3. Babies spend a lot of time on the boob
You knew that right? Most newborns nurse anywhere from 8 to 12 times a day and the space between a feed can be anywhere from two to four hours although there is a big range of ‘normal’. What a lot of mums don’t realise is that the time between feeds is measured from the start of one feed until the start of another, not the space in-between. So if you have a baby that likes to nurse for an hour, once your precious bundle is finished you will find you have an hour or maybe even less before they are ready to go again, for another hour.
This means you could basically be spending every second hour, day and night nursing your baby for weeks on end, this can be as arduous as it sounds. Some new babies may only need 20 minutes to have a good feed everyone is different and the time it takes them may also change as they grow and develop but the fact remains, babies spend A LOT of time nursing.
They also like to throw you curve balls, for example you may start to think you have their routine all worked out and then they will suddenly decide they would like to nurse all afternoon, maybe non-stop. That dinner you thought you’d start cooking in the afternoon, forget about it, your baby has been nursing since 4pm with no sign of being done and its already closing in on 7pm. Maybe now you can see why new mums complain they don’t have time to get anything done and even taking a shower can feel like a big achievement.
Why do you need to know about this before your baby arrives? Am I just trying to scare the baby out of you?? A little bit of truth never hurt anyone, if you know that you are going to be busy then it gives you a bit of motivation to plan ahead, set up a meal or chore roster for all the friends and family who want to help and most importantly go easy on yourself. Some women decide they are going to be super mum, assume they will bounce out of the maternity ward and get straight back into their life, you’re not the kind of woman who is going to let your baby dictate your schedule are you?
Maybe you can be the kind of woman who knows that it is going to be hard work and is ready to just follow your baby’s lead and give yourself the space to chill out and let your baby do what they need to do to get big and strong. Don’t forget, your baby is running on thousands of years of evolution with a killer survival instinct, he knows what he needs to do to survive, no one has updated his programing much since we all slept in trees so he doesn’t realise a wild animal isn’t likely to eat him when you put him down, even though it seems like he really just doesn’t want to let you sit down for a meal ever again. Hang in there, by three months the spacing between feeds increases as does your window for a bit of sleep, someone much wiser than me wrote "dear mum, I wont always need you as much as I need you now but right now I really need you."
Hello, my name is Celeste. I am a postnatal doula, a breastfeeding counselor and a mother.