When I first attempted breastfeeding it wasn't the most natural thing in the world. Every session was a struggle for all involved. In fact, I stressed about breastfeeding my baby so much each consecutive session became less and less desirable. It wasn't until I threw in the proverbial breastfeeding towel that I realized my anxiety was being fed by all the normal things all breastfeeding moms panic about. In other words, there wasn't anything "wrong" with me when I was feeling so overwhelmed and frustrated and lost.
My breastfeeding panic began in the hospital just after delivery. In those early hours with my newborn on my chest, the nurses suggested I try to breastfeed. With all eyes on me, I couldn't help but feel anxious. That initial feeling only snowballed with every additional feeding, and nothing about breastfeeding felt "right" to me. What I was experiencing isn't what I had envisioned, so I panicked. I was afraid I was doing it wrong, afraid my newborn daughter wouldn't get any milk due to her incorrect latch (she didn't), and terrified I'd failed. I'd only been a mother a few hours and it felt as though I already let my child down.
Over time, unfortunately, things didn't improve. I had a seasoned lactation consultant, but by then I was too stressed and depressed to let my dream of breastfeeding kill the relationship with my child any longer. Thus, I reluctantly went to the bottle and continued pumping the little bit of milk I had available. I panicked about every part of the feeding process, and never felt OK until my bottle-fed baby was happy and healthy. So, with that in mind, here's some other totally normal things breastfeeding moms panic about. Don't worry, moms. I promise, this too shall pass. Eventually.