Last Minute Jitters
Posted By: Jennifer Johnson
I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters.
As excited as I am to breastfeed there are some worries I have too.
For one, everyone who has breastfeed has told me how painful it is at first. Most say it's usually painful for a couple of weeks but after that it gets better. They also warn me if it doesn't, to make sure I get help from a lactation consultant. Luckily my insurance covers lactation consultants, so even after we leave the hospital I can hire one to help us, and not have to worry about being unable to afford it.
I've noticed my chest is already getting more sore, it could just be in my head, but I never realized how sensitive my nipple-area is, and it scares me a little to think of what it will feel like when my little one feeds, in addition to all of the other possible complications such as infections, blisters or thrush.
I try not to think about it so much, because I kind of believe what you expect is what you get, so I'm going to focus on expecting the best, while also being aware of possible challenges I can face so I can get help and not suffer alone.
I worry a little about producing enough food for my baby. I know their stomachs are so small at first, and typically their appetite grows as my supply does, but I still can't imagine my boobs filling up with as much milk as some people describe.
Some of my friends said they made enough milk to feed the world, and others told me they couldn't keep up with how much their baby ate so sometimes I still worry there won't be enough.
I plan to return to work so I won't be at home and able to feed my child at the drop of a hat like some moms who don't work outside of the home have the chance to. I know we'll have to introduce a bottle at some point to help with the transition to pumped milk, and I'll want to build a supply before my maternity leave ends so there's enough to feed her while I'm away at work until I get into a routine of pumping at work.
Another thing I worry about a little bit is finding the courage to breastfeed in public. It's one of those things I never thought I'd even want to do before. It's not something I thought was strange for other people to do, I just felt like I'd rather pump and bring milk in a bottle so I, or my husband, or my mom – whoever I'm with could help me feed her if need be. Granted, I know sometimes it's just easier not having to worry about packing a bottle, pumping beforehand, and things like that, so I hope that I'll get the confidence to feed my daughter when we're out if need be.
I hope that as I bring my daughter into the world, I'll have the confidence to overcome the challenges I face. I know so many women before me were able to do it, and I can do it too. I think the benefits and joy breastfeeding will bring once we get the hang of it will make all of the challenges worth it.10:11am on Tuesday September 14
Jennifer, I wish you the best. I had problems the first five weeks of my son's life but I'm so glad I stuck it out. We're still nursing now at 12 months and honestly I find it so stressful to bring bottles of pumped milk - worrying about keeping it at the right temperature, all the extra gear, and I hate washing my breast pump. It's so much easier to just nurse him directly in public - you get to travel lighter - all you really need are your boobs, your baby, and a fresh diaper. I know his "meal" will always be at the right temperature, clean, and exactly what he needs. It fills his tummy, keeps him healthy and strong, and calms him when he's not feeling his best. And no waste! Find other breastfeeding moms and IBCLCs for support and tips. Once you get the hang of it, it's very easy and discreet. I was at a wedding and someone was surprised to find out (after the fact) that I'd nursed my baby - they just assumed he was napping in my arms. You can do it!