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Breastfeeding

Preparing For Breastfeeding When You’re Still Pregnant

Once you’ve made the decision to breastfeed your baby, it’s natural that you want to do all you can to set yourself up for success. But it’s not always easy preparing for breastfeeding when you’re still pregnant and aren’t completely clear on what it’s going to be like. Here are some things you can do to prepare for breastfeeding that will actually be helpful when the time comes.

Preparing for breastfeeding

Leave your nipples alone

Somehow, rumors got started that you need to toughen up your nipples before the baby arrives. (I’m wincing in pain imagining all these women abusing their nipples while pregnant and desperate.)

Ladies, leave the nipples alone. 

It’s true that when you start breastfeeding, your nipples will likely become blistered and cracked for the first few weeks, especially if your baby has a bad latch. This can be painful, and lanolin cream will be your best friend until you and your baby get the whole latch thing down.

But you can’t really do anything ahead of time to avoid this stage.

In fact, your breasts change on their own to prepare for breastfeeding. The areola grows bigger and darker to help the baby find it. And the bumps on the outer rim of your nipples, called Montgomery’s glands, are making oil to keep your nipples lubricated and free from bacteria.

If you have flat or inverted nipples, it is unlikely that anything you do is going to change their anatomy. Many women have found nursing using a nipple shield to be helpful in this case.

Arm yourself with knowledge

The absolute most effective way to ensure breastfeeding success is to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding ahead of time. This is not something you want to blindly stumble into.

I highly recommend taking a breastfeeding course. Sometimes the hospital you deliver at offers one. If not, Milkology has a very thorough online breastfeeding course that allows you to learn from home on your own time. I took the Ultimate Breastfeeding Class and found its coverage extensive, including: 

  • The biggest mistake women make that can sabotage breastfeeding
  • The most effective breastfeeding position to get a deep latch
  • 2 simple ways to ensure your baby is getting enough milk
  • A powerful strategy to make more milk whenever you need to
  • 7 places to seek out and find your super support tribe
  • BONUS: The breastfeeding troubleshooting guide- perfect for getting quick answers when things go awry!

breastfeeding success

Milkology has since added two more online courses including the Back to Work Pumping Class and an Exclusive Pumping course. I have heard nothing but amazing feedback about these two! You can take one on its own or as an add-on to the Ultimate Breastfeeding course.

Get the right supplies

It seems like every time I turn around there are new breastfeeding products out there. I’m not one for overspending, which is why I wrote this post about the breastfeeding essentials you actually need.

You don’t need to drop all kinds of money on breastfeeding products (isn’t breastfeeding supposed to be cheaper than formula?) but you will need a few basics like a pump, nursing bras, and boppy pillow.

Have a realistic plan

There is something to be said for setting expectations. When it comes to life with a newborn, especially if this is your first, you might need to lower the bar. Like way, way down.

Don’t plan on accomplishing anything during your maternity leave other than bonding with your baby and recovering from birth. Those two tasks are not small, they are enormous. Throw in breastfeeding, and it’s almost too much.

If you expect it to be difficult and it turns out smooth, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. But if you jump on the “breastfeeding is natural, therefore this will be easy” train… reality is going to hit you hard.

Remember that maternity leave is not a vacation or a sabbatical. You won’t be doing pleasure reading in your free time. You’ll be tired and dirty and wishing for a shower and 3 uninterrupted hours of sleep. Now you can’t say nobody warned you!

Having a survival plan can help a lot. Is Grandma begging you for some baby time once the little one arrives? Schedule her for 2-4pm on Wednesdays and make sure you get a midweek nap and shower.

One plan I often hear is “I’m going to pump a bottle so my partner can do night feedings.” This is one plan that doesn’t often work out. For one, finding a time to pump when your newborn is attached to you 24/7 is a challenge. Another obstacle is getting the baby to accept a bottle. Lastly, your supply might require you to do all the night feedings. It’s a well-intentioned plan to have someone help with night feedings, but may not be realistic once the little one is actually here.

