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19 Weird Things You’ll Probably Experience While Breastfeeding

Weird Breastfeeding Things

Breastfeeding. I entered this phase of my life armed only with the knowledge from a one-hour class and a few tips from the nurse who ripped down the right side of my hospital gown and shoved my son at my boob. Nothing prepared me for how weird it would be to feed another human with only my body. But now, after breastfeeding two children for nearly three years of my life, I’ve learned an odd thing or two. Well, actually, nineteen to be exact. So if you’re looking for real talk about breastfeeding, here we go!

1. Your nipples will get darker.

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Babies are born blind as a bat. So the higher contrast between your darker nipples and the lighter flesh of your breast makes it easier for baby to find their food source. Yes, I just called you a food source. Get used to it, mama. Even years later when you’re cutting crust off of PB&Js, you’ll still be a food source.

2. Your boobs will feel like they’re going to explode.

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Congratulations, your milk has come in! This happens about three to four days after you deliver, although for some women it may take longer. But don’t worry, you’ll know when it does. You’ll wake up one morning and feel like you’ve got two overfilled water balloons on your chest that are about to burst. The real fun is trying to get to your baby before you bump into something or someone and your boobs erupt. If you have toddlers at home, good luck. {Kapow!}

3. You’ll feel like someone is jamming knives in your nipples.*

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In pictures, breastfeeding always looks like this lovely, sweet, bonding experience. But those pictures don’t show how excruciating it is at first. The first week I breastfed each of my two children, I felt as though my nipples were getting shot up with lightning. Even with a perfect latch. Apparently, there’s a toughening up period your nipples have to go through. Apply a liberal amount of Lanolin cream to your nipples after each feed and you’ll get through it. You got through labor. You got this, mama.

4. You’ll get period-like cramps.

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Feel that tightening in your pelvis after baby latches on? That’s your body stimulating contractions so your uterus can return to it’s pre-pregnancy size. You might also bleed at the same time. Luckily this only happens in the first few days immediately following delivery.

5. After breastfeeding, you’ll chug a gallon of water and inhale a pan of lasagna.

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Your baby basically sucks all the life, I mean calories, out of you each feed. As soon as you put that milk-drunk, bundle of joy back into his crib, you’ll bee line it to the kitchen and wolf down a Hulk-sized portion of food. That’s because breastfeeding moms need about 500 more calories in their diets each day. Hello, Haagen Dazs!

6. You’ll have to deal with gawkers.

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Before baby, your boobs were only out when you showered, got undressed or had sex. Now your boobs will be out so often, they’ll seem a third and fourth arm to you. But not to everyone else. Everyone else will be staring. See that teenage boy over there by the food court? Yep. Staring.

7. You’ll leak breastmilk just about anywhere.

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In the shower. Or when you get out of the shower. Or if you hear your baby cry. Or if you’re in Target and you hear another baby cry. Or when you’re having sex (awkward). Or on your first day back to work (awkward times 10). Wear breast pads and keep a back up shirt in your car. At least for the first 6 months.

8. Your baby will use your chic nursing necklace to try and decapitate you.

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Sure, those fashionable turquoise beads seem super cool for a modern mom like you. But the first time your nursing baby reaches up and yanks on them with the swift efficiency of an executioner, it will be the last time you wear that necklace. And you’ll never gift them to your friends.

9. You’ll wrestle with your baby under a nursing coverup.

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During the first three months, when your baby is swaddled and immobile, nursing in public with a coverup is a breeze. After that, all bets are off. You throw that coverup on and your older baby turns into a squirming, sweating, screeching octopus whose sole mission in life is to expose your now naked, dangling boob to every Tom, Dick and Harry in California Pizza Kitchen. All of whom are now certainly looking in your direction. Just look away, Harry. Look away!

10. Your baby will kick, smack themselves and practice contortionism.

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If your baby starts kicking, slapping or punching himself in the head while nursing, this is perfectly normal. He won’t hurt himself. Just enjoy the show. You may also see him grab a foot and hike it over his head. This is just his way of saying, “That chicken and sweet potatoes you ate for dinner is delicious in milk form, mom. I love you. You’re the best.”

