When asked what she wished someone had told her about breastfeeding, Lea, mom to 11-month-old Isabella and a visitor to our GeoParent.com site, had this to say...
I wish someone had said that breastfeeding, even when you're doing it right, can be a bit uncomfortable and sometimes painful, for some at least, in the early days/weeks. Everything I had read in the books by the "experts" and heard in a hospital breastfeeding class prior to delivery led me to believe if there was discomfort/pain, I was doing something wrong. I needlessly spent too much time worried about this. I wish I'd known to ask for and get Lansinoh (or an equivalent) as soon as my baby was born. I suffered with very sore nipples for what seemed like forever before one of the nursery nurses suggested it.
I wish I had taken a nursing pillow (like My Brest Friend) with me to the hospital. I spent many uncomfortable hours trying to arrange the hospital pillows in the way I needed them to support my baby. I wish I'd known to be more selective in choosing a hospital that was fully supportive of breastfeeding. This means more than putting up posters about how it's a good thing. Next time, I will ensure the hospital I choose has more than one lactation consultant on staff and that these take a proactive role in supporting new mothers.
I wish I'd known to hold off on buying most of my nursing bras until my milk came in. The bras I purchased just days before delivery were too small (and still are)!
I wish someone had reminded me that each child is vastly different, and that if your baby isn't following a particular schedule (like feeding on each breast for a minimum of 15 minutes), it's okay, provided he/she is correctly latching on, gaining weight, has sufficient wet/soiled diapers, etc. Again, I spent too much time worried that I was doing something wrong because my baby didn't fit into the "boxes" described in the books.
I wish someone would have told me this would be one of the most difficult, demanding things I'd done (e.g., the baby's absolute dependency on me, the frequency of feedings, limitations on life outside home because I don't breastfeed in public)... but also one of my greatest accomplishments in life and such an awe-inspiring and continuing source of happiness.