Breastfeeding is wonderful on so many levels. And as a big advocate and breastfeeding supporter, I spend a lot of my time and energy focusing on the wonders and benefits that it provides. But as many of us know, it can be very challenging. If you are having concerns, talk about them with your providers and meet with a lactation consultant. Sometimes, these issues can be resolved with appropriate support and guidance. In some cases, though, breastfeeding just isn’t possible.
I spend my days working with newborns and postpartum families, and I am always struck by everyone's stories. Often during the birthing process or the postpartum/newborn time something just doesn't go as planned—from unplanned C-sections, prolonged labor, and breastfeeding issues to postpartum depression. Acceptance and being able to pivot the plan is such a huge part of growing into parenthood, even though it's sometimes so hard or seemingly impossible. When you experience something like this it can take time to heal, so be nice to yourself. There are occasions when breastfeeding is not possible. If you can, try to see these challenges as exercises in letting go of expectations, and realize that many parents are struggling in one way or another during this time. In addition, you can take actions to support your baby's health by trying some of the following: