It turns out motherhood is just another thing I’m really good at.
I’m just kiiidding. I know that this is the easy part. But I am forealz the breastfeeding/breast pumping QUEEN.
As I type this, I am pumping with my left boob/right hand, and Max’s head is resting on my right arm while I’m feeding him from my right boob. I was also cooking so I could feed myself, but I decided to abort the mission when Max got hungry. (And I’m typing with my left hand, like a total baller.)
Anyway, here goes – lessons from my six and a half weeks of motherhood, starting with the most recent:
- Pump while you breastfeed. I don’t actually know if this will work for anyone who isn’t me (because, you know, our bodies are different), but I’ve found that, every time I feed my baby, my other boob leaks. I used to think this was really annoying because I’d be squirting milk all over the little guy. Now I think it’s fantastic because I’m able to kill two birds with one stone: feed my baby now, and pump milk for later. When I tried pumping yesterday while Max slept, I came up with like 2.5 oz in an hour. But today, I’m multitasking, and I’m almost at 5 oz in 30 minutes (not even maximum speed!).
I think there’s a scientific/biological explanation for this. I read somewhere yesterday that having your baby on your chest/breast area helps stimulate milk production. I’d link to it, but I srsly don’t have enough hands to use the mouse, too.
- If someone tells you that your baby needs sunscreen then you can tell them to suck it. Well, that’s a nice gem to keep in your back pocket, eh?
- Nonparents will always give you parenting advice. It will always be rude.
- Just because a baby sleeps through one night doesn’t mean he’ll sleep through the next. I look at this one, and I’m like, “Oh duh, my sleeping patterns vary. This is probably true for all humans.” But I really believed in my heart of hearts that once a baby sleeps through the night, that’s just how things are always going to be. NOT THE CASE, BRO. But, on the bright side, once he reaches that milestone, it means he’ll start sleeping longer at night. You might just have to get up at 4am rather than 2am.
- Co-sleeping is not as dangerous as people might lead you to believe. I’m cautious, I really am. I’m always making sure that my baby is sleeping on his back and, you know, breathing. BUT there are these crazy promotional videos that they show you in your “so you wanna have a baby” classes that make co-sleeping seem like a death sentence for your newborn. IT IS REALLY NOT THAT SERIOUS. Just don’t co-sleep while you’re drunk (duh), with an additional person who doesn’t know there’s a baby in the bed (duh), or if you’re suuuper tired and you think you might roll over onto the baby (I don’t think this ever happens). I read somewhere (and I can’t find the link right now, even though I have my hands back) that mothers and babies are just naturally aware of each other while sleeping together. It’s really not that bad, and the benefits include (but are not limited to) EVERYONE getting more sleep. And sleeping is great. There are endless benefits to being well-rested. ENDLESS.
- Be the mom who carries hand sanitizer with you everywhere. Have no shame, everyone loves hand sanitizer.
- And Tide-to-go. I don’t even use the burp cloths, except to wipe my baby’s face after one of his spit-up surprise attacks. I don’t even care at this point though because all of my clothes are weird. I can’t wear my maternity clothes because I’m not pregnant, and I can’t wear my old clothes because, well, let’s face it – I’ve never purchased winter clothing because I’m still in denial that it’s happening. I wear boots and sun dresses. I figured I wouldn’t need anything else because it would be March by the time I left my house, but CLEARLY, Mother Nature had other plans.
While on the topic of clothing…
- Pick your outfits based on how easily you can pop a boob out. Babies get hungry everywhere.
- Pick your baby carrier based on how easily you can pop a boob out. This will come in handy while walking the aisles of Babies ‘R Us.
- Get really comfortable with popping your boobs out. Dudes are shirtless in public all the time, and there’s not even a basic, human evolutionary purpose for it. I wish our culture didn’t teach women to feel ashamed and embarrassed about our bodies. I just created human life, and now I need to nourish that life. So suck it.
I have more, but I think they’re very specific to me and my baby. For example, I could add that John Legend instantly cures colic, but that seems sort of subjective.