10 Things No One Told Me About Lactation

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    Breastfeeding Confidential: 10 things no one told me about lactation

    Determined to nurse my first child through one year, I started prepping months before my daughter was born: I bought my pump and my pads and my lanolin cream. I picked out my Boppy and nursing tanks. I pored over the breastfeeding section of every parenting book and pregnancy magazine I could find. Still, there were many things about nursing that took me by surprise. Here are the top 10 …
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    Your milk can come in bloody

    Breastfeeding Confidential: Your milk can come in bloody

    It's called Rusty Pipe Syndrome (fun name, eh?), and it's no big deal — just a sign that your breasts grew so fast that it caused an internal traffic jam. It should clear up on its own within a few days, and in the meantime, you can crack jokes about the vampire baby you hatched. 5 things you should know about breastfeeding NOW
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    It can be the end of modesty

    Breastfeeding Confidential: It can be the end of modesty Oh sure, I bought a cute little nursing cover-up. But when I had to hook myself up to the milk machine (a.k.a. breast pump) the very night my daughter was born, I suddenly found myself naked from the waist-up and chatting with visiting pediatricians, OBs, nurses, lactation consultants, and maybe even a janitor or two — and I didn’t care a wit. The male doctors, on the other hand, seemed very, very uncomfortable. When the post-delivery haze wore off, I was a little embarrassed by how many people from our pediatrician’s office, the hospital, and community at large had seen me half-naked.

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    Babies can be loud drinkers

    Breastfeeding Confidential: Babies can be loud drinkers Yes, that stylish cover-up hid my nipples from the world, but it couldn’t quiet the loud smacking of my baby. I still remember cringing in embarrassment as my daughter’s top-volume suckling rang out through the lofty stillness of an art museum, drawing some curious looks from passersby who suddenly noticed the corner where I was trying to discretely nurse (I’m hoping they assumed it was a piece of performance art). Soon, I forgot about my embarrassment and just started cracking up over my enthusiastic eater.

    My breast pump speaks to me

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    It feels good

    Breastfeeding Confidential: It feels good After a long day at the office, snuggling up to my babe as the oxytocin and prolactin started to flow took the edge off — more than any glass of wine ever could.

    Why I don’t want my husband touching my breasts after I breastfeed

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    You can develop mastitis not once, not twice, but three times

    Breastfeeding Confidential: You can develop mastitis not once, not twice, but three times On the plus side, mine always passed quickly, and collapsing in a weepy, fever-stricken heap on the couch always got me out of at least a few hours of housework and diaper changes.

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    Nursing can bring you closer to other women

    Breastfeeding Confidential: Nursing can bring you closer to other women It’s like you’re suddenly part of an exclusive club, and everyone’s eager to dish details. I can’t tell you how many women — even my boss — stopped by after one of my pumping breaks to chit-chat about breastfeeding and then asked with a curious glance at my nursing cooler, “So how much did you get?” Forget exchanging steamy details about sex. Other moms who’ve been there — and even those who never tried it — will want an ounce-by-ounce breakdown of your boob productivity.

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    It can make you thinner than you were pre-pregnancy

    Breastfeeding Confidential: It can make you thinner than you were pre-pregnancy Everyone knows that breastfeeding is an amazing calorie-burner, but I really didn’t expect that it would shrink my pants size to high school level. So bring on the second dessert!

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    Nipple confusion is not that big of a deal

    Breastfeeding Confidential: Nipple confusion is not that big of a deal I read the books and was determined to follow all the breastfeeding “rules” — no bottle or pacifier until the nursing relationship was firmly established, etc. Then, the early product of my “rusty pipes” irritated my baby’s stomach, and we had to start her on a bottle. I was terrified that nursing was over before it really began. But a couple of days later, I put her to the breast, and she took to it like a champ. We switched back and forth between bottles of pumped milk and nursing after a few weeks, and my kiddo never had a problem.

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    Your husband isn’t the only one who’ll appreciate your rack

    Breastfeeding Confidential: Your husband isn’t the only one who’ll appreciate your rack I thought I had long ago come to terms with my 34B, but I became quite fond of my more luscious curves during pregnancy and appreciated getting to keep them for another year or so. I liked the way I filled out a sweater and felt sexier, too. When I finished nursing completely and shrunk to an even smaller size than before (or so it seemed), I missed those old girls.

    Confusing the issue: Sexy nursing bras the new trend?

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    You might miss it more than you think

    Breastfeeding Confidential: You might miss it more than you think Not the boobs — the bonding. I made it to my one-year goal and then a few days beyond. But thanks to an ill-timed business trip — and my baby’s increased appetite for table food — my supply tanked near the end. So, I decided to pull the pump cord. Then my baby charged into toddlerhood, and I missed those regular one-on-one snuggling sessions. I’m already looking forward to nursing my next baby, and I have the feeling that this time, I won’t be so quick to give it up.

    Breastfeeding may bring mom and baby together on more than a physical level

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