Thursday, March 28, 2013

Breastfeeding Sucks {and other things they don't tell you about about the first week postpartum}

 1. Breasting is beautiful and natural and fucking painful. Every lactation consultant will tell you it shouldn't hurt. But they're lying. I've yet to meet a mom who's nipples were made of steel. And even after two years of breastfeeding my daughter and sunning them the week before the birth I still have to wince when my newborn latches. She's so strong which I'm grateful for, but that doesn't mean it's painless. The strength is great because she does the most with the time she has at my breast but my left side hardly ever eases up and were working on correcting that. It's a lot of effort to breastfeed. But I choose the pain over formula and I know by pushing through the next few weeks it will slowly get more comfortable. I don't want women to think they're doing it wrong because it hurts. With that said, don't deal with it in silence. Talk to a lactation consultant and make sure it's normal pain or something more serious. Get advice on various potions and latch techniques. Find support from other mamas and don't give up.

 2. After birth pains. So baby is out and the pain is over right? No. Sadly, no. After birth pains are the contractions after the birth. The uterus is returning back to normal and contracting. It feels much like intense menstruation cramps and they come frequently specifically while baby is nursing. This is because nursing releases Oxycontin which stimulates the uterus and causes contractions. This usually stops with a day or two. My most painful day was day two. My advice is to liberally consume cramp bark and use a heating pad to relax the muscles surrounding the uterus.

 3. Engorgement is natures boob job. Engorgement is when the breasts are so full of milk they become painful and hard. Like rock hard. Like boob job hard. They're painful and the only relief is to release the milk either by nursing, expressing or pumping the milk. It takes a few days for the body to figure out the right amount of milk to make for baby. Learning some hand expression techniques is very useful in releasing excess pressure, where as pumping will tell the body it's a "feeding" leading to future milk production at that time.

4. Postpartum Bleeding. Nothing is worse than making up all those missed periods all at once.  I am so over blood.  It's messy and uncomfortable and mostly just gross.  And it would, maybe, be okay if it weren't for the blood clots.  I can't think of anything grosser than looking in the toilet after peeing, only to find a blood clot the size of a small organ.  Gross, Scary and Normal.

I'll be back with some posi posts later.  Right now, I'm thinking a nap sounds good though.


You can also follow along on TwitterPinterestFacebook, and Tumblr!

p.s. if you have a moment, I'd really appreciate your vote. Click the banner below and then the owl on the left. {No email required and no spam generated! promise}
Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs


  1. +1
    I am at week 5, and breastfeeding is just now no longer super painful. And might I also agree, thank god for lactation consultants! Breastfeeding is wonderful but so hard.

  2. I can't wait to get pregnant D:
    (but really, I can't, even with all the horror that comes with it)

    1. It's totally worth ALL the not fun stuff, and as long as you know what you're getting yourself into, you'll have a great experience :)

  3. I like this post. I don't think there's nearly enough real talk about what the first six weeks is really like. I'm glad i'm far enough from those intense first weeks now to look back at those postpartum issues and giggle. It's so true about the boob job thing! I heard so much hype about pregnancy making boobs bigger, and really nothing happened to me. Until my milk came in!

    But this post also makes me think of a project my friend is doing where she's collecting personal stories about postpartum experiences for a book. Here's the blog if you're interested:

    Maybe you would want to write for it? Maybe you know other mamas who would want to? Pass the word along if it comes up!