Congratulations you’re pregnant!! So you start sharing your great news with everyone. They are so excited for you and can’t wait to meet your new bundle of joy! Then they start in with the horror stories that breastfeeding is going to hurt, and you’re probably going to have breastfeeding problems.
Unfortunately this is common for new mom’s to hear. In all honesty breastfeeding can be difficult if you don’t have good information, support, and you let those stories get to you. People can’t seem to help themselves, they love to share what happened to them thinking it’s going to help you out by “warning” you. In reality they should be encouraging you, cheering you on for wanting to provide the best food nature can provide for your baby and it all comes from you!
So here’s how you handle it:
- Thank them for sharing and then let the stories go in one ear and out the other.
- Go to a few breastfeeding support meetings (YES! Even while you’re pregnant!) in your area and listen to all kinds of mom’s talk about how breastfeeding is so important to them and watch them happily nurse their baby.
- Take a breastfeeding class.
- Get yourself informed! Buy a comprehensive Breastfeeding book like “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” by La Leche League which talks about breastfeeding from beginning to weaning and all the things in between. Learn what does and doesn’t help breastfeeding.
- Remember that nothing in life is perfect. Even the best laid plan can get a little off track. This reminds me of a part in the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” by Stephen R. Covey. He talks about how important it is for families to figure out what their end goal/their “destination” is, and then make a “flight plan” to help reach their goals. He talks about how airplane flights always have the destination of where they’re going and a flight plan to get there, but the pilot always needs to make adjustments due to turbulence and other issues that take the flight plan in different directions. Breastfeeding is similar. You have your breastfeeding goal, learn all about it and make your plan, and then you may have to adjust here and there in your plan. If you stay patient and persistent, get support if needed, you can reach your breastfeeding goals!
- If you need help call a Lactation Consultant! The sooner the better! Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt.
Trust that your amazing body is meant to breastfeed. Trust that your amazing baby is born to breastfeed. Trust that there is no other perfect food for your baby than your breastmilk. Keep telling yourself these very words the next time you hear negativity around breastfeeding. People mean well when they tell you these things, they likely didn’t have a lot of support or accurate information about breastfeeding. The more helpful support you can create around yourself, the more you learn about breastfeeding, and the sooner you get help if breastfeeding problems do arise, the easier it will be to get breastfeeding off to a great start. Trust in nature and prepare. You can totally do this!