Breastfeeding, like most parts of motherhood, comes with it's own set of challenges. For many moms, it doesn't come as naturally as they hoped. They may feel pressured to switch to formula, or maybe they've been shamed for nursing in public. Whatever the case may be, there are many things you can say to a breastfeeding mom that will help them instead of hurt them. Sometimes all a mom needs is encouragement that she's doing the right thing for her and her baby.
When I started breastfeeding my first baby, I remember being shocked at how awkward it was. I had never really held a newborn, let alone tried to get one to latch on and nurse properly. I was intent on breastfeeding, however. And after lots of failed attempts on my own, I eventually saw a lactation consultant. Her encouragement and reassurance that bumps in the road are normal helped me gain confidence in myself as a mom and my capabilities to feed my baby.
You don't have to be a lactation consultant to encourage a breastfeeding mom though. Sometimes the most powerful influences are friends and family members. And with all of the negativity moms face, a little bit of encouragement will go a long way.