Breastfeeding Problems and the Power of Support April 27, 2016 14:57 11 Comments
- Understand that breastfeeding is not always easy
- Recognize the Importance of a supportive environment
- Find lactation resources
When my first daughter was born, I thought breastfeeding would be an easy natural bonding event. After all, it’s expected - moms have been doing it for centuries. So how difficult could it be? My mom did not breastfeed any of her kids, so she could not provide any advice.
At first I didn’t realize the importance of advice and support. After all my daughter seemed to be very comfortable breastfeeding. Okay, well maybe she was a bit cranky and took a while to settle down. But I didn’t think anything of it, until her pediatrician was concerned that she was not gaining enough weight. I went into panic mode and we started supplementing with formula in a bottle. But I still was producing milk. Nevertheless, I began to think it was not enough. I was not ready to give up.
Fortunately, I went to some amazing breastfeeding sessions with Corky, a lactation consultant and owner of the Pump Station in Los Angeles. In turned out in my case, my milk was almost gone since my baby wasn’t latching on correctly. After the first meeting with Corky, I began a milk saving marathon where I needed to nurse and pump while weaning my daughter off formula. The less formula I gave her, the more she wanted to nurse. It makes sense in retrospect, but as new moms we often think that we don't have enough milk.
Despite an extremely challenging start, my milk went into full production following several crazy weeks of nursing and pumping. But it was totally worth it. Nursing became natural as I developed an amazing bond with my girls. I ended up breastfeeding them exclusively for about a year. If I hadn’t sought the help of a lactation consultant, this story may have had a different outcome. We should encourage and support new moms because it makes a difference. Lactation support is important after having your baby - don’t be afraid of asking for help. Breastfeeding could be challenging and moms need to know how important is to surround themselves with a supportive team of friends and family.
When close friend called few weeks ago because she was close to giving up, I was relieved she reached out. After some C-section complications and the lack of breastfeeding support, she started giving her baby formula. Her struggle was similar to mine, she was worried about not being able to produce enough milk. This must be a common concern for moms before right before they stop breastfeeding. Now, she enjoys breastfeeding her baby in a warm supportive environment with the advice of a professional.
Stay tuned for the breastfeeding guide coming soon. Did you have a similar experience you'd like to share? We would love to hear from you.