Take everything else off your plate

I know what you’re saying. “What? How?”

You are the mom, the entire household revolves around you and your infinite wisdom of how to run a household.

But if you are determined to breastfeed, it will help SO MUCH if you make that your number one priority in the weeks following birth. And that will require you to let a lot of other responsibilities go.

Newborns have tiny bellies and need to eat very frequently, sometimes every hour. They also aren’t super efficient at breastfeeding, so nursing sessions can last 20-30 minutes. If that sounds like that doesn’t leave you a lot of spare time, you’re right!

For the first couple weeks, delegate as much as possible. Get help with the cleaning. Set up a sitter for your older children if you have them. Remind your spouse how a washing machine works.

Prepare dinners ahead of time by making freezer meals during your pregnancy. Here are 21 freezer meal recipes to get you started!

Secure your support system

woman on phone while breastfeeding

I spend a lot of time in breastfeeding mom groups, and one of things women say is the hardest thing about breastfeeding isn’t cracked nipples or night feedings.

It is the lack of support.

Emotionally, it is devastating when you are giving it your all and you hear comments like “why is he so small? I don’t think he’s getting enough from you” or “can’t you do that somewhere else?”

Having the support of family and friends can make the difference between quitting breastfeeding and reaching your goals. Talk to family members beforehand and let them know you need their support. Distance yourself from people you know will be toxic to your breastfeeding relationship (at least temporarily). Connect with people who are also breastfeeding or who you know are supportive of it. You don’t want to do this alone!

Join a group

Even if you have family and friends supporting you (but especially if you don’t), it’s a good idea to join a breastfeeding group.

Not only will these connections give you emotional support, they can also be a wealth of knowledge for when you have questions and concerns along the way.

Local groups in person are fantastic if you have one near you (check with your healthcare provider or lactation consultant). There are also tons of online groups too. I like the Milky Mamas Breastfeeding Support Facebook group because it’s large and active so you will get a quick response to anything you post. There are a lot of knowledgeable moms on there who can answer absolutely anything. 

You can even join it during pregnancy just to read and learn from others’ questions. That would be a great way to prepare for breastfeeding.

Surrounding yourself with other nursing mothers (even if virtually) helps normalize what you’re going through and makes you feel less alone.  

What are YOU doing to get prepared for breastfeeding?

Have you taken any of these steps? Or do you have a different plan? Let me know in the comments!

Easy, Healthy Snacks For Breastfeeding Moms

One common problem for breastfeeding moms is that they are constantly hungry, but don’t have the time and energy to prepare healthy food. It is so easy to reach for the junk food when your hands are full and your stomach is empty! I reached out to lactation consultant Andrea Tran to help us find some ideas for easy, healthy snacks for breastfeeding Moms.

Easy, healthy snacks for breastfeeding moms

Make your snacks count!

Snacking is essential for the breastfeeding mama. 500 calories. That’s how many calories a breastfeeding mom is advised to eat in addition to her pre-pregnancy dietary needs.

Yay! Grab me a bag of Oreos! Or at least 9-10 Oreos. They’ll have the calories, but good nutritional value? Not so much. You want to make those calories count.

New moms are busy. They are crazy busy. The truth is that eating healthy is not difficult. You just need to know what are good choices. Then it becomes easy.

It doesn’t feel easy when we are standing in the grocery aisle staring at sugar-laden granola and protein bars. The snack chip aisle is even worse. Just because something is shaped like a vegetable doesn’t mean it really is that vegetable. And who needs all that salt and fat?

Challenges of healthy snacking:

  • Get 500 extra calories
  • The calories should have good nutritional value.
  • The food needs to be quick and easy to prepare.
  • They need to taste good! Let’s face it, something that tastes like sawdust is not going to be eaten more than once.
  • The snacks should be portable, so if you are running errands you can throw them in your purse or an insulated lunch bag.
  • Bonus points if they are lactogogues (good for your milk supply). 

