July 19, 2013

When Breastfeeding Sucks: 13 things to try

I'm excited to announce that I will be writing regularly for RichmondMom a local online magazine. My first article went live this afternoon and I'm thrilled for the opportunity to write in more detail on topics related to pregnancy, normal birth, postpartum, and mothering. 

If you've been following along for a while you know that I treasure the breastfeeding relationships that I shared with my two boys (Merritt just weaned a few months ago!) and I have written about my experience many times over the years. (Click on the Breastfeeding link in the left nav sidebar under Our Stories to read more.) 

Still, breastfeeding can be really hard work and it requires a huge time commitment and a share of personal sacrifice.  Like other aspects of mothering there are moments of pure love and bliss, as well as fear and loathing.

I would love your ideas for future topics, please share in the comment section.

If you are like most pregnant and newly postpartum mamas then you are aware of the many benefits that breastfeeding offers to you and your baby. You also probably have a goal in mind for how long you would like to breastfeed whether it be until you transition back to work, six months, one year, or more!

Breast milk is a human baby’s normal food, and while the physiology of lactation is a natural process, breastfeeding is a learned skill and many mamas say it can be really hard at first.

Even if you don’t experience any of the most common complications like low milk supply, nipple pain, engorgement, plugged ducts, or mastitis, you may still find the commitment and the demands of breastfeeding around the clock to be exhausting.

So what do you do if the mechanics of breastfeeding are going well, but the effort required feels herculean and you secretly wonder how much longer you can keep at this? Whatever your goals, whatever your challenges, many mamas share your sentiment.

Here are a few suggestions to help get you through: 

1. Know what is normal nursing behavior for a healthy newborn. Calm your fears, gather your confidence. Newborn babies nurse 8-12 times every 24 hours. That’s a lot of time spent nursing! Read up if you can before your baby is born. Check out from the library or buy your own copy of a comprehensive and evidence based reference guide like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and visit Kellymom.com. Find a local chapter of La Leche League and attend a meeting—you’ll meet other moms in all phases and stages of breastfeeding who’ve been there and done that so bring your baby, or a friend, and a list of whatever is on your mind. Most importantly, take heart and know that you are not alone in navigating the highs and lows of nursing your baby.

(...read the full article here)


  1. These are great tips! I'm currently especially fond of the side-lying position since my 15 week old is STILL up every 3 hours to eat :)

    1. Thanks Nicole! The side-lying position is where it is at!! It's the only way I ever slept :)


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