The biggest breastfeeding challenge I experienced was right after giving birth. I had a natural birth and in the end, I pushed my son out with such force that I ended up with a huge tear which was really painful. I wasn’t in an emotional place where I was ready to enjoy my son and begin our breastfeeding relationship. I was in a place of pure agony and pain.
The good news is that I was in a birth center with midwives, and they were all very good at helping me breast feed him even though I could not even sit up. They helped me nurse him, and helped him latch on while I was lying on my side. They showed my husband how to help him learn to latch on. My son didn’t know how to latch on at first. It took several tries before he became a natural at it.
The other challenges I experienced were with my family. My mother hadn’t breastfed any of her seven children any longer than a few months and so it wasn’t exactly popular or accepted for me to announce we were definitely going for a year and hopefully longer. At one point, I was nursing my son at my parents house in a discreet way but without a cover, and my younger teenage sister told me that I was both gross and disgusting for doing this.
I think she also thought that I was being sinful and morally wrong to not cover up my “nasty” mothering act. So, needless to say there wasn’t any support coming from my family of origin and if anything, I received the impression that I was downright crazy, weird, and wrong to be doing “mothering” like I was doing. I breastfed my son for 17 months and I think with the next child(ren), I will go even longer.
Being a first-time mom carries the challenge of wondering whose advice is the best to take and then learning from the hindsight perspective. I gained a lot of support from attending La Leche League meetings. It was so supportive to be with a group of women who were warm and accepting of my choice to breastfeed that long (and longer). I also found support by reading blogs of other mothers online who follow similar belief patterns as me. In
time, I’ve also been able to provide support for mothers going through the same challenges that I went through.
That whole process has blessed my life and allowed me to reach many women with love and to support them.
For more stories from mamas who overcame obstacles in their breastfeeding journey, check out the complete list of posts.