Breastfeeding: The Unusual Things No One Told Me About

Being a first time mom, I did a ton of research on breastfeeding prior to giving birth. No one told me about these unusual side affects though!

Body Odor

So this first one threw me for a loop… when breastfeeding the first few months, you may notice that you are quite smelly. But why? You’re showering and doing all the right things! Well in addition to elevated hormone levels, it’s mother nature’s way of helping your newborn baby recognize you. Although their sight isn’t optimal when born, a newborn baby’s smell is spot on!

To combat the armpit stench, I washed my underarms with an antibacterial soap each night, thoroughly dried them, and then applied deodorant.

Elevated Dog Crotch & Butt Sniffing

Dogs can pick up on the pheromone chemicals that your apocrine sweat glands produce (with higher concentrations in the genital and anal areas). There wasn’t really anything I could do about this one, except say, “No!” and laugh it off in front of company.

Dry, Dry, Dry

Estrogen is a hormone that helps keep the vagina lubricated and flexible during sex. But when women are breastfeeding, their estrogen levels are lower than usual. As a result, they can experience vaginal dryness and this can lead to sexual pain. This has an easy fix.

Hot Flashes

Once again those lower estrogen levels mimic a premenopausal state. As a result, you may experience hot flashes and night sweats. To combat this, I slept with the ceiling fan on and made sure to sleep in cooling and breastfeeding friendly pajamas.

When Feeding your Baby, the Other Side Leaks

Yeah, I had no idea about this one! So at first, I would just leak right through my shirt. And then a friend of mine turned me onto the Hakka. You attach the Hakka to the opposite breast while feeding you baby, and then it catches all the milk. I typically collect 1-2 ounces of milk in each session… guys at the end of the day, its a full BOTTLE. This is primarily how I’ve grown my frozen stash.

When Going Out in Public, Make Sure to Wear Absorbent Pads

Again, evolution is quite incredible… and yet inconvenient. If you happen to hear another baby cry, your milk may let down and soak through your shirt. So don’t make the mistake I made (I had no clue) and make sure to wear some absorbent pads before stepping out to Target.

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