Tough Love with Breastfeeding
Now before I start offending people, let me say that breastfeeding is your own personal choice. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with, etc. But, for those expectant mothers who have made the choice to breastfeed their babies – sometimes, you just need a little tough love.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who is trying to get pregnant for the first time. We’re super close, so we can have those candid, real conversations that you can only have with your super close friends. We were talking about what kind of mother she wants to be and deciding what her baby may look like, etc. She said she definitely wanted to breastfeed and asked if I would help coach her through it. I said of course I would, but then I asked if she wanted me to be a Bob or Jillian (channeling The Biggest Loser). “Huh?” she asked.
I explained to her that in the beginning it can be hard. If I didn’t have a couple Jillians in my life, I probably wouldn’t have made it with my first-born. Anytime I was feeling hopeless and wanted to to turn to the bottle (pun intended), I had a sister or a friend there questioning me and pushing me forward. They weren’t just telling me this over the phone, they were coming to my house and holding my baby so I could pump to increase supply, buying me herbal teas, or literally helping position my breast to work on latching.
If I had someone there offering to go pick me up some formula, there were times I probably would have taken them up on it. Luckily, they had gotten more sleep than I had and knew that I could do it.
I also let her know that sometimes it’s not hard at all. My second-born/ current breastfeeder has been a breeze from the first latch. You just never know. But, I do think that it’s important to prepare expectant mothers that you may have to work at it, and it’s important to go into it with a “never say die” attitude. And if you’re feeling hopeless, sometimes you need someone there telling you to not give up. Hopefully, they’ll thank you later.
If you don’t have a friend or sister close by, you can find some of those through La Leche League. Don’t be shy, they really do want to help.