If you are like me once you got pregnant you did tons of research on what to expect before and after baby comes. I read tons of articles, made plans, and downloaded every app that would help make my new life as a mom easier. First thing I decided was that I was going to breastfeed, so I studied everything I needed to know about breastfeeding and signed up for a class, because I was going to succeed! Come baby number 1 and I am surprised that breastfeeding wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it was going to be. So I decided to write a blog post to help another mama out. Here are 7 things I have learned from breastfeeding 2 children, that I didn’t learn from research, that I believe will help prepare you for your breastfeeding journey.
1. Leakage Is REAL!
I heard about leakage, but OMG nobody told me how bad it would be! Now, I know that not all moms experience this or to the degree that I have it, but I wish there were more articles out there explaining a worse case scenario. Every feeding session the breast that is not being used LEAKS, and leaks an ocean! I SWEAR! The most embarrassing part is when you leak through your clothes, like through your bra and shirt! That is some seriously strong leakage. Luckily I have had two and a half years of experience to help you mamas out.
Don’t buy the reusable breast pads. I have yet to buy one that last longer than one BF (breastfeeding) session. It is a waste of money and you are better off buying disposable. Every reusable breast pad I have used has leaked through to my bra, and eventually through the T-Shirt. Disposables last most of the day before it needs to be changed and so worth it! You don’t even feel the wetness like you do with the reusable pads and boy did those reusable pads make my nipples itchy too!
Keep in your bag extra breast pads and an extra top. Leaks happen, and sometimes by mistake. Like if your breast pad has moved in your bra, or when you clipped your bra back after a feeding session and it folded down. Sometimes you just don’t notice it and come next feeding session a leak! Keep the goods in the bag!
My favorite are from target! They are the Up & Up brand and are very comparable to most brand named brands. The cost is a plus as well. Click the link below to check them out!
I also love Medela, they don’t make your breast itchy after wearing all day, and are ultra-absorbent! By far the best disposables I have ever owned.
2. Extra Sensitive Breasts!
My breasts will never feel the same! I remember a time when underwired bras were my jam. I lived in those things and now I cannot stand them! The worst part is that when I want an extra lift, because we all know that breastfeeding sags your girls, I am super uncomfortable for the few minutes I try them on before I decide to change into a bra that is tolerable.
If I could I’d go commando up there,
but as you read above, the leakage is real!
Also, your girls change sizes! When you are full and need to feed, your breast become nice and perky and hard. After a feeding, they become loose and saggy. Finding a bra that will fit for both occasions is no bueno and don’t get me started on how expensive nursing bras are.
I have found myself feeling most comfortable in Bralettes and sports bras. And have actually found the most comfortable nursing Bralette and nursing sports bra, that is super stylish, for an amazing price! Read more about it in #4.
3. Uneven Breasts = Not Cute
If you take anything away from this blog post this is it! Don’t say nobody warned you. Uneven breasts happen when baby favors one side or you accidentally give baby one side more than the other. TRACK YOUR FEEDINGS! Want your girls to stay an even size? Then keep track of what side you left off on and make sure your baby gets a full feeding. What if baby falls asleep and doesn’t drink from the other side? Then either pump that side or take your chances. Sounds harsh? I have been working hard to get my girls the same size for a year now, and sadly to say it hasn’t happened, YET! I’m still hopeful! Mine are very noticeable, especially when I am full.
Not sure how to track your feedings? Below I have listed a few app recommendations that I have loved!
I used the Baby Breastfeeding Tracker app with my first born and loved it. It was easy to use and tracked everything, from breastfeeding sessions to dirty diapers. Very helpful for doctors visits or when baby girl was going through changes.
I used the Sprout Baby app with my second born and loved it as well. It does everything that Baby Breastfeeding Tracker does but is easier to use and looks more modern.
Let me know which one you prefer in the comments!
4. Breastfeeding Friendly Clothes are EXPENSIVE!
It is kinda crazy that the market for breastfeeding clothes is so high in price. Shirts start at $25, and they aren’t even all that cute! Dresses, which is what most mama’s want to wear, start at $50 and can go as high as $250. And don’t get me started on bras, which is an essential for us breastfeeding mamas. If you are like me, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a bra that is going to get ruined eventually from all the wear and tear that comes with breastfeeding. Milk spills, spit ups occur often, washing/drying, and the constant tugging, these bras go through a lot! Plus, most BF bras do not do anything for your girls and their shape gets morphed easily. Pretty much all my bras have turned into cones instead of nice round pads, sadly. And comfortability is key! Like I said earlier, underwire is definitely a no no, too much padding is bothersome, and you want a bra that is going to feel comfortable, give you confidence, make your girls look good, and easily gets your boob to your baby.
