10 Things Every Breastfeeding Mom Needs to Hear

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breastfeedingThere are a flurry of emotions and hormones when you give birth; and it's all amplified when you breastfeed. Breastfeeding is magical, terrifying, wonderful, worrisome, and amazing. It really is all those things sometimes and we also know it's best for baby. And sure is easier on mom than preparing formula ... once you get the hang of it.

Breastfeeding can be awkward and challenging at first, which is why this list of 10 things every breastfeeding mom needs to hear can be so helpful.

  1. Breastfeeding might feel weird. Almost nothing can prepare you for the feeling the first time your baby is put to breast. It's ... weird. It's a whole new sensation of motherly love and baby bonding mixed with oh my gosh is this even working. How am I going to do this? This feels weird. Not all moms enter motherhood with a halo of flowers and zero breastfeeding issues. It might feel weird, and that's okay.
  2. Baby needs to learn how to latch. Just like you need to learn how to breastfeed, your baby is also learning how to latch onto your breast. Sure, she knows how to suck, but this is the first time she's meeting your nipple and she may need a little time to figure out how to properly get it in her mouth to nurse. Just like you do. The best way to work it all out is to ask for help from a lactation consultant so you both can figure it out.
  3. You're doing a great job! Simple statement, but oh so true.
  4. Breastfeeding might hurt at first and that's okay. The first week or two is the hardest and you may experience some pain while breastfeeding. Baby is figuring out how to latch; your nipples are getting used to the new sensation and you may get a little sore. I'm not talking about excruciating pain, but some pain. You will get through it and could end up with that halo of flowers and zero breastfeeding issues in no time.
  5. You might feels like you're doing it wrong and you're the only mom in the world doing it wrong and you need to know that you are wrong about that. So many of us have some issues with breastfeeding. You are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. But again, if you need help, ask, get help from a professional.
  6. You're doing a great job! This needs to be repeated. Keep up the good work, mama!
  7. You might feel like your baby is doing it wrong and you got the one baby who is doing it wrong but you need to know that you are wrong about that. If baby (or you) has an issue with breastfeeding, a good lactation consultant will help you with that. Remember, this is new for both you and baby and practice makes perfect.
  8. Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing. Supplementing a little bit doesn't make you a bad mom or a breastfeeding "imposter." Some moms just have to and that's okay. I'm not saying to give up trying to breastfeed and go straight to formula. I'm talking about the moms who have definite supply issues or another complication that warrants some outside help. Consult a lactation educator first. Any bit of breast milk you can give your baby is so good for your baby's health, and yours. Keep trying! 
  9. Pumping can be complicated. The pump is both your best friend and your enemy and just because you don't have it down yet, doesn't make you a loser. You will figure it out. I promise.
  10. You're doing a great job! Yes, you are. A really great job. Be proud of yourself.

What other things would you add to this list that would be helpful for breastfeeding moms to hear?


Image via Daniel Lobo/Flickr

breastfeeding, natural parenting


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linzemae linzemae

I wish I could supplement every once in a while since my daughter isnt gaining. The two times I have tried she threw it all up.

Movie... Moviebuff

Why do bf moms feel the need to get a pat on the back this is one of the reason people get annoyed at bf moms.

adamat34 adamat34

Amen movie buff......this is the way its been done for thousands of years.....you are not revolutionary in any.sense....

Sara52 Sara52

Moviebuff, becuase breastfeeding is hard its easier to give up and give a baby a bottle.  Being unsure of what you are doing, is baby getting enough, am i doing this right, i'm the worst mom in the world if i can't do this. Is all constantly going through a breastfeeding mom's head. Knowing you're doing a good job and hearing it, feeling it moves mountains and boosts confidence. Get annoyed all you want, but artilce like this and hearing it from my husband is the only reason why i was able to continue breastfeeding this is my 3rd baby  and i'm still just as nervous as my first I still feel just as lost and afriad to be a bad mom becuase I couldn't do it.  I'm not saying that formula moms are bad moms (I formula fed my second becuase she never latched and pumping sucks), i'm saying that its the insucurity at breastfeeding, its very intemidating sometimes. We just need an extra boost to feel better about doing something we're unsure of.

Jesi Sucku

I wish more knew that it isn't either breastfeed or give formula. My daughter never latched right and at 9.5 months we're still exclusively pumping. I wouldn't reccomend it if it isn't necessary, but for those who want to breastfeed and can't get latched right, it is an option. I'm sick of the doctor only ever asking breast or bottle and getting raised eyebrows when I explain breastmilk. In a bottle. 

And bf moms do deserve a pat on the back. So many moms don't even bother to try breastfeeding. It's hard work, it's exhausting and it is challenging. It would be much easier to not even try and go straight to powder in a bottle. Maybe it's not a popular thing to hear, but it's true, sorry. And in a country where the majority of children get a week or two and no more of their mother's milk it IS quite revolutionary for a woman to continue to nurse to full-duration or past. 

nonmember avatar Beth

Bottle fed both of my kids-- neither would latch and for me it made sense to not let them cry in frustration and hunger. I did pump milk for several weeks with each, then changed to formula for reasons of practicality (and the fact that I work FT in a small business not party to BF-friendly laws). Whatever allows you to be at your best for your kids and keep them happy and fed is the best decision for you.

Mom2J... Mom2Just1


I think education is key.  Mothers should know that it is learning experience for both people involved.  

1. Babies nurse a lot in the beginning and that is normal.

2. Supply is fine as long as you're changing enough diapers.  1 a day for every day of life.  After 6 days you are looking for 6 diapers/day in a 24 hour period.  Breastfed babies can go long periods without pooping after about 6 weeks. Before that you want them pooping often.

3. Babies go through growth spurts.  They usually happen around 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months,etc.  

4. Pump is not an indiction of supply.  

5.  Babies will lose weight in the beginning (first 2 weeks usually).  That is okay and fine.  After 2 weeks you are looking for an average of 1lb/month in weight gain from lowest weight (not birth weight). For example my son weighed 6.15 at birth. His lowest birth weight was 6.1. We start from 6.1 not 6.15.


Too many drs telling moms their supply is not good enough and they're wrong.  Remember diaper count.  If it goes in it must come out. (:

Samantha May Guregian

Moviebuff, your ignorance is at best an annoyance. Yes it can be very difficult of an adjustment for new moms to breastfeed, the scare of the baby not latching, worry if your baby is getting enough milk, worry that you are getting adequate milk into you tiny new little bundle. So yes I give breastfeeding mamas a pat on the back. Oh and jealousy is very unflattering. Also, kudos to all mamas for caring for their newborns the best they can, if it helps hinder any negativity forming in the comments below me ;)

1stti... 1sttimemommy93

Why don't you number each thing? Your title is "10 things every breastfeeding mom needs to hear." I don't agree that breastfeeding moms need all that extra encouragement, they're feeding babies same as everyone else. But that's beside the point.

Katha... Katharine205

You forgot something important: If it doesn't work out and you have to switch to formula you're still a good mom

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