As a new mom, you've probably already experienced a host of new and weird things happening to your body. Breastfeeding is no exception. You may have fantasized about staring lovingly into your baby's eyes as you enjoyed peaceful nursing sessions, or easily pumping out exactly enough milk to keep your baby satisfied while you go back to work or enjoy a little break. The reality, however, may prove to be entirely different. If you are wondering how pumping will affect you, you should know some of the weird things your body will do when you're pumping for the first time.
Expressing breast milk by hand or with a pump can be a great way to keep some of that precious liquid gold on reserve for the times when you aren't around to nurse. But in the beginning, you may realize that pumping isn't as easy as it appears on television and in your baby books. Sore nipples, blisters, and even painful uterine cramps are the unfortunate but common side effects of pumping.
But don't let that stop you from nursing your new baby. Once your body gets the hang of breastfeeding, you'll find that much of the discomfort will subside, and you'll have plenty of other new weird things to deal with.
As What to Expect mentioned, when you're nursing your baby, the physical contact stimulates the release of oxytocin — the love hormone — which causes your milk to let down. Pumping, however, does not always have the same effect. You may find that you have some trouble getting things flowing when baby is not there. If that's the case, you can try looking at a picture of your baby or smelling a blanket or lovie to help.
If you are using a breast shield that doesn't fit properly or your pump is set too high, you may notice clear or red blisters form on your breasts, according to Very Well. These friction blisters can make nursing and pumping uncomfortable, but it is still completely safe to continue nursing baby.
As you begin using your breast pump, you may feel like you're in labor all over again. The uterine cramps, while uncomfortable are a common side effect of pumping. According to Our Everyday Life, your pumping releases oxytocin, which helps to shrink your uterus back down to its normal size.