Just say the word breastfeeding and the floodgates open with stories, opinions, tips, tricks, and more. Women are born with the ability to nourish our newborn children with breastmilk. Breastmilk is the greatest superfood of all! I'm a health coach and nutrition nut, so trust me, it's got all the goodies. Mature milk contains water, fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and white cells. Even more so, as a mom is breastfeeding her breastmilk changes from foremilk, which is high in water and lactose, to hindmilk, which is high in fat and calories—all according to her baby's needs, age, and health. It's truly amazing!
Of course it's also totally natural to breastfeed. Ha! Or so you would think. There was nothing natural about my breastfeeding experience with my first child. It was a complete trial-and-error exercise filled with surprises like a tongue tie, clogged ducts, supply loss, pumping, supplementing, leaks, stains, pains, and more.
Don't get me wrong, I know all about the importance of breastfeeding and the benefits it provides both a mother and child. I've learned from lactation consultants that things like immunity support, gut health, and retina and cognitive development for the baby and faster recovery, increased emotional health, and even lower risks of ovarian or breast cancer for the mom. Although I never questioned if I was going to breastfeed, here are nine things people didn't tell me about breastfeeding I wish I had known: