Real Breastfeeding Stories and Tips for New Mamas
As a Certified Lactation Counselor providing support to breastfeeding mamas, I hear lots of breastfeeding stories from new and seasoned mothers about their journeys to breastfeed their babies. Some are positive, some are sad, and others are inspiring and encouraging! We can always look for the positive in any situation. Breastfeeding relies on a positive mindset so many times to get us through.
I wanted to share some of these breastfeeding stories in hopes that I can inspire other mamas to continue nursing, even on the long nights and hard days. Breastfeeding is NOT easy for 99% of mothers. Yes, it is natural, and women’s bodies are made to produce breastmilk as the best nourishment possible for our babies, but it takes practice. And lots of it; for both mama and baby.
My philosophy is “supported” is best in every breastfeeding mother’s journey. It’s important to educate yourself on ALL the possibilities of providing nourishment for your baby so you can provide the best in your situation. However, no one can argue that breastmilk isn’t the best nutrition for babies. Unfortunately, mamas may experience difficulties with breastfeeding for many reasons. In a lot of instances, though, mamas can find support to overcome many obstacles; hence why I believe “supported” is best.
Here’s to your successful breastfeeding journey, mama!
Below are nine real-life stories from mamas like you to inspire you and encourage you. Finding support is essential to your success if you are doubting anything in your journey and to be your cheerleader. Sometimes we just need someone to chat with to validate our feelings and to give us a boost of confidence! Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different and worth sharing.
Real Breastfeeding Stories from Mamas Like You!
Breastfeeding was one of those things I studied constantly while I was pregnant, and then everything went out the window once he was here. He wouldn’t latch, he lost weight, I got plugged ducts, the list went on. Then throw in postpartum depression, and no friends or family nearby and it was just horrible.
He just turned 5, and we ended up nursing for 3.5 years. It was a challenge sometimes, but what kept me going was my son and understanding why I wanted to breastfeed. When I meet new or pregnant moms, that’s what we talk more about: their reasons and goals, and how they can make breastfeeding work for them. Looking back, the hardest part was the first 3 months or so for us. After that, with reevaluation and goal setting, it got so much easier (we literally nursed while we slept) and I met my goals, and exceeded them. It was one of the best experiences of my life. | Krista Vondra, WIC Breastfeeding Counselor~ prudentiabirth.com
When my second daughter was born, she had a lot of bruising from delivery and we were concerned about her becoming jaundice. I was instructed to pump after each feed and give her the bottled milk to keep her bilirubin levels decreasing. I had a horrible issue with oversupply with my first baby, so I was a bit nervous to be pumping so much.
Well, my oversupply grew out of control with all the feeding and pumping! I ended up with a nasty case of mastitis after pumping 20+ ounces in one sitting at 2am. Two rounds of antibiotics later, I learned to advocate for myself, trust my body, and not pump so much! | Lindsey Aman, These Hungry Kids ~ thesehungrykids.com
The hardest part of breastfeeding for me happened on the third day. While at the hospital, I had carried my nipple cream but the lactation nurse there discouraged me from using it saying that it was not recommended. Big mistake. By the third day when we got home, my nipples were bruised so bad I could see my flesh and I was still trying to breastfeed.
Thank God I was able to see a different lactation counselor who encouraged me to use nipple cream and even gave me some medicated creams. She also encouraged me to take a break and pump for some feeds during the day to allow my nipples to heal. I don’t know why it felt like I needed someone to give me permission to stop but I really needed that. Once I was all healed up, she helped me with latching properly and I have had such a smooth breastfeeding experience since. I feel like I awe it to her and thank God for her every day. And I regret taking the first one’s advice ? | Debbie Mogere, Mother and Baby Love ~ motherandbabylove.com
I got pregnant with my first and only at 22. Throughout the entire pregnancy, the plan was to breastfeed. I was so excited for this new adventure. May 15, 2019, our Little Man arrived. He latched very easily and the breastfeeding consultant said my milk should be in before we leave. On the 17th we went home. My milk still hadnít come in. 2 days later we realized it wasnít coming in and that our Little Man was starving. We supplemented with formula so our baby could eat. I felt disappointed and disgusted with myself at first. I felt like I failed him.
But after my fiancť talked to me, I realized it wasnít my fault. Not every mom is able to breastfeed. Iím one of those moms and itís okay.