The good news is that there are lots of things to choose from. Here is a list of 10 things that you can snack on throughout the day, that work for the times when you are on the go. They will also give you energy and calories to keep making lots of milk!

10 Healthy Snacks For Breastfeeding Moms

breastfeeding mom eating yogurt

CHEESE

String cheese is easy to eat and easy to carry around. You can eat it while you drive or push a stroller. They come in a variety of flavors.

YOGURT

Greek yogurt that is mixed with frozen cherries that have thawed. Pick full fat yogurt for a good calorie count. The thawed cherries will have a delicious juice that gives the yogurt a nice flavor without added sugar. To save on time thawing the cherries you can pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let’s be real, when mama wants to eat, she wants to eat now!

TRAIL MIX

Nuts and/or dried fruit. Pick your favorites. If you are organized you can make individual bags of a mix. If you’re not organized you can just eat from the bag.

EGGS

Hard boiled eggs. You can make a dozen all at once and keep them in the refrigerator. If a dozen seems like too many, do half a dozen. Hard boiled eggs are super simple and quick in an Instant Pot.

JERKY

Organic turkey jerky provides you with protein and that is an instant energy booster. Gotta love a snack that requires no prep.

OATMEAL

If you have time, oatmeal muffins. Oatmeal is good for your milk supply. Go easy on the sugar. Adding dried cranberries will help make them sweeter. You can also add fresh blueberries. Make a double batch and freeze some. That will allow you to grab one or two as you are ready to walk out the door and they will be thawed by the time you are ready to eat them.

BERRIES

Is there any fruit yummier or healthier than blueberries?

Speaking of blueberries, make a big batch of blueberry pancakes for breakfast and eat the extras for snacks. You can use protein pancake mix. I have an easy protein pancake recipe mix that uses protein powder instead of pancake mix.

    • ½ mashed banana
    • 1 egg
    • 1 T almond milk
    • ½ cup blueberries
    • 1 t cinnamon
    • 1 scoop protein powder
    • Or, in place of the blueberries you can use chocolate protein powder for a yummy, healthy, chocolatey snack.

FRUIT

Fruit is the perfect grab and go snack. If you are not on the go you can dip apple slices into nut butter for some extra nutritional value. It tastes good too.

NUT BUTTER

Nut butter is a great snack. You can just get a scoop with a big ole tablespoon or you can buy individual serving packets to throw into your purse. 

YOUR FAVORITE LACTATION RECIPES

Energy bites can easy to throw together and will provide you with snacks for a few days. Pinterest has hundreds of recipes. Look for something that has oatmeal, brewers yeast and flaxseed for milk production boosting properties. Some recipes have chocolate chips, which of course can add sugar. Choose dark chocolate chips for their antioxidant properties.

Got breastfeeding questions? The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class by Milkology has answers. This course is extremely thorough, and comes with some amazing bonuses like the Common Breastfeeding Issues Troubleshooting Guide, and Tips From Pumping Moms in the Trenches. For $19, you will become that breastfeeding expert that all your friends call when they have problems.

breastfeeding success

When you are growing another human being you want to make sure you are using good ingredients. That is what your diet is. That doesn’t mean those ingredients shouldn’t taste good. These snack ideas give you a lot of variety, nutrition and taste. That is the perfect breastfeeding diet trifecta!

What are your favorite healthy snacks for breastfeeding moms?

I would love to hear from you in the comments!

About the guest poster

Andrea Tran has been a lactation consultant (IBCLC) for 25 years.  You can find her on Breastfeeding Confidential, where she provides education and support to breastfeeding moms that is inclusive, accepting and non-judgemental.

The Pink Drink: Does It Really Boost Breastmilk Supply?

Have you heard about Instagram-worthy Starbucks sensation, the Pink Drink? Breastfeeding moms swear it boosts milk supply. Let’s see if it really does, and I’ll show you how to make it yourself at home!

