By the time my third child was born, I felt more confident in my ability to breastfeed than I had when either of my other babies were born. I knew what my body could (and couldn't do) in terms of producing breast milk. I consulted a lactation consultant and planned to both breastfeed and supplement with formula. I joined an evidence-based support group, which included many other parents with undersupply, and (most importantly, to me) I had a really supportive partner. When things go tough he was there, saying things that really put my breastfeeding struggles into perspective.
I didn't always feel supported when I was trying, and struggling, to breastfeed. When my husband and I first talked about how we'd feed our son, I told him about my struggles with undersupply, which caused me to blame myself for my baby having to be readmitted to the NICU for jaundice and dehydration. I told him about my postpartum depression, and how I didn't really fall in love with my baby until I switched to formula. His ex-wife had endured a similar experience with their first baby, and he didn't want me to go through something like that again. "Let's just do formula," he said, "I want you to be OK." Then I told him about my amazing experience combo-feeding my second child, which was something that I never thought would be possible. He told me that he would support me no matter what I decided.
Then our son was born with low blood sugar and required formula, IV fluids, and glucose in the NICU. Once we got him home, despite both breastfeeding and supplementing with formula every 2-3 hours, he wasn't gaining any weight. He also had horrible diarrhea and gas, and cried out in pain frequently. We tried five different formulas before we found one he could eat. Then, we found out why. He was diagnosed with a cow's milk and soy protein intolerance, and my doctor told me that if I wanted to keep breastfeeding him, I needed to eliminate all dairy and soy from my diet. I am a vegetarian and cheese is life. The thought of having to give up all dairy and soy made me ugly cry. I wanted to breastfeed so badly that I actually considered altering my diet for like an hour. (shudders)
My husband was there with me every step of the way and over every hurdle. The things he said that helped me gain the most perspective might surprise you, too, because they definitely surprised me.