Black FRIDAY SALE! 20% OFF* USE CODE BFCM20 | LEARN MORE

23 Moms From Around The World Share Breastfeeding Stories, Tips, and Advice

23 Moms From Around The World Share Breastfeeding Stories, Tips, and Advice

Breastfeeding and pumping mamas alike can agree that nursing a baby is not easy. Both are true labors of love that require a lot from you mentally, emotionally, and physically.

According to the CDC, over 83% of babies are breastfed from birth, and yet only 57% are breastfed by the time they reach 6 months of age. Another statistic showed that in 2015, over 17% of newborns started being given formula within the first 48 hours of life. These numbers suggest that moms and their babies aren’t being provided with the support that they need to breastfeed exclusively for a minimum of 6 months as recommended by the World Health Organization!

We want to do our part in helping to mend this gap. So we’ve reached out to moms from all over the world to share their most encouraging breastfeeding and pumping stories, tips, and advice.

Whether you’ve already started your nursing journey and are having a hard time, or if you're still waiting on the arrival of your little one, this post is for you.

About Milk Coming In

About Milk Coming In

"It can take a few days for your milk to come in, and it doesn’t mean your boobs aren’t working. You produce small amounts of colostrum for the first few days, and it’s like super-charged boob juice, and it’s all your little one needs for the first few days. For all three of my kids it was a full three days before my milk came in, and then WHAM! Also, get a good nipple cream. Lansinoh or Motherlove are the two I have used and I recommend them both." - Crystal M.



"Find a pediatrician who will support you and your breastfeeding journey and not immediately push supplementing with formula, to give your body a chance to produce what it needs to. But also, know that it’s okay if your body doesn’t cooperate. You’re still an amazing mommy whether you breastfeed or formula feed". - Amber B.

About the beginning of your nursing journey

About the Beginning of Your Nursing Journey

"Don't be fooled into thinking it'll be easy. I know many moms who gave up because they thought it should come naturally and it doesn't always. It takes work. The biggest thing that helped me was to just relax. As long as baby happy after eating and having wet diapers they are good. Plus, relaxation actually helps with let down. I started practicing meditation and yoga for this purpose!" - Kat C.



"Take this journey one day at a time. There will be plenty of days where you will want to give up, but if you can push through and wake up the next morning with the attitude that today is a new day and I CAN do this you will be successful in your journey. This time in your child’s life is very short lived, and though the days are so long and tough the years go by quicker than you could imagine. Good luck a reach out to those around you who’ve gone through this journey if you’re struggling." - L.W.



"Breastfeeding is the most beautiful, painful, easy hard thing I have ever done; and I'm a full time 911 medic. Nursing is hard, pumping is hard, supplementing with formula is hard. Having a healthy, fed baby is what is important. Having a healthy mom (mentally, emotionally, and physically) is even more important. Do what is right for you and your baby during your journey and just go one feeding at a time. Happy baby, happy mommy." - Christina M.



"It's hard and it hurts, but I am so thankful I stuck to it and just kept trying. The bond we shared through nursing can never be replaced. As a single mom the nights were long, but I would give anything to go back and hold her while she was little just one more time. If you're struggling, reach out to someone who has been down this road before you. There were so many times I wanted to give up, throw in the towel. My little one ran into problems that did not get resolved until she was a year. Born at 7lbs even, failure to thrive her first 6 months and at a year was the size of a baby half her age. It wasn't easy, supplementing felt like a slap as if I had failed her. I didn't. I knew something was wrong and that's why I changed doctors, sought second opinions, and kept at it until she started to gain weight. Stick with your gut Mama! You really do know your child better than anyone else." - C.Pierson

About Pumping

About Pumping

"Here are several tips you may find helpful: Don't forget to change the valves on the pump about every 6 weeks (or as recommended by your pump brand). Have an extra set of tubes/valves etc and batteries (if applicable) in your pump bag...you never know when you're going to lose one. Freeze milk bags horizontally instead of vertically to save space. Check with your insurance to see what they will cover; many will even cover your bags for you! Don't let anyone tell you that if your baby nurses for more than 20min it's pointless baby may be a slow eater, may need more of mom's comfort, etc. If you're worried about duration, check in with a pediatric dentist about lip/tongue ties." - Sarah



"When returning to work, dream feed baby in AM, then pump in the car on the way to work using either a hands-free bra, Freemie, or Willow Breast pump. This helps build up a supply because you don't really need that milk since baby just ate. It’ll also help you build a nice freezer stash." - Sarah Reck, MD



"Get familiar with what the law says about pumping at work. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for the things that you need to help make your pumping sessions more productive and enjoyable. If I had been more outspoken at my job I believe my supply would have benefited, but I was afraid to speak up." - Raeann B.

