5 Things I Didn’t Know About Breastfeeding
There was a lot I didn’t know about pregnancy and now that baby girl has arrived, there’s a lot I didn’t know about breastfeeding. Sure you hear a few things from other mommas; mostly about how your boobs will grow, how uncomfortable it is and to get ready for your nipple to be pulled like a sling shot (ouch). While these things are true (for me), I’m here to share 5 things I learned while on my breastfeeding journey.
1. Suppresses Your Period
I had never heard this before. Literally I had never heard anyone talk about this. I understood that pregnancy did this, but breastfeeding too?! It wasn’t until my first postpartum appointment when my OB mentioned my period could be suppressed for as long as I breastfed. Or it would be irregular during that time.
Wow! But why?
Hello prolactin! Prolactin is the hormone responsible for producing milk. In turn, it’s also prevents menstruation. BUT it doesn’t prevent ovulation. Yeah, read that again.
I also had no idea that ovulation could exist without a period. Is your mind blown? Because mine sure was.
2. Has Low Vitamin D
They say breast milk is “liquid gold”. Which made me assume that it had all the nutrients that a babe could possibly need. And it does, with the exception of Vitamin D! I never knew breast milk had low levels of Vitamin D until our pediatrician prescribed us drops to give daily to our baby.
It was at this moment that I also learned forumla fed babies get their daily dose of Vitamin D from formula without the need to take a supplement.
We are learning so many things, aren’t we?! Or maybe you already knew all this. Okay, moving on.
3. Tingly Feeling Is Normal
When both my boobs started tingling I immediately thought something was wrong. It kind of felt like the tingle when your foot has fallen asleep. After asking my lactation team (@goldilacts) about it, they said it’s totally normal! Breasts will tingle when they are full, milk is letting down, flowing fast, or filling back up.
If the tingle progresses to an ouch, then you’ll want to talk to your doctor or lactation team to see what’s going on.
4. Takes Time to Build Milk Stash
When it came time to start building my milk stash and freezing it in bags, I didn’t realize it can take up to 2 weeks (give or take) for the milk volume to increase. I thought once breastfeeding was established, I would produce as much milk as I wanted instantly. But it takes time for your breasts to understand that you want more milk made.
It all works on a supply and demand system. In the beginning you’re only producing as much milk as you need (when baby eats). Your breasts don’t know that you want extra milk to put in your freezer. The way you communicate that to your body is by pumping!
Your boobs don’t know the difference between your baby nursing or your pump pumping away. All they know is that you need more milk to feed the mouth that is actually your pump. Increasing your demand will increase your supply. Side Note: That also works in reverse. If you want to stop your supply, then decrease your demand.
It’s also important to know that when you start this stashing journey, you will most likely pump teeny tiny amounts in the beginning. Don’t get discouraged! Trust the process and be consistent. Those tiny amounts will gradually increase as your breasts learn that you need more milk.
Aren’t our bodies amazing?!
5. It Doesn’t Always Hurt
How many of us go into breastfeeding thinking it’s going to be the most painful thing ever? Yup, me too. To my surprise, I experienced minimal pain! I won’t lie, while nursing in the hospital I had a bit of sensitivity. I mean come on, this little human is sucking on your nipples with all their might every 2-3 hours. Of course it’s going to feel sensitive, but I wouldn’t say it was painful.
In addition to getting help from the nurses, I also took advantage of the lactation consultant at the hospital. She would pop in when I was beginning to nurse and give me hands on help until I got the hang of things. It was so valuable to have this available during the first few days of baby’s life.
I learned that a proper latch plays a role in minimizing discomfort. I always make sure my babe’s mouth (including her lips) surround my entire areola and not just the nipple. If it’s just around the nipple, it will definitely feel like a painful pinch. In that case, I release baby from the nipple and re-latch.
This is just a taste of the things I’ve learned about breastfeeding. I’m honestly learning something new every single day. I highly recommend looking into a lactation consultant if you’re wanting extra support in your breastfeeding, formula, or combo feeding journey. I am so glad I found @goldilacts; they have been GOLD. Especially since this is my first baby and everything was so new.
Once you are home it can feel very overwhelming to make sure you are meeting your baby’s needs. The stress and pressure can skyrocket. Having the expertise and support of lactation consultants is the best decision I made for myself, baby and husband. Because at the end of the day all 3 of us are new to this and we can’t help each other if we don’t know how to help each other.
Please leave your comments, tips, suggestions, interesting facts, or anything else you’d like to share about breast/formula/combo feeding below!
