It’s easy for new moms to get caught up in all the information posted by friends and professionals providing you with evidenced-based research on certain ideologies and the promotion of fixing problems rather than addressing them when it comes to your baby and breastfeeding.
Propaganda. I have a hunch these things will be recognized as trends in the next few years, so I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid. Are we possibly over-educated and uber-sensitive to ensuring women can breastfed without pain or overcoming issues that come along with learning to breastfeed?
Breastfeeding is hard for most of us, but it is doable. It’s more like learning to ride a bike, you fall down a few times and scrape your knees then you get back up and try again. Yes, even tears will be involved. Once you (and your baby) find your stride, it becomes easier. Sometimes it just takes time to work out all the kinks especially when you need to hit the trifecta (your mind, your body, & your baby) for successful breastfeeding. For anyone to tell you that it doesn’t hurt or shouldn’t, they must have nipples of steel. For the first couple of weeks until your milk comes in steadily and your baby gets the hang of it, it will not feel awesome, in fact it will hurt. Too many times, I find my clients wanting to give up because they have been told breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. When they experience pain, they feel like they are failing when the truth is, we just need a little patience in overcoming our breastfeeding hurdles. As time goes on and your nipples toughen up (think of it like walking on rocks; the first few times it hurts, but after a while your feet toughen up and you can manage to walk across a gravel driveway with no shoes on.) The same thing can be experienced with breastfeeding. It does get better and will become an unforgettable experience you and your baby will enjoy free of pain.
Perhaps, we should try some less invasive approaches to breastfeeding like calming the mind. My guess is that moms are having a hard time with their let down and their babies might not be latching because of their high anxiety to get things perfectly right. It often feels as though the world will not let you be anything less than perfect when you become a mom. This is simply not true. Most moms are a mess the first few weeks after birth, and breastfeeding doesn’t click for everyone right away. Cut yourself some slack. You’re new at this, and so is your baby.
Breastfeeding is a learned behavior, approaching your baby with confidence and relaxing as much as you can while feeding can make a world of difference for your breastfeeding experience. Just know that it is a work in progress, and if you choose to do it, you will.