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Parents

10 Things No One Tells You About Breastfeeding

Seven words: DO NOT FORGET THE ABSORBENT BRA PADS.

1. You can eat like a team of oxen and not gain weight.

Sure, you might not lose all the baby weight that quickly if you’re eating nine meals a day, but the baby needs milk, and milk production takes serious calories.

When else can you have third dessert without worrying about it?

2. Happiness has no greater face than that of a milk-drunk baby.

Who knew you could make someone this happy?

3. You’ve turned into a fountain.

Seven words: DO NOT FORGET THE ABSORBENT BRA PADS.

Ever. Everevereverever.

4. Say goodbye to lots of your favorite clothing for awhile.

After my sister had her first baby, she wore a beautiful dress to a wedding reception. She was feeling good―stylish, comfortable, ready to hit the dance floor. Then her baby girl got hungry and my sister suddenly realized, “I have no way to feed this child unless I get completely undressed.”

Loose-fitting or V-neck tops will be your new best friend. Say goodbye to those maxi dresses and tight-fitting tops for a season.

5. Pieces of your nipple might actually fall off.

Wish I was kidding.

6. Mastitis is THE ENEMY

Suggested home remedies for mastitis (breast infection) include things like driving a sterilized sewing needle straight into your nipple to clear a plugged milk duct before it becomes infected.

Mastitis is so painful several women I know have actually tried this.

So throw away that underwire bra, don’t go too long between feedings, and for the love of all that is good in this world do not sleep on your stomach.

Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

7. Your breasts will change size. Then change size again. Then change size again. Then… you get the picture.

After delivering my first son, I bought a whole bunch of nursing bras in one size. Two weeks later they didn’t fit, so I bought a whole bunch more. Two months later, none of them fit so I bought one. Lesson learned.

Don’t assume you know what size you’ll be next week until it’s next week. Save your dollars and just buy one or two nursing tops at a time.

8. It’s never been so convenient to pack lunch.

My preschooler is a hungry guy, so I can’t leave the house without a whole bunch of different snacks. If I forget enough snacks, we are in for a rough go.

But for the baby? I’m all the meal he needs. SO EASY.

9. Sometimes people get weird about nursing.

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world. No judgment on women who can’t or don’t, but there is nothing weird or scandalous about nursing a baby. This is why women have breasts, people.

But there are always those people who realize you’re nursing and leave the room, only stare at the ceiling while they speak to you, or worst of all, ask you not to nurse your baby.

“Can the baby wait?”

Nope, he can’t. He’s a baby.

Can you do that somewhere else?”

Nuh-uh.

10. You won’t get much done for awhile, and that’s okay.

My little guy just got to the age where he gets distracted by the glow of my phone if I’m trying to multitask. So now it’s just him and me for those nursing sessions. No email, no texting, no surfing the Interwebs. I’m getting way less done than I usually do. But I’m spending much more time stroking his velvety little cheek, holding his hand, watching the soft spot on his head pulse with his heartbeat, and marveling that this little person is entrusted to me for these fleeting years.

My house won’t win any awards for cleanliness. I haven’t worked out in a month. But life is pretty sweet indeed.

Courtney Ellis speaks and writes on motherhood, family, faith, and friendship. She’s a fast reader, a slow runner, a Presbyterian pastor, and a Swedish fish enthusiast. Find her at www.courtneybellis.com or follow her on Facebook.