Check out @goldiacts here
Watch our full birth story here
Watch extended birth clips here
Watched the vlog! What wireless breast pump do you use? Trying to decide between the willow and the elvie. Veyda is adorable!
Thanks for being here =)! I am using the wireless Elvie and also a Spectra. There’s so many options out there it’s so tough to decide!
Veyda is definitely cute in my opinion (hehe)!
Breastfeeding was extremely painful for me the first time around and it was because I didn’t have the proper knowledge. That is why I am passionate about moms having that knowledge, so thank you for sharing this info. Something I learned that I think is crazy is that pediatricians are not trained on Breastfeeding, and that is why consulting with an IBCLC is so important to get the facts!
I absolutely agree about consulting with IBCLC, especially the first time around! When the first time has not been a great experience, it makes it harder to want to do it again (if there’s a baby #2). How are we suppose to know what to do?! We’ve never done it before!
Thank you for reading and commenting =)
What kind of things are you not allowed to eat because your breast-feeding?
I’m not sure if there are any restrictions, but this may be different from person to person. Consult with your doctor for more info =)!
I’m a breastfeeding counselor going on breastfeeding my second for now 16 months and it just always makes me smile when I see new moms experience and spread knowledge on breastfeeding! Like I said, my youngest is 16 (almost 17) months old and I have not had a period since becoming pregnant with him! I do have friends that got theirs back pretty quickly even though they were breastfeeding, my anecdotal information shows that breastfeeding on demand with no pacifiers and no bottles tend to go longer without their period. So, humans in general tend to have low vitamin d because we are not outside as much as we use to be so the great thing about taking prenatals is it has vitamin d in it, and that passes on to your baby through your milk! So if you forget the give a dose, it’s no big deal! And your doctor will tell you that breastfed babies don’t get as much iron from breast milk after 6 months old -_- once again, any iron you consume can be transferred over to your baby! Happy breastfeeding, you’re doing an amazing job ❤️
Isn’t the period thing just so crazy?! Interesting info about the no bottles and no pacifiers, I had no idea! Thanks for the tip about vitamin D in prenatals. There’s so much goodness we can share with our babes through breast milk. Yummy yummy.
Thank you for your comment =)
I love your posts about pregnancy and now postpartum. The information has been extremely helpful, especially now since I’m pregnant with our first baby. Please keep these gems coming! Also, Veyda (I watch the blogs) is the cutest!
Congrats on your little cutie on the way =)! I know there’s a lot of information out there so I’m glad you came here. Happy to have you be a part of the Just Peachy community!
Hope you’re doing well mama-to-be!
Thank you, Chia!
I’m currently pregnant with my first babe so all your helpful tips and insights are so helpful!
Omgoshhh- yay! Congratulations! I’m so glad my posts came at the right time for you.
More to come- stay tuned mama!
What I thought was my low supply was really my supply building up? I wish I never let my stress get the best of me, and would have continued going. My baby wouldn’t latch, and the day I was going to see a lactation specialist we ended up being in the hospital for my baby girls heart. So much happened within the first weeks, but now I know for our future babies. Keep the info coming, I’m learning so much as a new mama. ❤️
Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with the Just Peachy community. Building up a milky stash can definitely feel like you don’t have milk in the beginning. My lactation fairies made sure I knew how important it was to stay consistent and be patient. It paid off in the end, but I can definitely understand how it can be discouraging in the beginning. You know all the tricks for the next time around =)
I hope all is well with your baby girl <3
Sending so much love,
Oh wow I didn’t know that breast milk doesn’t have vitamin D, thanks for sharing that information. I always feel bad that I didn’t get to breastfeed my son. I wasn’t producing breast milk, he was having trouble latching & he wasn’t pooping because he wasn’t eating, because of that he was developing jaundice so I had to give him formula so he could poop. Anyway, I feel a little better that he got that extra vitamin from formula that he wouldn’t of gotten from me lol
Right?! I’m sorry to hear that you had some struggles, but mama you did everything right to make sure your babe was getting exactly what he needed =)
You go, girl!
Omg !! I gave birth on the 15 of February and had very bad experience at the hospital since of COVID the lactation nurse came in the next day before I was leaving to help me with breastfeeding, it was nerve recking because I thought I wasn’t going to be able to breastfeed her or she wouldn’t latch on .
Congratulations on your new baby =) I am sorry to hear about your experience, I’m so glad you met with the lactation team. Honestly they are little angels that can work wonders for our babies and of course for US. It sounds like you were able to go home more confident than you thought. It’s all so scary when you’re heading home with a teeny tiny human. You got this!
I hope all is well with you and baby!