is that it helps expel what’s left in your belly after giving birth, but it’s good to know that.
2. It can hurt, very badly
Even if the baby is well placed on the breast, the first seconds or minutes of feeding can be painful, and give the impression of having small needles piercing the nipple. This is not the case for everyone, but it can happen.
3. You may not like the image it gives you
You may not be comfortable with this vision, where you are a mammal having your breast pumped to feed your offspring. You have the right not to want to breastfeed in public and to do it in a remote room, you have the right not to like this image of you, and you have the right not to want to breastfeed for these reasons in particular.
4. Overall, whether you do it or not, you’ll be told it’s not good
Because your baby is not gaining enough weight or because he is gaining too much, because he does not sleep through the night and wakes up to eat, because he suckles too much, or not enough, or not as he should, because you should stop feeding him, or continue, or because you chose not to breastfeed at all, in short you will be blamed for everything.
5. Breastfeeding does not necessarily make you lose weight
Some, while breastfeeding, are lucky enough to be able to melt like snow in the sun, and lose the pounds gained during pregnancy just by breastfeeding. But this is not the case for everyone, let’s be well aware of that, to avoid a nasty disillusion.
6. Rising milk can hurt
The breasts that swell, that weigh, that pull, the impression that they will explode if you do not immediately remove the milk that is inside, it can hurt a lot, to the point that you see yourself emptying the surplus of milk in the toilet of your work when you don’t have a baby at hand to swallow all that.
7. You can have milk geysers
Yeah, real breastmilk geysers coming out of your boobs without you asking. That’s why we invented nursing pads, to keep all your clothes from getting soaked in milk.
8. “Nipple nipples” exist
If your nipples are too sensitive or too saggy after the first feeds, know that there are silicone nipple shields that will relieve flat, inverted, cracked or painful nipples, without ruining your breastfeeding.
9. You will often hear lousy advice.
About the fact that your milk might sour if you have a fever, that your kid is going to be addicted if you breastfeed her for too long, that you should do this, and do that, and that’s not how he you have to do, that you can’t feed him lying down, standing up, sitting down, on the plane, and doing the cartwheel and blah-blah-blah. Shut up. On this subject, we refer you to the Insta account @Gardetesconseils.
10. Just because he also drinks bottles doesn’t mean you’re going to kill your breastfeeding.
It can happen, but not all babies do. As with all humans, every infant is different, and yeah, it’s crazy but that’s the way it is. Suddenly, your girlfriend who tells you that he mustn’t drink a bottle otherwise he won’t want to suckle anymore, it’s not necessarily true, it depends.
11. You can breastfeed even if you have small breasts.
The quantity and quality of milk does not depend on the size of your cup, and fortunately. Just like the fact that you have big breasts doesn’t force you to breastfeed, and just because you’re doing 95D doesn’t mean you’ll have self-service milk for 3 years.
Breastfeeding can be simple or complicated, the whole thing being to surround yourself with people who can help you without making you feel guilty, with kindness and without judgment. Good luck, then.