Before you gave birth, you may have daydreamed of nursing your baby in a rocker by an open window, a light breeze ruffling the curtains. Or maybe you imagined nursing your baby effortlessly on the go, as you and your husband ate dinner out or sat in the park. If that isn't how it's turned out for you, don't worry -- you're normal! And it's all a learning experience. Here's how to solve your most common breastfeeding problems so you can make your breastfeeding dreams a reality.
I Feel Cramping When I Nurse
Your uterus is contracting in the process of shrinking back to it's near-original shape. While it may hurt, this is a good thing -- it shows that your body is recovering the way that it should, says Sara Chana, a lactaction consultant and birthing instructor in New York City. And don't worry, this cramping should vanish after the first two weeks, if not much sooner. Cramping is especially intense after baby number two.
Why it happens: Nursing stimulates a hormone, oxytocin, that in turn stimulates uterine contractions. It's all part of the postpartum plan.
What to do: Grin and bear it, for the most part, and imagine your belly getting smaller with every twinge. Get as much rest as you can, drink plenty of water, and pee regularly (a full bladder can make the cramps feel worse).