The Pink Drink

If you’re reading this in preparation for breastfeeding, make sure you prepare yourself well without breaking the bank. This post guides you through the essentials you’ll need: Everything I needed to breastfeed my baby for a year.

And if you’re finding that breastfeeding makes you HANGRY, I have some suggestions for easy, healthy snacks for breastfeeding moms!

How to order

You won’t see the Pink Drink on the menu at your local Starbucks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it. It’s a very well-known drink from Starbucks Secret Menu. Not all baristas are familiar with every item on the secret menu, but it’s highly likely they will know this one.

Just in case, you can order it by it’s official name (recipe?) which is the Strawberry Acai Refresher made with coconut milk instead of water. That’s a bit of a mouthful, which is probably why people just call it the Pink Drink.

What does it taste like?

Some people describe it as a strawberry milkshake, but it is definitely a thinner consistency like milk or juice, not thick like a shake. It’s also slightly less sweet than a milkshake and more tangy. When I first tasted it I thought there might be pomegranate or passion fruit in there, but I was actually tasting the acai flavor.

Does it boost milk supply?

increase breastmilk supply

First of all, if you’re at all dehydrated, your milk supply will suffer. So drinking ANY liquids, including a large delicious one like the Pink Drink, will help your supply if that’s the case.

But specifically to this drink- it’s the coconut milk that gives breastmilk supply a boost.

Coconut is said to be lactogenic, meaning it helps with milk production. It contains healthy fats necessary for breastmilk and as well as lauric acid and capric acid. These antimicrobial fatty acids are what give breastmilk its virus-fighting power.

So what do the actual nursing moms say? Two women from my breastfeeding support group weighed in.

Karla says, “I’m OBSESSED with the pink drink!!! It upped my supply same day!”

Misty, mom of a 5 week old, says, “I pumped each side only 5 minutes and got 3 ounces after drinking one.”

The evidence might be anecdotal, but if you’re struggling with supply it’s worth a try and certainly won’t do any harm.

(Check out this post for more about milk supply and how to tell if baby is getting enough!)

How to make the Pink Drink at home

How to make the pink drink at home

Two simple ingredients will get you a drink that is very similar to the Pink Drink: coconut milk (any brand, I used Silk) and Ocean Spray Cran-Strawberry.

Comparing the two in a taste test, they do taste very similar. The homemade version was slightly less tangy, most likely because there is no acai flavor. I was also able to taste the coconut more in the homemade version, so if you don’t like the taste of coconut you might not love it.

You can see in the picture that I used unsweetened coconut milk. I think in the future I’d try making it with regular sweetened or even vanilla coconut milk. But the unsweetened still tasted good and I’m sure had less sugar and fewer calories than the Starbucks original. So if you’re concerned about losing the baby weight, the homemade version is a better option.

homemade version of the Pink Drink

Not only does this drink taste very similar, it will also save you money. I happen to love numbers, so let’s figure out exactly how much more affordable it is.

The grande Pink Drink I ordered cost me $4.75.  According to Google, a Starbucks Grande holds 16 ounces. That comes out to about 30 cents per ounce.

The two 64 ounce bottles of coconut milk and cran-strawberry juice mixed together will get you 128 ounces of the (homemade) pink drink. Together they cost me $6.35 at the grocery store. 128 ounces divided by $6.35 comes out to only 5 cents per ounce! 

So the Starbucks version is costing you six times more.

What are your thoughts on the Pink Drink?

Have you noticed a benefit if you’re a breastfeeding mom? Or is it all just baseless hype? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

The Only Breastfeeding Essentials I Needed To Nurse My Baby For A Year

Wondering what the true breastfeeding essentials are in the endless sea of new baby products?