I hate that Iíll never get to experience that but I still have an amazing and unbreakable bond with my Little Man. And heís still healthy and loved?? Amber Elliana Jones. Elli’s Herd ~ ellisherd.com
When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to try to breastfeed. My husband made the comment that he didnít think I would stick with it, so I took that and I made it my motivation. Our son was born, he latched perfectly and nursed like a champ.
I returned to work, everything was going really good. I hated pumping, but I pushed through because I knew this was best, & still wanted to prove my husband wrong. Around 9 months postpartum, my supply dropped. Luckily, I had a good friend who had an oversupply and she donated enough milk to us to get him to a year. We are 13.5 months in and still going strong! Itís not always easy, but itís so worth it!† | Mary Richmond, Raising Richmonds ~ raisingrichmonds.com
I exclusively breastfed both my boys for almost two years. I loved everything about the experience of bonding with each of them to the convenience of it. When I became pregnant with my twin girls, I expected my breastfeeding experience, with them, to be no different.
My twins were born very premature and were too small and too weak to attempt breastfeeding so pumping was my only option.
At two weeks old, both girls developed necrotizing enterocolitus (NEC) and an intolerance to my breast milk and that put an end to my hopes of being able to breastfeed them.
Already being comfortable with my pumping schedule, I continued pumping in hopes my babies would soon be able to tolerate it. After weeks of no improvement, I looked into other options for all the breast milk that was quickly filling my freezer. With some quick blood work and an assessment of my lifestyle choices, I was approved to become a milk donor.
While my babies were not able to benefit from my breast milk, I was able to donate my milk to other babies in our NICU. | Tamara Gutierrez, The Gutz Life ~ thegutzlife.com
Iíve been breastfeeding my son for 6 months and weíve had such a positive experience. It wasnít simple at the beginning because my milk took 6 days to come in following an unplanned c-section at 36+5 due to high bp and preeclampsia risk. I had never really considered the reality of not breastfeeding and I know thatís probably naive. At his first pediatrician’s appointment he was still losing weight and the doctor was concerned, he gave us one weekend to turn it around otherwise we would need to supplement. Luckily over that weekend he stopped losing weight and started to gain.
Iím thrilled that our journey has gone so smoothly ever since and Iím a huge breastfeeding advocate for mamas that can! We breastfeed anywhere/anytime and my little man is thriving. I am blown away every day by the weight that he is gaining and milestones that he is hitting – all while his little body is exclusively fueled and nourished by me.†
We will be looking into BLW in the next few weeks as and when he meets all the signs of readiness (including reaching 6 months term). Iím excited to start him on solids but also keen not to rush him. We plan on continuing to breastfeed for at least a year! ? | Charlie Bufton, The Barefoot Life Blog ~ thebarefootlifeblog.com
We are exclusively breastfeeding ever since my daughter was born. About 1-week after being discharged from the hospital, I started having pain in my nipples. They were so sore and chapped from a little creature sucking nonstop all day and night. I had people telling me about this but didnít imagine it being that bad. I was not looking forward to any feeding because of it.
It is a normal thing so I knew it will get better but I can totally understand why moms stop at that point. You donít have to stop though, that is just a bump in the long road of breastfeeding that a lot of moms go through. Lanolin cream really helped and about another week later my breasts were completely used to the demand. Fortunately, everything else went smoothly afterward. | Linda Hurst, All About Baby Blog ~ allaboutbabyblog.com
I remember a time when it had been the 4th or 5th time my daughter had waken up that night to nurse. I looked over at the clock to realize that it was 4 in the morning and I just remember crying. Just sobbing at the lack of sleep I had gotten and at the fact my daughter just wouldn’t sleep for more than an hour.
I picked her up and starting nursing her again to calm her and she had the nerve to smile at me while she was nursing (lol). Those tears of frustration became tears of joy as I stared into those big brown eyes. I knew right then that I couldn’t quit and that I would cherish these moments because they wouldn’t last forever. | Jasmyn Wilkins, Just Jass ~ justjass.com
I hope these breastfeeding stories encourage you and inspire you to continue in your journey, even when the days and nights seem long. You can do it, mama! I’m here for you if you need private support to address any of your breastfeeding concerns or issues.