Breastfeeding: Your Biggest Fears
Even though my babies are no longer milk-fed (unless it comes in a jug from the grocery store vs. my chest), I will always consider myself to be a breastfeeding mother. The time spent nursing my babies changed a lot of how I viewed myself and motherhood. It opened up my eyes to other women, and the challenges faced by mothers everywhere as they try to best parent and care for their babies.
Because of my own experiences and challenges, breastfeeding support is a cause close to my heart. I didn’t think twice when I found out about an opportunity to study to become a CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor). To me, it was just an official step to support what I was already doing for women that I knew – giving them an ear to listen and an encouraging voice when the struggles of breastfeeding sometimes seem to be too much.
And unfortunately, that is often. Breastfeeding a baby is a natural process, but that doesn’t mean that it is an easy one. There are challenges galore – from the first moment and for the duration of your nursing relationship, whether it lasts six weeks or sixteen months. But then, parenting itself is rife with challenge, from knowing how to deal with your cranky six-month-old to your even crankier sixteen-year-old. So breastfeeding is just another piece of the parenting puzzle.
But since it is a piece I consider to be so important (a corner piece, if you will, connecting the sides and giving support and stability to the structure of the big picture) and since they let me ramble on as I like here, I’m going to spend some time talking about it. First up – I want to know what YOU want to hear. I have some guesses about what it might be.
A recently released study from Lansinoh paints a picture of what mothers out there are thinking. According to their sample:
· 79 percent of moms know breastfeeding is the best choice for a healthy baby.
· 40 percent of moms list their greatest concern as breastfeeding in public. Other top concerns are:
It would hurt (28 percent).
They wouldn’t be able to breastfeed long enough (28 percent).
Baby wouldn’t latch (25 percent).
I can’t say that I’m too surprised by this one. Women are a smart bunch – we know that breastfeeding is worth a go. We get the facts. It’s the reality of doing it that poses a challenge; specifically, apparently, doing it in public. So, since 40 percent of women out there are struggling with the idea that they may have to feed their babies, with their boobs, in public – that will be first up. Let me know what else you want to talk about in the comments!