Making the choice to breastfeed is sometimes just the beginning of a long and windy road for moms. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it's time consuming, sometimes you worry, and the list goes on. Not to worry though because having breastfeeding struggles does not make you any less of a mom and it doesn't mean you're not cut out for breastfeeding. I wanted to make a list of some of the most common struggles moms have with breastfeeding so you can see you're not alone!
1.) "Will I even be able to breastfeed?"
Many moms start to doubt their own body's ability to produce milk for their baby before baby is even born. I encourage all mothers to go into breastfeeding with an "I not only can, but I will breastfeed my baby" Breastfeeding is 10% milk 90% determination.
2.) "How is the latch? I don't think my baby is latched on correctly." Normally hospitals have International certified lactation consultants on their staff so if you are doubting the latch please request to see an LC and she should be able to walk you through it.
3.) "My nipples are so sore and cracked does this ever go away?"
Unfortunately, many women do get sore chapped nipples, but normally it does end up going away. You could have sore nipples due to a poor latch, the type of bra you're wearing could be irritating them. In the meantime, you can use stuff like Fairhaven Health's Nipple Nurture Balm to give you some pain relief.
4.) "I think I have low milk supply how can I boost it?"
I think milk supply is one of the biggest struggles I see moms stressing over. It's only natural to worry about how much baby is getting since you can't actually see and measure the amounts. Breastmilk is all natural there is no labels, directions, or measuring cups. Before going to Fenugreek and supplements try some natural approaches such as skin to skin, co-bathing, drinking water, breast massage, etc. If you honestly feel like you are not making enough milk please seek assistance from a lactation consultant.
5.) "How do I know my baby is getting enough milk?"
This sort of goes hand in hand with milk supply. We have become so reliant on measurements and labels so it can be a scary feeling not knowing exactly how much milk your baby is getting. So long as your baby has plenty of poop and pee diapers and is growing, and seems content/satisfied after they nurse you shouldn't worry too much.
6.) "I can't seem to find a comfortable nursing position."
Yes, sometimes something as little as how to position yourself while breastfeeding can be tricky. Try a different position each time you nurse until you find one you and baby are most comfortable with.
7.) "I'm a shy person the thought of breastfeeding in public in front of other people gives me serious anxiety."
I have found that while there are many people out there who do not support breastfeeding most moms do not encounter any problems. The best thing for you to do is remind yourself that your baby needs to eat whether in public or at home if someone has an issue with breastfeeding that is their issue. If someone stares just give them a little wink they tend to look away after that. Also, take comfort in the fact that it is a woman's legal right to breastfeed in public wherever she is authorized to be. If a confrontation does occur take comfort knowing that the person confronting you is in the wrong both legally and morally.
8.) "I really would love to have a beer or glass of wine, but I'm afraid it might get to the baby." This is a huge concern for breastfeeding moms. The truth is there are safe ways for a breastfeeding mom to consume alcohol. It's really important that moms inform themselves with facts. Alcohol passes through your milk and does not accumulate therefore, there isn't even a need to pump and dump , unless doing so brings you some comfort.
9.) "It seems like all my baby wants to do is nurse. Why does my baby always want to nurse?" Breastfeeding isn't just about the milk. A lot of the time a baby will nurse for comfort or security. Babies have a natural desire to suck whether they are hungry or not. It's okay that your baby wants to comfort nurse try to suck in those moments and bond.