You’ve heard of the many health benefits of breastfeeding and the joy it brings, but you can’t shake off your fears and worries. Don’t worry, Mom. It’s normal and highly understandable to be nervous. Your feelings are valid, and the first step to overcoming your fears is by acknowledging what they are. Here, we list common breastfeeding fears with some advice to help ease your worries.
The first few days and weeks may be quite uncomfortable since you’re still getting used to breastfeeding. But that won’t last long. When you nail down the latching position that works for you and your baby, breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt at all. You may want to watch out for engorgement, especially when your milk first comes out, a plugged duct, and a biting baby. But, again, these discomforts do not last long. If you find yourself in prolonged pain, then it would be best to consult your doctor right away.
Two words: nipple pads. You don’t have to worry about breastmilk leaking too much through your nice work clothes while you’re in a meeting. Cover up with a blazer or wear a darker colored top. However, leaking is absolutely okay. It happens, especially when you’re producing a lot of milk. Sometimes, you can predict when your milk will most likely be at its peak amount based on your baby’s feeding intervals. It may be embarrassing at first, but you’ll get used to it. Remember, you’re feeding a human being! That’s nothing to be ashamed of.
As long as your baby is breastfeeding regularly and is gaining enough weight, then you shouldn’t worry about your milk supply. Just remember that help is available for you. You can ask a lactation expert or your doctor if you ever have concerns about your milk supply.
If people give you awkward stares while you’re breastfeeding, that’s their problem and not yours. It’s perfectly normal (and admirable) to nourish your baby. Don’t worry about the doctors and nurses either when you breastfeed for the first time in the hospital. They’re used to it! When you’re at a friend or relative’s home, you can opt to wear a breastfeeding cover-up to feel less exposed. As time passes, you’ll also find the most comfortable angle so other people won’t see a thing while you’re breastfeeding.
It will be tiring, because you’ll be feeding round the clock. This is where your hubby or other family members can come in to help. Do not be afraid to ask for assistance. It’s okay to admit that you can’t do it all. You’re already doing a lot for your baby! Try to take a nap whenever your baby is also sleeping and delegate some of the household chores to your hubby.
You may notice your breasts growing larger during pregnancy because your body is preparing for breastfeeding. As your milk supply comes, naturally your breasts will get bigger. When your baby weans and your milk supply gradually declines, your breasts may also appear smaller compared to while you were breastfeeding. For some women, breasts may remain larger. Others may regain breast elasticity or may maintain smaller breasts. All these changes are normal. Your body’s recovery also takes time, so just give yourself a pat on the back for this amazing work that only you are capable of doing!
Top Ten Breastfeeding Fears and Advice to Get You Latched On. Plum Organics.
Garcia, Nina. Scared to Breastfeed? 7 Reasons that will Tame Your Fear. 29 April 2020.
Murray, Donna. Coping with the Stress of Breastfeeding. 05 August 2020.
Murray, Donna. Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Changes in Breast Size. 20 April 2020.