Hi, I'm 20 years old and about 11 weeks pregnant. I've been a little worried about breast feeding. Does breast feeding feel weird? Can you actually feel the milk coming out? Also how do you see breast feeding in public? Is it normal to see a mom feeding her baby? Is it hard to get the baby to start breast feeding or do they instinctively know that's their food? Just curious so I know what to do when my baby arrives.
My HMO offered a one-hour class on breastfeeding that was VERY helpful. If your doc does not know of one, contact La Leche League and find out what is available.
Does it feel weird? No, but it can hurt or burn at first, as your nipples get used to the mouth of the baby. It does not feel weird for the baby to suck the milk, and in fact it can be a huge relief if your breasts are full of milk to have the baby drain them off.
Can you feel the milk coming out? No, because it is at body temperature, but yes in terms of release of pressure if you have gone a long time between feeds and your breasts are full of milk.
How do you see breastfeeding in public? I never had any problem with it, but was pretty discreet -- I didn't sit in a big crowd and do it, but would find a place tucked away if I was in public. You don't wind up needing to breast feed in public that often, and you can drape a scarf or blanket to cover the breast. Someone could come up and talk to you and not know what the baby was doing, a lot of the time.
Is it hard to get the baby to start? No, especially if you have gone to a class. Also, a lactation consultant should visit you in the hospital before you go home to give you help.
(There is a "nipple hamburger" that you make by squeezing the breast, and you touch the baby's mouth with the nipple, and the baby opens up the mouth instinctively. The main thing is to get a lot of the nipple into the baby's mouth, not just the tip, or that can hurt.)
I liked breast feeding, even when I had to soothe my tired nipples on occasion. It is an easy way to feed a baby, and so tremendous for them in every way. It also increases your bond with the baby.
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