I feel really lucky to be one of those women who really loved pregnancy. Even though I was sick for the entire first half, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat (not quite yet though…). And I feel even more lucky that I’ve had such great success with breastfeeding.
During my pregnancy, I felt intimidated by all the unknowns of breastfeeding and wasn’t quite sure what I could do to prepare and feel ready. It has been a learning experience from day one, but it has gone really well for us, and for that I am so grateful.
It’s funny though – for all the time I spent pregnant thinking about how post-partum life would look and feel, I often find that exclusively breastfeeding (to a child who won’t take a bottle, no less) doesn’t feel all that different from being pregnant.
Let me count the ways…
You have to wear funny clothes 1 of 7During my pregnancy I couldn't wait to get out of maternity clothes and back into my old wardrobe. Well the joke was on me — now all I can wear are nursing-accessible tops! So just like being pregnant, I'm stuck in the same five shirts over and over again.
Your boobs are unrecognizably big 2 of 7Okay I'm not really complaining about this one, as someone who has been an A-cup since age 13. I thought my boobs had grown substantially during pregnancy, but they have since quadrupled with breastfeeding. Go too long between feedings and they look like they will explode!
You experience spontaneous leaking 3 of 7I don't think I really need to get into details here. You moms understand. There is leaking during pregnancy, and there is more leaking during breastfeeding. Both are embarrassing, and quite humbling.
You are constantly starving 4 of 7I have truly never experienced anything quite like breastfeeding hunger. For the first few months I didn't feel like I could possibly satisfy my hunger, no matter how much I ate. It's leveling out a bit now (at five months) but I still eat anything and everything I can get my hands on.
You chug water all day long 5 of 7I have always hated hydrating, and one of the first symptoms I experienced with pregnancy was the unquenchable thirst. I would not go anywhere without my trusty blue water bottle. Now that I'm breastfeeding, I always have a Soda Stream bottle by my side, and I drink at least four of them each day. I can't get enough!
It is impossible to bend, squat, and reach around your front 6 of 7By the end of my pregnancy, my belly was so ridiculously big it was laughable. Now that the bump is gone, I find that I have another large obstruction in front of me — a giant baby! For babies like mine who don't like to be put down, babywearing feels a lot like being pregnant!
Your workouts are more limited 7 of 7Working out while pregnant required adapting a new mindset toward fitness. Gone were the days of pushing myself to full exertion, and sweating buckets during a hard run. While pregnant, I had to slow down once my heart rate was up, and make sure I was never over-doing it. Now with breastfeeding, I find myself worried about milk supply if my workouts are too intense. Not to mention that with my baby tied to the boob, time to workout is much shorter and hard to find!
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Can you relate?