11. Your baby will also smack, punch and pinch your boobs.

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It’s their way of getting every last ounce of breastmilk they possibly can.

12. Your baby will poop on you.

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Never fails. They latch on and you both start releasing all those relaxing oxytocin hormones. Then you hear it. And feel it. The enormous, squishy load that warms up their diaper, and your lap. Better hope your baby doesn’t fall asleep, because you’ll have to wake him up and piss him off to change that blowout.

13. Your baby will groan. Loudly. In public.

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They make all sorts of moaning, grunting and growling noises while they’re nursing. I dare you not to laugh.

14. You’ll have to work out a clog.

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If you have a clogged duct, you’ve got to work that sucker out quicker than the next episode automatically starts on Netflix. If not resolved, a clogged duct can lead to something much worse (see #15).

Put your baby on the breast and point their nose at the clog. Then, forcefully massage the area where you feel the lump. Start at the top of your breast, towards your neck or armpit and push down, through the clog toward your nipple. Sometimes you’ve really got to apply some elbow grease. Keep at it.

If that doesn’t work, hook up your pump after you breastfeed and keep massaging. Taking a warm shower or putting a warm compress on the clog before trying the feed/pump/massage trick can also help to loosen it up.

15. You may suddenly get a fever with chills and a hot spot on your breast.

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One minute you feel absolutely fine. The next minute you’re burning up and shaking so hard you can barely stand up. It feels like the flu and it will take you down HARD. But it’s not. It’s mastitis.

If you have any of these symptoms, immediately check your breast for red, inflamed patches. They’re often hot, swollen and tender to the touch. Then get to your OB/GYN immediately for antibiotics. If it’s the weekend, go to Urgent Care, or if late at night, the ER.

If mastitis goes untreated, it can lead to a breast abscess that will need to be drained by a doctor. And that’s no fun. You can still continue breastfeeding when you have mastitis, even while on the antibiotics. So don’t give up, mama!

16. You’ll sleep on your stomach by accident and wake up drenched.

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The pressure from your body weight can cause your breasts to express at night, so if you sleep on your stomach, you could wake to a soaked chest and a lot of wasted milk. Continuous nightly pressure from stomach sleeping can also affect your supply or contribute to clogged ducts. Invest in a good side-sleeper pillow instead. 

17. You’ll have one workhorse boob.

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Both boobs were not created equal. You’ll have one side that produces more breastmilk than the other. Your baby will also prefer this side, of course. Try to start your baby on the lazy boob first at each feed to keep your supply strong on that side. But don’t tell the lazy boob it’s the lazy boob. Otherwise it might stop working all together just to spite you.

18. Your angel baby will turn into a carnivorous animal.

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When you least expect it, WHAM! Your peacefully breastfeeding baby clamps down on your nipple like a ravenous beast. They may only have two teeth, but it will feel like 5,789. Stick a finger in the side of their cheek and open up their jaw from the back. When their mouth is open wide, extract your nipple and firmly say “NO!” Don’t ever try to remove your nipple while they’re biting down. You’ll lose that nipple.

19. You’ll be period-free for a while. Woo-Hoo!

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Exclusive breastfeeding is nature’s birth control. Although you should always use a backup method of birth control, if you don’t want to get pregnant again, because you can never predict when your period will return. With my first baby, my period came back after 9 months. With my second, it didn’t come back until 11 months. Score!


*Always make sure to have a nurse in the hospital check your latch, or contact a lactation consultant after coming home if you have concerns about nipple pain. You can find a list of breastfeeding and lactation support classes in our Guide to Indoor Activities under Mommy and Me classes.

Sarasota Moms Blog is an Amazon Affiliate. Affiliate links are included in this post.

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One Response to 19 Weird Things You’ll Probably Experience While Breastfeeding

  1. Janice August 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

    Great insight! Thanks for your open and humerous writing on a topic rarely discussed from the mommy perspective!

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