When you feel like giving up breastfeeding in the early days (and what to do about it)
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably exhausted. Beyond exhausted. Your boobs are sore and your nipples feel like they’re on fire. You’re ready to throw in the towel.
After my oldest was born, I had some post-delivery complications which made breastfeeding extremely challenging. I was ready to quit before my baby was even a week old.
You may have pictured in your mind what breastfeeding would be like. Beautiful, serene. A wonderful bonding experience.
But now that baby is finally here, breastfeeding feels more like a chore.
In your mind, you know breast milk is the absolute best for your baby. But you’re so tired! I felt this way, too. If this describes you, here are:
8 things you can do to help yourself push through
1. Remind yourself of the benefits.
Read 101 Reasons to breastfeed. Reading this list was what kept me going. It really reminded me of all the great reasons I had chosen to breastfeed.
2. Use self-talk.
Remind yourself that it will get better. Say encouraging things to yourself, such as, “I can do this. I am determined. I am able.”
3. Call a friend.
Do you have a mom-friend who breastfed? Call her! Ask for encouragement! Don’t know any breastfeeding mamas? Join our supportive Facebook group to meet others going through the same struggles. We offer support and encouragement!
4. Call in the professionals.
Call a breastfeeding helpline. I have used The Feeding Expert in the past with great success. The breastfeeding consultants are super-helpful and will offer you advice and encouragement.
5. See an in-person lactation consultant.
I was fortunate that my baby’s pediatrician had an on-site lactation consultant. She was amazing and really encouraged me. Find an IBCLC here.
6. Take a break.
Having a baby attached to you 24/7 can leave you feeling “touched out.” If you can, have someone else hold the baby while you (gasp) shower. Or nap. Or go for a short walk. Listen to some tunes, get some sunshine. Even if it’s only five to ten minutes, give yourself permission for a little self-care.
7. Take it one day at a time.
Don’t worry about tomorrow or next week or next month. Focus on getting through today.
8. Reach out.
Don’t have anyone to talk to? Drop me a line. I’m happy to lend an ear and support you in any way I can. <3
Have you ever felt like giving up breastfeeding? What helped you?