I’m planning to breastfeed our first baby in February. I’m not too concerned about that just because I know I will need to ask for help and I know it may not be an easy start, but it’s important to me to make it work. What I’m more concerned about probably is other people’s reactions to my breastfeeding. My husband’s parents have already made comments like, “Well, it might not work out. I [my husband’s mom] tried for a week and my milk never came in. So I had to quit.” That bothers me because it’s certainly not encouraging! So how do I deal with something like this?
I’m so excited for you, Emily! I’m a staunch supporter of breastfeeding and know that it is absolutely the best nutrition for baby whenever possible. That said, breastfeeding my first baby was near torture for about the first three weeks of her life. I was just telling a new mom last week that the first three weeks were awful, the next three were tolerable, and it was a couple of months before it felt second nature.
Your attitude and commitment are to be commended and will be needed in those first few days and weeks. As for the naysayers? Ignore them. It’s true that some moms are unable to breastfeed for whatever reason, and my heart goes out to them, but you don’t need their stories right now. You need encouragement. 95% of women are perfectly physically capable of nourishing their baby without supplementation.
What got me through those first few emotional, painful days and weeks (and we didn’t really have any “problems”!) was my own determination (I *WILL* do this!) and support from other breastfeeding moms and my husband. Surround yourself with women who make it work. Read accounts of women who have overcome obstacles. “Like” breastfeeding support pages on Facebook. (KellyMom is one of my favorites.)
When the naysayers see your commitment to breastfeeding your baby, they’ll quiet down. Most people will be quite impressed and supportive once your sweet baby arrives.
Do any of my readers have additional advice or resources for Emily?
Other breastfeeding posts from my archives: