When your baby comes into this world, your responsibilities as a mother are immediate; you need to provide comfort and nutrition to your child through the most primal and basic act of breastfeeding.
But what happens if your body doesn’t produce milk, your baby has difficulty latching, or it’s incredibly painful to breastfeed?
Perhaps you take medication and are advised not to breastfeed? Maybe you have to go back to work and your body can’t keep up the milk supply away from your baby. Or maybe you’ve decided that breastfeeding is simply not going to work for you.
Here are some tips on how to overcome those feelings so you can continue being the best mum you can be.
When breastfeeding is not working
There are many paths that lead to the outcome of not breastfeeding your baby but they all seem to have one emotional ending – feelings of failure, guilt, shame, fear of judgement and disappointment.
Having expectations at all can only prepare you for one thing- a big downfall. Whether it’s pressure you’ve placed on yourself or pressure placed on you by society, family or friends – set the bar low.
This is not a bad thing as a mother, the fact that you feel these emotions shows that you want to do the best for your baby. By continually comparing yourself to other mums and listening to the judgement of others, you may create a stressed, anxious state for yourself and your baby.
Breastfeeding is only one factor
For a child to grow and flourish, they need unconditional love and support, the assurance of a happy home as well as good nutrition. Yes the benefits of breastfeeding are well known but there has also been a lot of research into what best to put into formula so babies can thrive. Babies just need to be fed breastmilk or formula, it really doesn’t matter which one you use so long as they aren’t going hungry.
If you focus on your baby and yourself, try to be present and provide your baby with love and attention, they are sure to grow into healthy, well-adjusted children.