3 Common Breastfeeding Challenges (and how to overcome them)

I am a huge breastfeeding advocate for all of the beautiful benefits it can provide for both mama and baby beyond nutrition. I find the information we as new moms receive to be lacking severely and that even though there is more support these days for nursing mamas, the support still needs to extend much further than it stands. If you’re in your 3rd trimester, a first-time mom, or a mama who is ready to try breastfeeding with their newborn, here are 3 common nursing challenges and how to overcome them.

Sore Nipples

As a breastfeeding parent, you will likely experience your fair share of sore nipples. It won’t happen just once, and you probably won’t be able to pinpoint when it’s going to happen again. Tips to soothe? Coconut oil (moisturizer). Breastmilk (moisturizer, healing properties). Breastfeeding (moisturizer, healing properties, continues telling your body to make milk). They won’t be sore forever [heart]

Low Milk Supply

Most often, it’s first-time moms that I see question their milk supply and sadly, they are never the ones to doubt themselves. It’s the people around them that create this sense of doubt and plant the seed that supplementing with formula will help…from nurses at the hospital to moms who maybe didn’t breastfeed themselves, friends who didn’t have choice but to return to work early, and those that chose formula as the best option for themselves (and everyone in between). There is no one way to feed your baby, HOWEVER; if breastfeeding is what you would like to do and is your goal and you want to explore all options to achieve that goal before considering something else, then hear me when I say that breastfeeding is what will help your milk supply. Formula will not help. Pumping will not help. Bottle-feeding will not help. The reality is that all of these options hinder supply because they remove an opportunity where baby can say “I need milk”. BABY to BREAST is what is most effective at telling your body in the fourth trimester that more milk is needed.

Cluster Feeding

Often enough, I see moms question their milk supply when baby is cluster-feeding. Why? Because it’s not something they were prepared for or a term that they had even heard until I brought it up. If it feels like you just fed baby and yet you’re feeding them again, their totally suckling, and they’re 3+weeks old, you’re likely cluster feeding and it’s completely NORMAL. It’s one way your baby tells your body that it needs to make more milk. Not because there’s not enough but because baby is growing and more milk will be needed the same way your toddler and school-aged child goes through growth-spurts and eats more or less depending on this. It’s also important to remember that breastfeeding is about so much more than nourishment; it’s comfort, it’s safety, it’s a sleep-aid, etc. If it’s summer, you’ll make more water-based milk at times because baby needs to stay hydrated, too. All of this won’t last forever [heart]

Hey! I’m Steph with @thrivingmotherhoodco and I’m a Fertility Doula, Pregnancy & Postpartum Coach empowering mothers to thrive in every season of motherhood with holistic support.

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