Honestly, I loved breastfeeding. I found it to be a special time when the world slowed down and I could concentrate on my son. It worked so well for us that we continued breastfeeding until he self-weaned when he was over 2 years old. However, it didn't start out positive. In fact, I had to see a lactation consultant for advice and support. There was one pivotal day that changed my experience from bad to good, though, and that experience seems universal after some moms shared the moment breastfeeding got easier for them, too.
The day that changed it all for me was my first appointment with the aforementioned lactation consultant. She changed absolutely everything about my breastfeeding relationship with my son. She gave me practical tips on how to improve my baby's latch and increase my milk supply and, I have no doubt, is a big reason why I was able to breastfeed my son for as long as I did.
The way we feed our babies is a personal choice and some women experience difficulties that make breastfeeding taxing or even impossible. It's important to remember that if breastfeeding is important to you, many of the barriers you face are barriers you can overcome (although it's worth remembering that every woman is different so that might not be true for absolutely everyone). These women experienced some problems when they first started nursing, but found that one thing that really turned things around.
"I never felt like I had enough milk at the beginning. Then, all of a sudden, it came in a rush. There was too much, if anything!"
"My mom came to stay with me when the baby was a few weeks old. She gave me loads of tips and praise and it started feeling more natural."
"I watched a lot of videos showing real moms breastfeeding, and that made a difference for me."
"My mom told me I needed to rest. She put me to bed, looked after the baby, and made me drink more water. It got easier after that, I didn't realize how much you really need to look after yourself when you are breastfeeding."
"I went to a La Leche League meeting. Learning from other nursing moms made a huge impact on me. Those women became friends and saviors!"
"Expressing some milk and letting my partner feed the baby helped me. I couldn't do it all alone."
"I had a rough birth, so it took a while to get back up on my feet. Once my body was feeling healed, nursing got easier."
"My doctor saw I was having problems and gave me a nipple shield to try. It made all the difference. I could see that milk was in it so it gave me a confidence boost."
"I wasn't eating enough, my weight was plummeting, and I was exhausted. My doctor told me to eat 500 more calories a day. Once I started doing that, nursing (and life in general) improved!"
"I gave up. It was too hard and painful, so I switched to formula. Then after a week I changed my mind. I thought I wouldn't be able to nurse after the delay, but my milk came right back. It felt so different the second time around."
"I got a really expensive breast pump. It changed everything, kept my milk supply going, and allowed me to let other people feed the baby."
"For me it was just time. It was hard at the beginning, but it got easier and now it's just like second nature."