13 unexpected breastfeeding surprises!

Get a load of these little-known things that can happen to you when you’re nursing your baby.

is an amazing gift mums give to their babies. It provides the best nutrition for your little one, reduces the risk of sickness and obesity, and is a wonderful way for mums to bond with their babies. Plus, it’s convenient and cost-friendly.

But breastfeeding is not always as simple as putting your baby to your nipple and letting him, well, suck. Many mums run into a host of problems before they get used to breastfeeding.

Your nursing journey may not be easy, but it will also be peppered with quirky moments and unexpected emotions, which might leave you more than a little surprised.

Here are some examples.

1.      It can be instinctive…
Heard about the breast crawl? It’s the phenom where a newborn baby placed on the mum’s belly will shuffle his way up to her nipple by smell and try to latch on. A baby only starts to crawl at about 6 months! But seriously, most babies are born with an innate instinct to suckle, though it is stronger in some babies than others.

2.      … Or it can feel completely unnatural
When you breastfeed, you may feel like your breasts are no longer your own. Sore nipples and chafed skin are just several discomforts new mums have to endure during the early weeks of breastfeeding. It felt icky to me, and I hated that my breasts got engorged, sore and they leaked unexpectedly,” says Constance Soh, mum to Ella, 1. “While I firmly believed in the health benefits of breastfeeding, it didn’t mean I enjoyed it that much.”

3.      How time consuming it is
You’ve heard that your baby will nurse every 2 to 3 hours as a newborn ― and this seems manageable. However, consider that you breastfeed 20 minutes on each side, then you might need to pump to fully empty your breasts. Next, you have to wash and sterilise the pump. After this, you may need to squeeze in a diaper change before catching a bathroom break for yourself. You finally manage to sit down and rest, but before you can get comfortable, bubba has woken up, and it’s time for another cycle of feeding!

When you breastfeed, you may feel like your breasts are no longer your own.

4.      How thirsty you will get
It’s common to feel thirsty when you are breastfeeding, especially when your baby is a newborn. You are providing a tremendous amount of fluids for your baby, so you’ll need to stay hydrated. Says Yvonne Goh, mum to Gwendoline, 3 months, “I get super, super thirsty ― and I’ll gulp down a 500ml bottle of water every time I feed her.”

5.      The colour of your milk
Your breastmilk will probably be creamy-white or white in colour. But there are days where you might notice a green, blue or yellow tinge. If your milk is greenish, it’s probably because you’ve been eating more green foods. Foremilk ― the thinner milk that is produced when you first start to nurse ― has a bluish tinge, while hindmilk ― the thicker milk that comes later ― is yellowish. 

6.      You may feel “high”
Many mums say that feel exceptionally calm or relaxed while nursing their babies. Other mums feel kind of “high” ― this feeling is probably brought on by the oxytocin and prolactin released when the baby suckles.

Breastfeeding can change the way your breasts look. Find out more…next!