It’s World Breastfeeding Week Aug.1-7 and seeing all the posts and articles being shared on social media has me once again reflecting on my experience of breastfeeding our daughter 7 years ago.  She and I struggled together tremendously with getting her to open her mouth and latch properly.  But despite the painful nipples, blocked ducts, mastitis, crazy pumping schedule and some tears…we perservered.

Whether you breastfeed, formula feed or do a combination of both (as I needed to do with our daughter), feeling well supported and being properly informed is SO important.

I feel truly blessed for the guidance and support I received in our community because in our case, the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” was certainly true.

With much gratitude, here are the things that I found helpful:

  • Dr.Jack Newman website – In the final weeks before my delivery, I started reading the info sheets and watching the demo videos on this site and highly recommend this as a resource.
  • My midwives and my public health nurse  – The level of expertise and support I received from these three women was exceptional.  I found my struggle with breastfeeding to be quite emotional and they offered such compassionate, non-judgemental care.  I felt so very taken care of.
  • Acupuncture – I had such bad luck with repeated blocked ducts! Aside from interfering with breastfeeding, they were extremely painful and I was so grateful for receiving treatment as needed to help relieve the inflammation and blockage.  I’ve seen it work remarkably well over the years with patients and know first hand what a fabulous support it can be for blocked ducts (works like a charm in the early stages of mastitis too – click here for a listing of other symptoms that can be helped as well).
  • My mom – Last, but certainly not least, I have to say thank you to my mom.  She was there every day for the first many weeks of my daughter’s life and without her hands-on support with anything and everything, I don’t know that I would have made it through to successful breastfeeding.  If your mom or other family can’t be with you, absolutely draw on the support of the women in your community.  A postpartum doula is a wonderful option as well.  It’s so unfortunate (and hard!!!) that so many women are by themselves in their homes with their babies postpartum…we’re not meant to do this alone.

What was your experience with breasfteeding?  If you feel to share, please add to the list of tips and resources I’ve started so that we can all learn and be supported by each other.  I believe it is important and empowering to be open about breastfeeding, both it’s challenges and it’s joys.

Photo courtesy of Health Connect One