Breastfeeding is Beautiful But We Would Be Lying If We Said There Were Never Challenges

Photo by Alex Pasarelu on Unsplash

 

There is no better nourishment for a newborn baby than the milk from their mother.

If you are able to experience the breastfeeding journey, there are a couple things that are helpful to know.

One is that you are an amazing, beautiful woman who will learn to do just about everything with a baby attached to your breast (and love it!), and the second being that there will be times you want your little one to take a sippy cup more than anything in the world!

Bringing your baby up to nurse for the first time is exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.

Is he going to latch right away?

Will he get the nourishment he needs?

Will it hurt?

Then he begins sucking and you get that tingling sensation of your milk dropping, then all your fears melt away.

In that moment, you and your baby are the only ones in the world.

But as time progresses, the environment changes, and so does your quickly developing child.

After breastfeeding three children (one of which I am still nursing at 2 ½-years-old), I have faced many stellar moments and many challenges.

So, let’s take a moment to get into the nitty gritty, less discussed challenges of breastfeeding, and how to address them.

Because what’s the purpose of bringing up a dilemma with no solution, right?

 

1. You are on-call 24/7

The best way to feed a baby is on-demand, meaning that they let you know when they are hungry by rooting or crying.

This way they can keep your milk supply right where they need it for their growth spurts, as Mommy Underground has previously reported.

The negative side to this is that you have to have your breast readily available for every beckon call.

Unfortunately, your baby is not going to care if you are in the middle of cooking dinner or an important zoom meeting.

What you can do to ease the frustrations and anxiety of having to nurse at the drop of a hat is have a station set up with everything you need to make the most of the time.

When you are not busy gazing into those big, baby blue eyes, you could catch up on drinking a glass of water, read one of the forty new parenting books you bought, or turn your favorite show on the tablet because being a new mom doesn’t mean you stop wondering what your favorite characters are doing in the new season.

 

2. There may be times you think it isn’t working

Breastfeeding is the most natural nourishment for a newborn baby, but that doesn’t mean it is going to feel natural.

Some women take to nursing like an old pro, mastering the difficult football hold the first time while their baby secures a perfect latch.

Then there are the mothers who change positions every 30 seconds during nursing because it doesn’t “feel” like the baby is getting all the milk they need (this is the exact picture of me with my first son).

Truth is, it is rare for a baby not to get what they need from you, with Parents reporting, “it’s estimated that only approximately 5 percent to 15 percent of all breastfeeding mothers truly have low milk supply.”

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So don’t feel like you need to be the poster child for breastfeeding, but find what works for you and your baby, even if you can only breastfeed comfortably lying down or with a nipple guard.

 

3. You will be judged more than ever

With breastfeeding being a 24 hour/7 day a week gig, there will be many times where you will have to nurse in less than ideal situations.

A park, in line at the grocery store, during a wedding- it doesn’t matter to a hungry baby – they need to eat!

Some on-lookers will be sympathetic mothers or adoring elderly couples, but most will be judgmental gawkers who don’t see the beauty in the art of breastfeeding.

Ignore the naysayers and know that there are thousands of moms doing exactly what you are doing right in that moment, and that a few funky looks are nothing when it comes to providing your child with a basic necessity.

It is always comforting to turn to mommy blogs, chat rooms, and play dates to get support from other moms who are going through similar trials.

Vent to one another, and most importantly support one another, no matter which form feeding is chosen.

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