About Breastfeeding Challenges

About Breastfeeding Challenges

"I thought breastfeeding was something that would come naturally to me. I thought it was something we are already programmed to do. What I learned is that yes its natural but no, not always instinctual. It's not always as easy as it seems. Don't let that mindset stop you from seeking help. Needing a little guidance doesn't make you a bad mom. It just makes you human. There are entire groups and organizations that have been created for breastfeeding because it isn't always easy. If you give it your best shot and it doesn't work out (it didn't for me, and I ended up exclusively pumping) don't beat yourself up. There is often a debate that breast is best, and of course that liquid gold is custom made for your little babe. But I truly believe fed is best. A child doesn't need a perfect mom, just a happy one. Don't beat yourself up." - Cendu Param



"My first introduction to breastfeeding started after I had an emergency c-section and my son who was born prematurely struggled to latch. He tired easily from it, and was given formula while in the NICU. I practiced each and every day with him, while also pumping, until he got stronger. Finally, I was able to get him to latch using a nipple shield that I would start with initially and then quickly remove when he seemed to be sucking. It took me about 3 weeks of consistent effort. I believe it's all in your state of mind. You either want to do it or you don't. And for me? I used to say that my son was going to nurse whether he wanted to or not. He nursed until he was 15 months old!" - Brooke Ibarra



"Don't be fooled into thinking it'll be easy. I know many moms who gave up because they thought it should come naturally and it doesn't always. It takes work. The biggest thing that helped me was to just relax. As long as baby happy after eating and having wet diapers they are good. Plus, relaxation actually helps with let down. I started practicing meditation and yoga for this purpose!" - Kat C.



"Take this journey one day at a time. There will be plenty of days where you will want to give up, but if you can push through and wake up the next morning with the attitude that today is a new day and I CAN do this you will be successful in your journey. This time in your child’s life is very short lived, and though the days are so long and tough the years go by quicker than you could imagine. Good luck a reach out to those around you who’ve gone through this journey if you’re struggling." - L.W



"Breastfeeding is the most beautiful, painful, easy hard thing I have ever done; and I'm a full time 911 medic. Nursing is hard, pumping is hard, supplementing with formula is hard. Having a healthy, fed baby is what is important. Having a healthy mom (mentally, emotionally, and physically) is even more important. Do what is right for you and your baby during your journey and just go one feeding at a time. Happy baby, happy mommy." - Christina M.



"It's hard and it hurts, but I am so thankful I stuck to it and just kept trying. The bond we shared through nursing can never be replaced. As a single mom the nights were long, but I would give anything to go back and hold her while she was little just one more time. If you're struggling, reach out to someone who has been down this road before you. There were so many times I wanted to give up, throw in the towel. My little one ran into problems that did not get resolved until she was a year. Born at 7lbs even, failure to thrive her first 6 months and at a year was the size of a baby half her age. It wasn't easy, supplementing felt like a slap as if I had failed her. I didn't. I knew something was wrong and that's why I changed doctors, sought second opinions, and kept at it until she started to gain weight. Stick with your gut Mama! You really do know your child better than anyone else." - C.Pierson

 

Helpful Tips and Words of Encouragement

Helpful Tips & Words Of Encouragement

"Have some videos on your phone of baby doing cute things that make you swoon; but also have some of baby crying. This will help trigger your letdown reflex." - Shannon M.



"Be patient and stay positive. The beginning is the hardest (trust me I've been there too) but it's so worth it! Just keep trying because eventually it'll happen, and in the end you'll be glad you stick with it. I know I am."  - MacKenna



"Don't try to schedule feedings for your breastfed newborn. Their stomachs are super tiny and they digest breast milk quickly, so they need to eat very often. It may seem like all you are doing is feeding your baby for the first few weeks! Ignore any comments like "didn't you just feed him?" or "he should be going 2-3 hours between feedings by now", and just follow your baby's hunger cues. The feedings will space out on their own with time." - Caitlin 



  "Stock up on snacks containing oats and drink loads of water to kickstart your supply. Invest in a good nipple cream like LansinohAir your nipples in between feeds even if it means walking around topless. It will hurt in the beginning but it will get better and it will be so worth it." - Veronika V.



"Give the side-lying position for breastfeeding a try, it's a game changer" - Sylvia S.



"Don't let anyone tell you that if your baby nurses for more than 20min it is pointless baby may be a slow eater, may need more of mom's comfort, etc. If you're worried about duration, check in with a pediatric dentist about lip/tongue ties." - Anna



"Give yourself some grace! It’s a lot of work, which I think a lot of us new moms underestimate. But listen to your body and your baby, reach out and talk to moms who have gone before and get the support that you need! I highly recommend a lactation consult or check your local hospital for free support classes." - Erica R.  



"Anything worth doing is usually hard work. But you can do hard things! Trust your body and your baby.❤️ I’ve been a childbirth/breastfeeding educator and mama (of 6) for 10 years." - Colleen Mason



"Whether you decide to breastfeed or pump, don’t hesitate to get help from a lactation consultant if you need it. No question is silly! Don’t wait until whatever lactation issue you’re dealing with gets really bad. Asking for help early on really does increase your chances of success!" - Dyvonne L.




  "My biggest tip is to stick with it. Just like anything else, practice makes perfect. That is in regards to both you and your baby. The first few weeks can be rough with sore/cracked nipples, long eating sessions, cluster feeding, etc. However, your nipples eventually adapt and the pain goes away. Your baby learns to be a more efficient eater, shortening feed times and their stomach gets larger making them able to go longer between feeds. Be sure to stock up on some nipple balm and remember that you are providing such a natural and organic food supply to your baby that will help provide them with necessary antibodies to improve their immune system. You will eventually look at that time together as special, warm bonding. Take it from someone who almost gave up at first, keep on trying! Your mindset will change after the first few weeks, and it is so worth it!"
- Brittany A.