Challenges of Breastfeeding\"http:\/\/\/2014\/08\/a-saturday-in-brooklyn-images-from-august-9-2014\/embed\/\" Sometimes breastfeeding can very challenging. It can make your nipples sore, some babies need time to learn how to latch on properly, some mothers find breastfeeding uncomfortable and there are some challenges with breastfeeding in public places. I will tell you my story. I was breastfeeding my baby for seven months and at the beginning it was really difficult for me. I felt so hopeless that I would not be able to make it, but I tried my best and found my way through. My first challenge was that my baby boy did not know what to do. When he was born the nurses tried to help me in the hospital. From the first moment I knew it would be really hard.  After a week or two I saw a lactation consultant to see what extra advise she would have for me so feeding would be less challenging but nothing was working out. My little one just could not figure it out. He was crying after five to ten minutes of trying and it took me about one and a half hours to feed him every time. It was miserable for both of us. I tried breast shields because I thought it was a problem with my nipples since my baby could not latch on and they worked pretty well. My baby liked it at the beginning, but feeding still was not perfect. Sometimes I was not sure if he was eating or just sucking the shield as pacifier. I was able to successfully breastfeed my baby using shields for about month and a half but after that it was getting worse and worse by the day. My baby was fussy and did not want to latch on any more. Thanks to my insurance I had already received a breastfeeding pump and I started to use it between feedings and freezing this extra for use at a later date. I started to think about using bottles for nighttime feedings, but the lactation consultant told me it is better not to try this for at least the first three months. Babies can be confused by bottle nipples as they are very different that of the mother’s or shields. After things continued to get worse I felt that must be another way. When I could not continue letting things get worse I talked to my husband and we decided to start using bottles because we could not see any other options. I started pumping and keeping bottles in the refrigerator and if I had extra milk I was freezing it. My son liked this new method and immediately the feedings became so easy. There was also the added benefit that I was finally able to know exactly how much he was eating. I believe using bottles helped me with establishing nighttime and daytime schedules. My baby was able to eat in a reasonable amount of time, he was not fussy anymore and he was always eating at the same time. His feedings were like clockwork. Another thing that made my life easier was that we could go out any time without worrying about breastfeeding in public places. I never tried to feed him out in public before using bottles. I could never do it because to me breastfeeding is very personal and I need my own space with nobody around.

These are my main points of advise about breastfeeding:

  • Do not give up. If you think you have tried everything speak with your doctor, family or friends for help and support. Sometimes people have some advise that we have never heard about before. And very often this advice can be helpful. I found out through a nurses advise that silicon nipples do help a lot if you have problems with latching on.
  • The best option for me was using a breast pump. Using a breast pump helped me to produce more milk for my baby than I was able to otherwise and I was able to freeze so much milk that I used it for about month and a half. I also did not have to deal with sore nipples that can be a huge problem at the beginning.
  • Believe in yourself and stay positive. You should always stay positive and believe in yourself because you are a mom and you can do anything.
  • If you feel hopeless and you need support, talk to your partner, family or close friend. Share you worries and know that you are not alone. Always think positively. Every mother has difficulties with their newborns. It’s not easy to be a mom. But we learn through our experiences and we get better and better.
  • Think about your baby. Breastfeeding can be as hard on your little one as it is on you and he cannot do anything about it. Take a little bit of time and think about how you can do things better. This way it will be easier for both you and your baby. We moms always think about our babies first and this helps motivate us no matter what happens.
  • Read books about breastfeeding or articles in Internet. There is a lot of information out there. If you want to feel better about your decisions, try to find the same or similar information from multiple different reliable resources. It is very helpful.
  • Go to breastfeeding classes. While pregnant your doctor will likely recommend that you attend pregnancy classes about baby care, baby safety, labor and breastfeeding. I went to all of them with my husband and everything that they said during breastfeeding classes was extremely useful.
  • Most of all remember do not get upset if breastfeeding is not an option for you. There are a lot of reasons why women cannot breastfeed. Often these things are out of our control and we cannot change the situation.  Enjoy what you have and think positively no matter what. Nowadays we have so many good products such as formula that help our baby grow healthily. I have been using formula for two months already and I could not be happier.

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