What kind of Breastfeeding support(s) made or broke the experience for you?

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

I have noticed two consistent themes in conversations about breastfeeding. 1) Every mother talks about the difficulty of starting and maintaining a breastfeeding relationship and 2) reference to the existence or absence of breastfeeding support(s). In one instance a mother stated how her country supports Breastfeeding, others talk about Lactation Consultant, other mothers, and nurses.



For me the support was a system, a network of family, friends, professionals and groups. I probably could not pinpoint one certain support that helped me make it through the first day, the first two weeks, and the first 4 months (all which were touchpoints for myself). But, I would say that my husband and my midwife are invaluable resources to me.

What or who have been invaluable in your breastfeeding experience (be it a 2 day, 2 week or 2 year experience)?

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Melanie - posted on 09/09/2010

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I have had only the support of my fiance. He encourages it every day. He teases and tells me he's going to give our daughter formula when I'm not looking, but I know he wouldn't. Not to mention I doubt she would take it. She hates having to take a bottle when I'm not feeling well. i get nauseous spells and dizziness associated with my low blood pressure. I have formula in case, but I aslo have pumped breast milk in the freezer for an emergency, and working on getting more in there. I only pump once every couple of days or weekly. I look into my daughter's eyes and I know she needs me. It makes me feel blissful when she is relying on me. That is my job and duty to care for her. I feed her on demand, wherever I am without even thinking about how others might feel. It is her food. I've had people tell me its disgusting to feed her in public, but I can eat in public, therefore she can too!

It's just so much easier and relaxed to breastfeed her!

Lisa - posted on 09/09/2010

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i have breastfed all my children and still doingit now it doesnt bother me what people say if my child wants feeding i will stop and feed her where i can i dont feel pressured in doing it i dont get uncomfertable where i do it my family have supported me with all my children also i find it more easier to bf my children than to bottle feed them

[deleted account]

Thank you for sharing your stories.  Every perspective is unique and  there is always a challenge to surmount when we become mothers. How we do that depends, it seems, not just on support systems but many other factors.  Thanks again...and I hope to hear more stories if anyone else is willing to share. 

Alison - posted on 03/23/2009

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I was totally geared up and ready for breastfeeding. I read all the books, bought the fancy breast pump just in case I couldn't BF at first for any reason, and did all the research on how to breastfeed and how to solve common problems. Once my son was born, I made sure to meet with the lactation consultant in the hospital who was WONDERFUL. This all helped me to stay totally confident in my breastfeeding until he was three months old.

Then all of a sudden he kept going on nursing strikes and wouldn't eat. Again, I jumped into finding all the right help from all the right sources...but this time I came up empty handed. His nursing strikes weren't caused by anything that was suggested by the LLL or anyone else...and they kept happening. So I decided to start supplementing which made him feel better, and in turn made me feel better, but to everyone else, I might as well have been poisoning my child.

I'd always heard of breastfeeding mothers being mistreated for doing what is best for their babies and having to handle nasty comments, but I didn't realize mothers that supplement could face this as well. So it's weird...while I had great support while breastfeeding, everyone of those support systems (except for my husband and family) turned on me when I chose to start supplementing.

Traci - posted on 03/23/2009

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I found the nurses in the hospital and my roommate to be extremely helpful with  my breastfeeding experience. I think the most important thing is determination and stability. If you start, stick with it and stay with it until you or your child gets it. It's not for everyone!!!  I just had my baby 3/11/09 and I started breastfeeding from day one. I also supplement with formula when needed. Now my baby can drink from the bottle or the breast!! That is the best of both worlds and it will make it that much easier when she weens off of the breast. 

Michelle - posted on 03/23/2009

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My mother in law and sister inlaw! It feels wierd having your MiL or SIL touching your breasts but they were breastfeeders themselves and my SIL is a nurse so she gave me the courage to carry it on. I just wish that when DD became milk intolerant that someone was there to say - 'well actually why dont you try cutting dairy out of your diet' and carry on bf. All the health professionals were quick enought o hand me the bottle of formula!

[deleted account]

I was very young with my first pregnancy and had no idea what to expect with my prenatal care. Somewhere around my 7 months visit I guess my OB asked would I be breast or bottlefeeding. And I just automatically replied breastfeeding. I had never considered otherwise. I think it was just imprinted on my mind. My younger sister and close cousin were both breastfede (as well as me) and it was just a natural thing to me. Fortunately I had no difficulty in any of my children getting them to latch on and feed. The only thing that stopped my breastfeeding was around 4 months with both my daughter and older was pumping at work. I couldn't keep up with it. My current son is over 4 months now and we're still doing just fine, good milk supply, so I'm really hoping to make it the first whole year.

Danica - posted on 03/22/2009

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I was so fortunate to be able to easily BF both of my kids, but I also had huge support from my husband, mother, and midwife. I have used LL, but not relied on them as a support system. I also found that being around people who accepted BF made a huge difference. If people are uncomfortable with BF I find myself getting uncomfortable doing it.
I totally agree with Joy that BF is not the best choice for every mother and I don't think that anyone should ever be pressured or made to feel inadequate because of her choice.
I BF my daughter until she was 10 months and my son is 9 months and I am tandem feeding breast and bottle depending on the time of day. I BF at night because I am WAY too tired to deal with bottles every 2 hours :)

[deleted account]

I was totally unprepared for BFing and really struggled right after my son was born. I can't say I had a good support system in place; I'm not very close with my mom and don't have any sisters or close friends with children. My husband was wonderful support but completely clueless about BFing, and I found the nurses as well as the midwife who attended my birth weren't very helpful.



After a week of trying and tears, my second midwife visited and really helped me get on track. Following her visit we hired an absolutely wonderful Lactation Consultant who explained everything to me and showed me what I was doing wrong. It was really so simple. Between the two of them we were able to sort it out in one day and have been fine ever since. Their help and support made all the difference.



And of course I never could have done it without the most amazing, wonderful, caring husband that I have. : )

Joy - posted on 03/22/2009

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I actually felt very very pressuered to breastfeed from many people being friends, family, doctors, midwives etc...I found it to be the first question people asked u and if you were to say no Oh my goodness you are already a bad mother. I was always intent on breastfeeding for as long as nature allowed. I felt so pressured in the hospital and also at home to do it that i found myself so uptight and just not able to relax and enjoy feeding my son. He too was uncomfortable and was most likely feeding off my negativity. I ended up bfeeding till 3 months and then expressing into bottles for another 2 months before switching to formula. I am one of those people that DONT believe breast is best for every mother and child. It depends on circumstance. My son was lactose intolerant as well as a very hungry baby. I believe support should be available for both sides of the spectrum, breast and bottle and a mother who has just been thru childbirth should not be made to feel like she is a terrible mother because she has chosen not to breastfeed. Medical staff and even freinds n family should be taught to support both methods. My son is a healthy happy little  and a half month old and I wouldnt change anything. I found the most support within my husband and sister who also bottlefed her 2nd child and a close friend of mine gave me incredible support when i made the decision to switch to formula.

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