Truly, not too many things are needed for breastfeeding. I breastfed my baby for a year (twice!) without amassing a large amount of stuff

I wouldn’t consider myself a complete minimalist, but I do have frugal tendencies. During my pregnancies I was never in a rush to run out and by all the baby gear there is. And isn’t one of the perks of breastfeeding that it saves you money you’d be spending on formula?

On the other hand, I knew I had to be as comfortable as possible to help me get to my goal of breastfeeding for a year. So I did spend some money to set myself up for success with some convenient breastfeeding essentials.

Breastfeeding Essentials

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click one of the product links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Breastfeeding Essentials

A BREASTFEEDING COURSE

Knowledge and breasts are the only things you actually need in order to breastfeed. Arm yourself with everything you need to know about breastfeeding by taking a local class, or an online breastfeeding course if that’s more convenient for you. 

Remember, the greatest force working against breastfeeding moms is their own doubt. Know what to expect and dive into breastfeeding with confidence.

BOPPY

Some people prefer My Brest Friend, but I stuck with the Boppy Pillow for my babies. This C-shape pillow wraps around your waist. It helps get the baby up to the proper height to nurse. After trying to breastfeed without it in the beginning, I quickly realized how hard it is on your back! When you’re already dealing with all the discomfort of postpartum, a sore back is the last thing you need.

BREAST PUMP

If you’re planning to go back to work after maternity leave, a great pump is crucial. Even if you’re not, you will want a pump if you plan to be away from your baby for any stretch of time, ever.

You should be able to get your pump covered by insurance, and then you’ll just need to buy the accessories like extra parts and milk storage bags. I would recommend either the Medela Pump in Style or the Spectra Baby USA Hospital Strength Pump.

Then just get a convenient cooler bag with some ice packs to store the milk until you can put it in the freezer at home.

HANDS-FREE PUMPING BRA

It’s not exactly essential, but a hands-free pumping bra does make pumping less of a chore. Without it, you have to either pump one side at a time, or sit there with both hands at your breasts unable to do anything. With your hands free you can do work, read a magazine, scroll through Instagram, whatever helps you pass the time.

BOTTLES

I got lucky and my babies took to the Medela bottles without a problem. Some breastfed babies are choosy, so you may need to experiment with different types of bottles and get one that closely resembles the breast. I’d also recommend not waiting too long to introduce the bottle- I offered one as soon as my supply was well-established, around 3 weeks.

NURSING TOPS AND NURSING BRAS

It is so much easier to pop a boob out anytime, anywhere when you’re dressed right for it. But I also didn’t want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe just for breastfeeding.

If you have several nursing tanks, you can wear one under just about any shirt and breastfeed easily. Just pull the top shirt up, and unclip the top of the tank (aka the two shirt method).

Just about any button-front shirt or low V-neck can also work for breastfeeding.

As for bras, you might need to try a few different kinds and see what you like. I found these seamless nursing bras to be the most comfortable. They have a bit of stretch to them which is nice as breast size fluctuates all day when you’re nursing.

SLEEP BRA

When I was pregnant, my mom friends told me I should get some sleep bras and I completely scoffed at the idea. Isn’t taking off your bra at the end of the day one of the best feelings ever?

Of course, they were right. There really is no preparing you for how huge your breasts will get once your milk comes in. It is actually comical, if you’re able to maintain a sense of humor at such a crazy time. Luckily my sister ran over with some comfy sleep bras so I could have a little support and stay in place during the night.

(And if you leak, you’ll need the sleep bra to keep nursing pads in place too.)

Other breastfeeding items moms love

I didn’t use these myself, but I see them come up again and again as items new nursing moms love.

HAAKAA

Everyone in the breastfeeding world seems to be going crazy over this new product the Haakaa

It capitalizes on the fact that when you feed your baby, both sides experience a letdown. The side that the baby isn’t eating from typically just leaks a bit.

If you have the Haakaa attached (it basically suctions to your breast), it will catch that letdown and suction out a bit more. It doesn’t have the force of an actual breast pump, but you will collect a little each feeding and it adds up fast.

