Don't let anyone tell you breastfeeding is all sunshine and roses. It's hard. First-time moms have no idea if breastfeeding will go smoothly — especially when so much can go wrong. A global survey asked women who were pregnant or had a child under 2 what they feared most about nursing. These were the results.
With the exception of Hungarian women, moms had at least three fears. How awesome is it that Hungarian women listed "none" as their third fear? It makes me wonder if Hungarian women are either really tough by nature or if breastfeeding is particularly well supported in Hungary. (Or if it's a little bit of both.)
Not that there's anything wrong with having fears and stress about breastfeeding. Moms across the globe worry about nursing. Common fears include worrying about not being able to make enough milk and worrying that baby won't latch. When I was pregnant, I spent way more time stressing about the big unknown of breastfeeding than I did about childbirth.
SheKnows Expert and Board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) Sara Chana Silverstein wants moms to know that help is available. A lactation consultant will look at every individual element, from a mom's nipple shape to the size of baby's mouth. It's all about analyzing strengths and weaknesses. "Once you figure out all of these things, then it's super easy to be successful at breastfeeding," she says. "You have to approach each mom differently."
Even with access to a lactation consultant, moms may have a lot working against them. Some moms have to go back to work, where they're faced with uncomfortable pumping conditions and push-back from employers. Other moms don't have enough support from their partner and family, especially about nursing in public. Despite these potential hurdles, it's possible to have a very positive breastfeeding experience.
No amount of research can wipe away your breastfeeding fears. It's completely normal to be nervous — and you're not alone in having jitters as you prepare to take on an amazing (and amazingly rewarding) task.
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