Breastfeeding Struggles

In Baby, Kids, Living by Sara6 Comments

It seems as though we’ve all heard about the benefits of breastfeeding to both baby and mom. We’ve know the slogan, “Breast is Best”. But, what happens if it’s not best? If it’s a terrible struggle? If it truly doesn’t work?

For the majority of moms, this isn’t an issue. While most don’t describe breastfeeding as “easy” (at least at first anyway), the most women can do “what nature intended” just fine. However, for some, it doesn’t go as planned. Some babies actually can’t nurse. Some moms don’t have sufficient tissue–some truly can’t produce enough milk to sustain their babies. I know, because I am one of these mamas. If you’re interested in finding out more about my story, you can read my series, “when breastfeeding doesn’t work“.

For some, breastfeeding isn’t a big deal. In fact, some moms choose not to from the beginning. That wasn’t me. I had planned to exclusively breastfeed. I took the classes, bought all the products, and had it all “planned out”. But things don’t always go according to plan. My body didn’t cooperate. And, I was devastated.

Sadly, I found very little support or resources for women who truly had struggles breastfeeding. Even worse, many of the books and even some of the lactation consultants were no help, seeming to suggest that my “failure” was just due to things I had done wrong. This made an already bad situation even worse–I felt like a complete failure. I don’t want other moms to go through what I did. And, now I know that there are indeed resources and there is help for those struggling with breastfeeding.

La Leche League is a great organization for breastfeeding support, in general.  There are  a variety of resources there, but their specific focus is not mom’s struggling with breastfeeding.

MOBI (Mother’s Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues) Motherhood International is a non-profit organization whose whole focus is support for mother’s with breastfeeding issues. If low supply is the breastfeeding issue, than Low Milk is a great resource also.

Medela is a company that I have come to know well through my breastfeeding struggles. On their website, you can seek advice, find lactation consultants in your area, join the discussion boards, and of course, check out their products. I’ve come to learn about and use MANY of their products. And, in fact, through May 30th you can head over to Mom Endeavors and enter to WIN a Medela Pump In Style Advanced!

It’s my hope that moms who want to breastfeed, especially those for whom it’s a struggle, get the support they need and avoid judgment from others!

Did you breastfeed? What was YOUR experience like?

Bump Month post contributed by  SSM contributor Sara from Mom Endeavors

Meet the Author | Sara

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  1. I tried to breastfeeding my 1st baby… in the hospital the nurses were helping me but after three attempts it was painful and I got cracked nipples…

    I’m going to try my 2nd baby again =)

  2. It was so hard in the beginning. I will say the number one thing that helped me was the total support I received from my husband. We did it as a team. He learned and researched online for me possible solutions to all the issues. I must say it did get easier at around the third month. I exclusively breastfed because I was able to stay at home. Now that he is 6 months this has become second nature to us. So my advice is teamwork, learn from others and just try different things until you and the baby feel comfortable.

  3. Author

    I can totally relate Helena. They say it’s not painful, but it totally is. Even with all my struggles, I agree with Gladys that it does get easier (and not painful). But, it just takes awhile to establish. Good for you for trying with #2! And, Gladys, so glad that you got the support you need to make it work!!

  4. I was very unsure of breastfeeding in the beginning. I couldn’t tell how much they were getting, it was very painful, and I was an emotional train wreck. I had a great friend who’d had three kids before me and she was such an encouragement. She urged me not to give up. Around the 6 week mark the baby and I finally just fell into a routine that worked and it only got better from there. It’s a tough choice to decide whether or not to breastfeed, but I honestly believe you have to make the choice yourself and not give in to pressure or you’ll hate it.

  5. This bring back painful memories. I remember sitting in the hospital crying because I had been trying to nurse on one side for 20 minutes and no milk was coming out. The nurse acted like I was doing something wrong. My baby lost weight while still in the hospital and I got lectured. I had to turn to formula and I pumped what I could – which was not very much. Thank you for this information because I felt like I was the only one with this problem.

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