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Breastfeeding Advice for the Struggling Mom

Breastfeeding Advice for the Struggling Mom   www.BreastfeedingPlace.comBreastfeeding may be natural, but it sure ain’t easy sometimes. I wish someone had taken the time to give me breastfeeding advice when I was a first-time, struggling mom.  And I sure was struggling. In more ways than one.

Having a child changes absolutely everything about life. It is a world-rocking experience. The adjustments can be overwhelming, especially when things don’t quite go according to plan.

As moms, we can be very critical of ourselves. We compare our ability to mother to others. The truth is, no two breastfeeding journeys will be alike. At times we will flourish. At times we will struggle.

It’s our struggles that make us strong. Just as a butterfly will wither and die if not given the chance to struggle out of the cocoon, without struggles in our lives, we wither.

There’s just something about struggles and breastfeeding, be it struggles with breastfeeding or struggling with life while breastfeeding.

The fear.

Am I doing the right thing? Is my baby going to be ok?  Am I making milk? Is he getting enough?  How many ounces has he gained this week? Is the doctor going to push formula?

The feelings of failure.

I just can’t make enough milk. I don’t know what I’m doing. Why can’t I just provide for my baby like nature intended? I can’t even get something as natural as breastfeeding to work.

The darkness.

It can feel so alone. Like my body is failing me. Like I’m failing my baby. Like breastfeeding is just one demand too many, or a demand I can’t completely meet.

Mama, I’ve been there.  It’s hard. But you know what? Together, we can get through it.

Can I give you a virtual hug? A hug and some advice for this struggle?

  • Take a deep breath. Seriously. Oxygen helps our bodies in so many ways. Take time to breathe.
  • Seek out support.  If you are struggling with breastfeeding, contact a good lactation consultant to guide you. Call your local WIC office. Go to a La Leche League meeting. Call up a girlfriend who breastfed. You don’t have to do this alone.  If you are struggling with postpartum mood issues, keep communication open with others – especially your significant other and doctor.
  • Give yourself grace.  Are you upset that you “caved” and gave that formula? It’s ok. You haven’t ruined your child or your nursing relationship. Just keep nursing.  Are you feeling like a failure because your little one isn’t growing and you need to supplement? Grace. You can keep working on your supply while you supplement. You are still giving your child liquid gold and a great start in life. Did medical conditions keep you from breastfeeding at all or as long as you had hoped? Grace. While breast milk is the best for baby, it does not make you any less of a mother if you need to feed your baby in other ways.
  • Use tools.  There are many tools out there to help the breastfeeding mom. If latching is an issue, a lactation consultant may advise you to use a nipple shield for a time. If supply is an issue, you may consider using a supplemental nursing system. Herbs, essential oils,  and supplements may help boost supply. A good breast pump might help boost the supply or might enable you to take the time you need to work through struggles in your life.
  • Take care of yourself. Mothering is hard work. When we don’t take care of ourselves, our mothering will suffer. Our mood and energy will suffer. Our relationships will suffer. While it may seem impossible to get 10 minutes away to take a shower, make it a priority – at least twice a week! 😉

In your struggles, know this: you are not alone. There are mamas who have been through it before. Reach out to them. We have our hands out to you to help you through. All you need to do is grab that hand. We are here for you.

What invaluable piece of breastfeeding advice did someone once give you?

Sharing at My Joy-Filled Life.

Audra Michelle has been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for more than 6 years straight. Her first nursed for 15 months, her second for 14 months, and her third weaned at 27 months! Her first baby girl is thriving on breastmilk and will wean when she chooses.  Audra Michelle is a wife, mother, daughter, girlfriend, Jesus lover, and musician. You can find Audra Michelle blogging at UP and at Naturally Well.


  1. Great advice for struggling moms! Thanks for this helpful post.

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