Bralettes are my favorite because of the comfortability and I feel sexy for hubby when I wear them. My favorite one is from Lively, all their bras are seriously cute and are an amazing price! Plus they have bundle deals and even have a maternity bodysuit! SAY WHAT?! Get $10 off with my code: AMB-mamasandy_ use this code at checkout! I promise you it is worth it!
My favorite nursing sports bra that is super comfortable and keeps the girls in is from Senita Athletics. Sports bras are easily the most comfortable piece of clothing made for women easy! Next to the notorious legging of course. Check out their sets, super stylish with mama in mind, what more can a mama ask for?!
5. Prenatals & Postnatals
We all know that Prenatals are essential during pregnancy, but did you know that after birth it is highly recommended you stay on a prenatal if breastfeeding? Honestly, I believe that if you aren’t getting all your supplemental nutrition from food you should be on a multivitamin. Breastfeeding helps make that habit permanent. But, not all Prenatals are actually helping you. Vitamins are great, but many are made with synthetic ingredients. Synthetic simply means that they were created in a lab, and not from natural sources. Which means your body has a tougher time breaking that vitamin down, and may not be able to absorb all the “nutrition” from that vitamin, if not at all. My recommendation is to take a raw prenatal that is plant based. These vitamins are sourced from food that we eat and are more absorbable in the body, which in turn aren’t harsh on your stomach because they come from a natural source. They are more expensive, but worth it because your health and baby’s health is important to you.
I just started using Ritual Vitamins as a Postnatal Vitamin and have been loving the results! Now they are way easier to take than normal multivitamins I have tried, especially Prenatals. Prenatals, as you know, are ridiculously huge and the taste sometimes is not my all time favorite. Ritual is a breath of fresh air, literally, it has a slight taste of peppermint and the size is not intimidating. Best part is that it is made for women and targets every nutrient we women need for our bodies. Want more information on how they process their vitamins, click here https://ritual.com/articles/rituals-ingredient-philosophy/ Glowing skin, vegan friendly, I would consider it a Raw vitamin, has results and tastes great! Plus it is significantly cheaper than Garden Of LIfe’s Raw Prenatal I recommend below and is a subscription service. You control how often they send it to you and where it gets sent to. Now you never have to worry about not having your vitamins! Click the link below to start your subscription!
I also recommend Garden Of Life’s Raw Prenatal, I started taking it when I got pregnant with my second child and have noticed a difference from my first pregnancy. I have felt more energy, my hair is healthier, nails stronger, and my skin is definitely clearer. You can get a subscription on Amazon, it is cheaper and you don’t have to panic when you run out because it will ship directly to you!
6. Vitamin D Drops
So I actually did not hear about this until my 4 month doctors visit with my first child. Apparently our body’s do not make Vitamin D, and so our babes miss out on this vitamin, which is so important for them because the lack of this vitamin can result in misshaped skeleton, pain, fragile bones, poor growth and development, problems with teeth (including weak tooth enamel and a delay in teeth coming through), soft skull bones, and a delay in the closing of the soft spot at the top of your baby’s head (the anterior fontanelle). Getting baby to take them is super easy too, you simply put a drop on your nipple before you feed baby, and that’s it! Baby gets to eat and take her vitamin D nutrition at the same time! Simply, easy, and efficient, just how us moms like it. I recommend Mommy Bliss Vitamin D Drops I have used them for both my babes and haven’t had any problems.
7. The Cuteness!
I swear when my baby is nursing it is the cutest thing in the world. They are so small just sucking away, falling asleep, and making cute noises as they eat. It is seriously the best thing ever! I have taken so many pictures and video of my baby nursing, because I never want to forget that feeling of just admiration for my babe. Thinking about it now is making me emotional because it is the best thing ever. Think about it, our bodies were created to give our baby everything they need to survive, before birth and after! That is so freaking incredible you guys! I promise you, even when you are exhausted, feeling drained, and just feel like a milk machine, look down at your baby, fully satisfied with what mommy can give them, and your heart will melt and forget all about those problems. Capture these moments now before it is too late, this stage doesn’t last forever.