6 Common Breastfeeding Challenges And How To Overcome Them

by Jija
Originally Published: 

As breastfeeding moms, we come across trials daily that we need help to overcome. Are you lacking in moral support by your friends and family, or do you not have the guidance nearby to get you through these difficult challenges? You can get through these struggles and succeed with breastfeeding with the support of other nursing mothers.

As a breastfeeding mother, I want to see you succeed with breastfeeding. Here are a few of the challenges I have already experienced, and what has worked for me.

1. Inconvenient Leakage

At times your breasts will leak milk even though you aren’t nursing at the moment. This is natural and expected. This can be highly inconvenient, and sometimes embarrassing.

Don’t let it take away your confidence to still go out in public. In order to overcome this challenge, there are several things you can do. For instance, you can wear a darker printed top. It will help disguise the leakage. Also disposable, and reusable pads are available. These are soft and pliable, forming to your chest. The combination of a dark print and a breast pad takes away all insecurities of leaking in public.

2. Public Nursing

Breastfeeding is one thing, but breastfeeding in public is totally another.

Not all new moms are comfortable nursing in front of others. Take time to get comfortable with your baby’s routine before heading out in the public eye, if needed.

There is no shame, if you want to go to a quiet space to nurse. You may be comfortable in public with a light weight blanket tossed over your shoulder for a covering.

There are also great nursing covers that you can get to help with public nursing.

Take your time to find out what works best for you; it’s worth the effort. Also, don’t feel you need to nurse in the restroom when you are out in the public. You wouldn’t eat in a restroom yourself, so don’t feel peer pressure to do it with your child. Nursing in the restroom could associate restroom smells with eating — not a good combination.

Your child has the need to eat wherever you are, when it’s meal time.

3. Proper Latching

Getting your baby to latch on your nipple properly is key. Only sucking on the tip of the nipple will not produce milk, but pinches you and frustrates the baby. This can lead to pain that will encourage you to quit nursing immediately. But there is a simple solution: take the whole nipple.

It’s normal for there to be tenderness, and it’s normal for your nipples to callus at times. It will pass and the process of nursing will become comfortable for both you and your baby.

It is not normal for breastfeeding to be painful. Many new breastfeeding moms get stuck on this one challenge, and it’s is not an impossible situation to overcome. The book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger also offered a lot of additional breastfeeding help for me.

4. Routine Rotation

You are built with two breasts for a reason — to rotate. Nursing on one side and not the other is often no what is best for you for several reasons.

Your breasts produce milk on a supply and demand system; the more your baby wants, typically the more they produce.

Some new moms don’t feel the signs of which breast needs to be used first, so putting a diaper pin on the inside your bra for the correct side to use next might help.

Nursing your baby evenly can help prevent breast infections. The next time you nurse, start on the opposite breast and then rotate back.

5. Others’ Opinions

One major challenge all nursing moms have is other’s opinions.

Everyone has an opinion, but not all opinions are based on facts. Learn to smile and change the subject, or to walk away from unsolicited advice.

When you do listen, glean what works and throw out the advice that is rubbish. People may mean well with what they say, but you are the one who has to live with the decisions you make for your baby.

As a breastfeeding mom, growing a backbone is essential, or your feelings may be hurt all the time.

6. Jury Duty

If for some reason you are called to jury duty while you are a nursing mom, there is hope.

A letter written directly to the judge, explaining the situation thoroughly, will make a huge difference in the outcome.

Your baby is completely dependent upon you for food, but taking a baby to jury duty is obviously not going to work. Considering that you could pump up for your baby is still not a completely doable situation, because you yourself need relief every 4 or so hours.

If you are not relieved, you could get a breast infection from a backed up milk duct. Take the time to write out a well put together letter explaining all of this in detail. Any intelligent judge will see the need for you to be excused for health reasons.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the challenges new breastfeeding moms have, and the solutions, you can see that breastfeeding is just a process of learning what to do in each situation. It is possible to have a successful breastfeeding experience; it won’t be challenge-free, but it can be wonderful.

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