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5 Things I Learned About Breastfeeding

5 Things I Learned About Breastfeeding

Before getting pregnant, I never put too much thought into whether or not I would breastfeed – it always seemed like the obvious choice for feeding my someday baby.

I’d always heard that breast milk was the ultimate nutrition for your baby – it’s easy to digest, is a great source of fat and proteins they need for brain development, and has lots of antibodies that will keep them strong and healthy. So when I finally had Shai, I wanted to make sure I gave him as much of a head start as I could. I was super-lucky that he latched on so easily – I think I may have even cried happy tears when he did.

But, like most things new mothers face, breastfeeding has been a learning experience…

It’s Time Consuming

When I brought Shai home from the hospital, he was feeding every 2.5 hours. It made having any sort of life outside of the nursery pretty difficult – though I did get quite a bit of writing done between feedings. Eventually, that went up to every 3-3.5 hours, but at least that gave me time to pump. Or shower. Or throw on some mascara, if I was feeling fancy.

It Can Be Scary

I didn’t think anything could be scarier than having to size all the way up to a 34DDD bra, but then I discovered the joys of bleeding nipples and clogged milk ducts. I think my jaw dropped to the floor when I found a layer of nipple skin on the feeding pillow. Or my first week back home, my boobs went all lumpy and hard and I could hardly squeeze any milk out. Things like this happen. They’re alarming and painful, but you just have to work through them.

It’s a Great Way to Bond

I love being able to provide for my baby and the bond that it’s created between Shai and me. Even though I’m back at work, I still have him at the rehearsal studio with me so I can feed him on breaks. Having the help and flexibility to keep this consistency was important to me.

Did I Mention It’s Time Consuming?

Between leaking if you don’t pump soon enough and the actual feeding itself, it’s a commitment. One of the most time-consuming things is getting him back to sleep! Breastfeeding itself is actually pretty easy, but if they’re full of energy or fussy, it takes a while to get them settled down. Then sometimes you’ll get them fed and settled just in time to feed again. It’s a vicious, hungry cycle, I tell you.

It’s Not the Only Choice

For some, choosing to breastfeed (or not breastfeed) isn’t as easy of a decision. I had friends who were seriously weirded out by the thought of a little thing suckling from their boobs – which, when you put it that way, does seem a little off-putting. Then there are some babies that, despite their mothers’ best efforts, just don’t take to breastfeeding – which can be terribly upsetting to a new mum. Whether you do or don’t is between you and your baby.

You’ve got this, mamas.

Photo Credit: Shane Russeck

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  1. WhT is your diet for a day

    Posted by: Terri Arbogast on April 22, 2017 at 11:35 am
  2. Hi Peta,

    I hope you can address the adjustments of going back to work & being a career mom away from your baby, the guilt or other mixed emotions you may dual with and what it is like getting used to being both a mom & working woman while keeping a balance and making time for you, your interests, & priorities.

    PS you are doing a Mirrorball Trophy Winning job with All Things Fam & Glam!

    Posted by: Lisa on April 10, 2017 at 8:14 pm
  3. First and foremost I would like to say congratulations to you and Maks! I think this website you’ve set up is amazing and it will help a lot of women out here who is either expecting or has already given birth. I am a HUGE DWTS fan!!!! I love you guys and Peta you are just gorgeous and motherhood has made you even more beautiful! Your fiance Maks is a handsome man as well and an amazing person. I have been watching DWTS since 2007. I have loved it since the day I saw it. I NEVER missed an episode in years. And YES I do vote on the phone, ABC.com, Facebook, texting and whatever other ways there is to vote because this show has been such a HUGE part of my life. It gives me happiness so much than you guys would ever know. I’ve been through many difficult times in my life but when I watch this show is am more happier than I’ve ever been! I love you guys and congratulations on baby Shia he is just the most beautiful baby boy in the world. I can’t wait until you guys get married and you become Mrs. Maks Chmercofsky!! You deserve it girl!!!

    Posted by: Delphia Bonsignore on April 5, 2017 at 9:51 am
  4. I am a Lactation Consultant and when you experienced lumpy painful leaking breasts, that is normal engorgement and there are ways to alleviate the pressure. Breastfeeding is a learned experience and like anything new, a teacher can help so if you are reading this and having difficulty breastfeeding contact a Lactation Consultant or La Leche League leader for help. I like to tell clients to contact me IF they think they need help, don’t wait until you absolutely know you have a problem as it will be more difficult to deal with. I love getting calls from moms who think they have a problem whether they do or not. Way to go Peta! You are a role model for other moms.

    Posted by: Marie Hemming, BS, IBCLC on April 3, 2017 at 4:53 pm