Oh, the first week of being a breastfeeding mama. Everyone tried to prepare you, but to no avail. No, this is something that must be experienced first-hand, and now here you are! Look at you. You're doing it.
We know it's crazy-hard, but don't forget it's also crazy-beautiful. This tension is the soundtrack of motherhood, a song you'll hear repeated over and over again, so let it settle in. It's good to remember that "hard" does not equal "bad". No, it often equals worth it. Give yourself lots of time and space and patience to figure this out. We're cheering you on.
In the meantime, here are Ten True Things About the First Week of Breastfeeding. Can you relate?
You’ll be naively (and probably secretly) confident about breastfeeding before you give birth...it couldn’t be that hard, right?
Once the baby arrives you’ll realize you know absolutely nothing about anything, breastfeeding included.
You’ll wonder if you’ll be able to survive the physical pain of being chomped on every 2-3 hours around the clock. (You will. It gets better. And if it doesn't, get help.)
You’ll seriously question why moms weren’t given at least one extra set of arms for the puzzle that is holding the baby and the milk makers and the support pillow all in the optimum position for breastfeeding success.
You’ll surprise yourself at how pumped you get over wet and dirty diapers -- irrefutable evidence that this breastfeeding thing is actually working!
Same goes for ounces gained. “I did that!!” (Yes, girl!)
That feeling you get the first time you hook yourself up to a breast pump...a mix of I look utterly ridiculous (pun intended) but I’m also astonished at modern technology...yep, welcome to the club, sister.
Asking for your lactation consultant's personal phone number, mailing address, email, AND instagram handle doesn’t seem too invasive or inappropriate. This woman is your new BFF, even if she doesn't know it yet.
Your internal clock and let's face it - your entire life - will begin to work on a three-hour cycle. Is it day? Is it night? Who knows, except you do know it's been three hours since the beginning of the last feed, and the baby is hungry again. Tick tock.
The way you simultaneously look forward to that next feed and also wish for more time off the clock. You’ve never been so tired. Or so proud. Or so thankful.
Here's what it all boils down to, one week into being a breastfeeding mama: This is the hardest, best thing you've ever done. Keep going, mama. We're proud of you, too.