NIPPLE SHIELD

Not everyone needs to use a nipple shield, but if your baby has a bad latch this little device can save your nursing relationship. It basically puts your nipple into something like a bottle nipple, which is firmer and easier for baby to latch onto. I

And if a bad latch left you with cracked and bleeding nipples, it will be less painful to breastfeed with one too.

NURSING PADS

I only used these for the first week or so until my supply adjusted, but some people continue to leak and need to use them all the way until weaning. Reusable nursing pads will save you some money in the long run if that’s the case. If you can’t be bothered to wash them in the laundry, disposable nursing pads work well too.

You really don’t need much to comfortably breastfeed for as long as you want!

Prepare yourself with the essential items for breastfeeding and a good dose of patience, and you and your baby will get this nursing thing down pat.

11 Things No One Told Me About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a very primal thing. It’s something our bodies were made to do, but we forget that even though walking is second nature, we still had to learn how to do it!

Before having a baby, you might think you’ll deliver him, he’ll latch right on, and the feeding shall commence… simple as that!

More often though, there’s a steep learning curve, some pain, and maybe a few tears along the way. Don’t let this scare you! Knowing is half the battle. (And it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is different, so yours may be different from mine, from your sister’s, and from your friend’s.)

Things no one told me about breastfeeding

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click one of the product links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

As with most things, you’ll feel more confident if you’re prepared. Here are 11 things no one told me about breastfeeding:

Yes, breastfeeding hurts.

But the pain won’t last forever! Often it’s said that if it hurts, you’re not doing it right. Statements like these make new moms feel defeated.

Even if your baby is properly latched, breastfeeding is going to hurt in the beginning (think two to three weeks). This is a very sensitive part of the body, after all!

If breastfeeding is unbearably painful, however, don’t try to go it alone. Contact a lactation consultant to help diagnose and correct the problem. 

You might feel a rush of emotions (good or bad) at the start of each session.

The hormone responsible for breast milk let down sends a surge of chemicals to the brain, almost as if you’ve taken drugs. Not every woman feels it. Some feel like they’re falling in love, while others experience really negative feelings.

If you are overcome with negative emotions or visions, make sure your support system knows and talk with your doctor.

The more you prepare ahead of time, the greater your chance of success.

Did you know that the more a pregnant woman is educated about breastfeeding, the more positive her outcome will be?

According to the World Health Organization:

Systematic review of the available evidence suggests that breastfeeding education is effective in increasing both the rate of breastfeeding initiation and breastfeeding duration.

A comprehensive breastfeeding course, whether in person or online, will help prepare you for potential pitfalls in the breastfeeding relationship, help you troubleshoot problems, and boost your confidence in feeding your child.

The best course I’ve found online is the Ultimate Breastfeeding Class from Milkology, which is extremely thorough and comes with some amazing bonuses like the Common Breastfeeding Issues Troubleshooting Guide, and Tips From Pumping Moms in the Trenches.

I love the video format- it feels like you’re learning from a guru in person, while you’re at home and comfy in your PJs. At $19 you can’t beat the price point for what you get.

breastfeeding success

I heard there is a new second class all about how to pump so you can go back to work. This one I haven’t taken myself, but if it’s anything like the first class I’m confident it will cover all the bases with specific plans of action. (If you try it, please come back and let me know how you like it!)

Even if you plan to breastfeed exclusively, you might need to pump.

There are many reasons a new mom might use a pump to express her milk instead of nursing the baby, but it’s rarely discussed before the baby comes. It’s as if pumping is a taboo topic, only brought up if a mom plans to go back to work.

In reality, almost every nursing mother will want to pump now and then for a variety of reasons. You might want Dad to be able to feed the baby, or be able to go out on a date night and have another caregiver feed the baby. Or even just to have some in the freezer in case of emergency.

If you don’t already have a pump, check out this post about how to get one for free.

