Breastfeeding can be scary to the new mom or the expecting mama with hopes of nursing their little one. There are lots of stories out there and bad experiences from others that can put a damper on your dreams. There's no need to let fears overcome you with breastfeeding because breastfeeding is VERY doable and your goal can be attained.
Below are some fears to remove from your mind now. Go ahead, shake them out and get ready to NURSE ON.
1. The fear of not making enough milk. This is perhaps the number one thing people are scared of or hear the most of in terms of problems that other moms experience. Less than 2% of healthy, normal women are medically unable to actually make milk. That means that the rest of us CAN. There are factors that can contribute to poor milk supply such as stress, poor nutrition, poor latch and/or (most commonly) not emptying the breasts enough. Most women who experienced poor milk supply likely experienced it because baby didn't have a successful latch to have a successful transfer of milk and/or mama didn't pump or nurse enough. Sometimes new moms just don't know and often times they do not realize that there ARE fixes to low supply, it just takes a little bit of guidance. So please, don't let this be a fear!
2. The fear of it hurting. Breastfeeding will likely hurt at some point or another, whether it is due to sore nipples or engorged breasts from too much milk coming in. However not all people experience much pain and some experience very little. I know some mothers who experienced nipple pain the first month or so, but then others like myself, who never experienced nipple pain. A good nipple cream and some soothing gel pads are the cure for those sore nipples and can also prevent any soreness.
3. The fear of spoiling your baby or creating a clingy baby. That's just silly, now let's move on.
4. The fear of baby never taking a bottle. This rarely happens and usually they eventually learn to take a bottle when mama is not around. Sometimes it takes trying a few different brands and some babies take to the first one you try!
5. The fear of continuing to breastfeed when returning to work. This is definitely a justifiable concern because we all know that most women want to do their best at their place of employment without stirring any issues or needing "special treatment." There are laws that protect breastfeeding mothers that basically state that any employer has to give a mother time to pump if away from baby and/or provide them with a place to do so. Each state can be different, so make sure to research your state's law. A simple Google search for your specific state's breastfeeding law should help. Or try here. You CAN breastfeed and work. Many women do it daily and while it's tedious to pack that pump every day and so on, in the long run it is so worth it.
6. The fear of baby not sleeping through the night. It is a misconception that babies are able to sleep through the night. Most babies can not sleep through the night until closer to one year old, and even then many still do not (whether breast or formula fed). Breast milk does digest quicker than formula, but you can never know for sure what will actually make your baby wake. Enjoy the nighttime nursing, I promise that you will one day miss it (I REALLY promise).
7. The fear of others. It's so easy in today's society to be fearful of breastfeeding because we don't know what others will think. Most of the time, you'll be extremely surprised about just how supportive your family and partner will be. And as a mother who nurses in public (discreetly), I have never had a bad experience. While public breastfeeding is still a bit taboo, just remember that breasts ARE for breastfeeding. And no one says you have to nurse in public if you don't want to. Retreat to your car, use a cover or time your outings around baby's schedule if you feel more modest this way. However we proudly recommend public breastfeeding!
8. The fear of it being HARD. It will be hard. It will be hard and it will suck at times (no pun intended). But the beauty of it, is that there is a WORLD of support out there that we do not even realize. From breastfeeding support groups on Facebook or within your community to wonderful text books and people like me, who are trained to help you -- there are endless ways to find answers to your problems. So yes, it will be hard at time but it will be SO worth it. Breastfeeding gets easier day by day, and after around 6-8 weeks, you've usually overcome most obstacles and any soreness. By this point, you'll be so proud of your strength and what your body has done!
Let go of those fears about breastfeeding. Read a good breastfeeding manual, take a class at the local hospital and search for support groups via Facebook (Fancy Pumpers is a large group for all to join). I promise you that you can do this! It will take some work, maybe some tears and a little bit of pain, but it will be one of the most incredible things you do, no matter how long you do it for!
Because it is the most normal thing ever.
Feel free to shoot us any breastfeeding questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and Sasha will answer them right away!
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