Top 10 Struggles (& Solutions!) For Breastfeeding Moms
Joyfulmama in our lace plunge nursing bra @emilyinfullbloom
Are you a new mom struggling through the introductory stages of breastfeeding? Or perhaps an expectant mother anticipating all of the changes just around the corner?
Either way, you are in the right place! In this article, we are going to discuss the most common struggles that breastfeeding moms endure on a day-to-day basis. Along with that, we are going to provide you with all of the solutions that you need so that you can get comfortable with breastfeeding as quickly as possible.
Why Should I Bother With Breastfeeding?
Before we get into the struggles (and solutions!) that commonly face breastfeeding moms, it is important to clarify one thing: breastfeeding is worth it!
There is nothing like breastfeeding. While there are fantastic alternatives, breastfeeding is a very unique experience that is celebrated in cultures around the world! Here are some of the amazing benefits of breastfeeding:
- Breastmilk strengthens your baby’s immune system.
- The practice of breastfeeding provides an intimate bonding experience for mother and child.
- Because breastmilk naturally regulates its production to the amount of milk your baby needs, you can trust that your baby will always have access to nutrition.
- Breastmilk has a multitude of nutrients that cannot be replicated.
- Avoiding formula saves money.
- Nursing reduces a mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer
- It can help regulate mother’s body weight
Because there are other ways to nourish your little one (formula!), there is no pressure to breastfeed. However, should a mother so choose, it can greatly benefit the life of her little one!
Top 10 Struggles (and Solutions!)
Okay, so we understand now that breastfeeding is a wonderful tool that is worth overcoming some challenges. Let’s talk specifically now about what those challenges are, and how we can fix them!
“I am constantly stressed about my milk production. I fear that I am producing inadequate amounts of milk.”
Milk production can be largely stressful if you don’t have an understanding of how breastmilk is made. Here is a quick tutorial:
Throughout pregnancy, your body changes internally and externally as it prepares to breastfeed. You may notice enlarged breasts and enlarged and darkened nipples. Internally, your body is producing hormones that increase the size and quantity of milk ducts.Triggered by the output of prolactin, your body produces milk.
The more you output milk (through breastfeeding or pumping), the more milk your body will produce. The less you output milk, the less milk your body will produce.
It can take a few days (or even weeks!) for your milk supply to regulate. Some women naturally have more or less milk than others… that is okay!
If you are struggling with milk supply, connect with a lactation consultant. Many women stop breastfeeding because they think something is wrong with their supply when the issue is with their baby's latch.
The thought of having to pump is overwhelming.
Breastfeeding is one thing. Owning and operating a machine that connects to your breasts and manually collects milk? Oh goodness. Pumping is certainly daunting!
Thankfully, it is not nearly as challenging as it looks. This is great because any woman who has to be away from her child for any period (work, errands, appointments, a nap, etc.) would benefit from having a reserve of breastmilk accessible to whoever will be caring for her child.
When you get your pump, take the time to thoroughly read that manual. Practice assembling, dissembling, and cleaning its parts.
Once your baby is born, practice pumping while someone else cares for your little one. This way, you can focus on the task at hand. You will quickly realize it is not as intimidating as you once thought!
Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to multitask pumping with other things like eating, reading, texting, or even folding laundry! The best way to do this is by wearing the Lace Hands-Free Pumping Bra.
Featuring a stretchy inner layer that makes access easy, the Lace Hands-Free Pumping Bra also:
- Doubles as a nursing bra
- Features one-hand open clips
- Has hook and eye closure at the back
- Comes in a beautiful cream color
Make your pumping experience easier by checking this bra out!
“I feel frumpy in my nursing bras!”
You are not alone! Many women fear that with the transition into motherhood, they will lose grip of the sexy, empowered woman that they once were.
Thankfully, there are options available for you! Embrace your womanhood in ALL of its glory with our beautiful Lace Plunge Nursing Bralette:
- Ultra-soft lace fabrics
- Wireless bralette
- Lightly lined molded cups honor modesty
- Dropdown clips make for easy breastfeeding access
- Triangle cup with V neckline supports natural and beautiful breast shape
Don't be afraid to invest in yourself. The more confident you feel in yourself, the more confident you will feel in your role as a mother!
“My nipples are cracked and bleeding!”
While cracked and bleeding nipples are common, they are not normal, and should be addressed! Any pain in breastfeeding is a sign that there is a latching issue, which means that you need to connect with a lactation consultant.
In the meantime, you can ease your pain by using a lanolin-based nipple cream (does not alter the taste of your milk or nipple) or applying a warm compress to the impacted area.
“My boobs are leaking through my bras and shirts!”
The early days of breastfeeding are devoted to your body learning how to properly regulate milk. In the meantime, that can mean discomfort as you manage breast engorgement and letdown issues.
Trust the process, and know that your leaky breasts will not last forever.
Invest in a box of breast pads. These pads fit comfortably in your bra and will help to keep you dry by absorbing any milk that comes out. Pack a few in your purse, car, and diaper bag… along with an extra clean bra and shirt in case of an emergency!
“I feel uncomfortable nursing in public!”
Especially while you and your baby are learning how to nurse without spraying milk everywhere, it can feel a little bit awkward to breastfeed in public. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this challenge:
- Plan outings in-between anticipated feeding times
- -Use a nursing cover (and practice using it at home!)
- Wear nursing-friendly clothing that doesn’t require you to pull your shirt down at the neckline or up from the bottom
- Don’s be afraid to ask for a private area to breastfeed. Think changing rooms, staff rooms, unoccupied areas, etc.
“I feel like my baby is too attached to me!”
Motherhood can be very challenging in the sense that when it comes to your little one, sometimes the only person they want is YOU. That means there are times when you desperately need a break, and you feel like you just can’t have one.
Breastfeeding can emphasize this at times because you are the only one your baby can turn to for a basic necessity: food.
For starters, there is no such thing as being “too attached”, so that is one thing you don’t have to worry about.
There is, however, such a thing as being “touched out”. This is when you just need a break from breastfeeding, cuddling, and holding. Sometimes a girl just needs her space!
It can be hard to ask for help at times, but think of it as an opportunity to refill your emotional cup, so that you can get back to being the rejuvenated, empowered mama you once were. Turn to your partner, loved ones, friends, and other trusted adults for help.
“Breastfeeding makes me feel ravenously hungry!”
This is completely normal! The production of breastmilk burns calories and takes sugars and proteins from YOUR body… it’s no wonder you are hungry all the time.
Opt for high protein, nutrient-dense snacks like eggs, fish, fruits and vegetables, granola bars, hummus, and fermented foods. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated- this might decrease the intensity of your hunger!
“My baby will only nurse on one side!”
It’s not uncommon for babies to have a natural preference for one breast over the other. However, it is something to monitor- nursing on only one side can indicate larger issues such as:
- Weaning does not typically happen in one day. It can take days or weeks to complete the process in a way that is comfortable for both you and your baby.
- You may experience engorgement pain.
- You may feel emotional distress: weaning is a significant step in the growing up process of a child.
- It may take several tries to wean, but try your best to stick to it when you attempt to wean. If you continue to give in after trying to set the boundary with your child, it will make the whole process more confusing.