Pumping is still breastfeeding!

When you feed a baby breast milk out of a bottle, you are still breastfeeding. You and your baby are both still reaping the many benefits of breastfeeding, whether the milk is delivered straight from the tap or via a pump and bottle.

While pumping comes with its own set of challenges, some mothers find it to be easier, or more convenient, or less painful than nursing.

Stock up on comfortable nursing bras.

about breastfeeding

Your breasts will likely feel heavy and sore at first. They might feel better if they’re supported in stretchy nursing bras or nursing tank tops round the clock.

This also protects the nipples, which might be raw and coated in lanolin or some other cream. These nursing tanks are not only more comfortable, but make breastfeeding really easy. Slip nursing pads in the cups to keep from getting milk (or lanolin, which stains fabric, by the way) on your shirts.

Although I never slept in a bra in my life, when I started nursing I found it much more comfortable to wear a sleep bra. It keeps everything in place while you sleep and stops you from leaking on the sheets!

Supplementing with formula is a thing.

Moms who choose to breastfeed tend to strike the word formula from their vocabularies. In reality, many moms give their babies both breast milk and formula. Your lactation consultant or doctor can help you decide whether it’s the right choice for your baby, but many new moms don’t even know it’s an option.

If your baby isn’t getting enough breast milk, don’t take it as a failure on your part. Any amount of breast milk you can provide gives the baby valuable antibodies. Just remember: fed is best!

Stress will seriously affect your milk supply.

The first year of a baby’s life can be hard for many reasons. Financial stress, career stress, and marital stress only make things more chaotic than they already re. It’s important to make time for self-care, if for no other reason than to keep your supply up.

This post has lots of tips on how to keep your supply up (whether breastfeeding or exclusively pumping).

You will feel hungry and thirsty all the time.

Ok, so maybe someone did tell me this ahead of time. But I didn’t quite get it until I actually lived through the feeling of constant, insatiable hunger that only nursing moms know!

You may have heard about how breastfeeding is a great way to lose the baby weight, and for many people it is. But you should be aware of the possibility that breastfeeding will cause you to eat constantly and can actually keep some pounds on until you eventually wean.

Your baby will want to nurse more when she is sick.

Just expect this. On the bright side, your breasts will produce milk that provides the right antibodies to help your baby fight off the cold or virus it has, based on biological information in the saliva left behind by the baby. Cool, huh?

You can actually catch the milk that leaks during let down.

It used to be that when you start feeding the baby on one side, milk would leak out of the other side during the let down. You would need a pad or towel to stop the milk from dripping and getting on your clothes.

Finally some genius got smart and invented a way to catch this milk so it could be stored and used later, rather than wasted.

The Haakaa Breast Pump works on suction so there are no cords or anything to mess with, and it collects the milk the flows out of the non-nursing breast while you feed. It might not collect many ounces per feeding, but when used consistently the small amount that you get at each feeding can definitely add up!

If you only want to use it occasionally, using it during the first feeding of the morning should give the best results. This is when your breast are most full, so the non-feeding side will have plenty to give.

Breastfeeding is cheaper than using formula, but it isn’t free.

There are plenty of really good reasons to choose breastfeeding over formula feeding, if that option is available to you, but don’t go into it thinking you won’t have to shell out a penny.

When you consider the costs of a pump, a lactation consultant, nursing bras, nipple creams, nursing pads, and pillows, you could end up spending $1,000 in the first year. Of course many of these aren’t likely to be repeat expenses for each baby you have.

Formula feeding can cost up to $1,500 during the baby’s first year. Add bottles, sterilizers, bottle brushes, etc. and the cost can really climb. (You might need some of those items even if you go the breast milk route.)

Basically, if you make the decision to breastfeed for financial reasons, you might end up unpleasantly surprised. 

What did you feel unprepared for when you started breastfeeding? 

Let me know in the comments!

For all things pregnancy, baby, and parenting, be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

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