6 Common Breastfeeding Challenges and How to Support Mom

Tired mother feeding baby with a bottle in bed

6 Common Breastfeeding Challenges and How to Support Mom

Breastfeeding can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a mother’s life. Having the opportunity to give babies all of the sustenance they need can be a gratifying and wholesome experience for mothers, providing peace of mind that the new addition to the family can develop and thrive into their toddler years and beyond. Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mom and baby, as it comes with physical and mental advantages that can aid to everyone’s health during the initial years of baby’s life.

But while breastfeeding can be satisfying and well worth it, it can also be a stressful period to navigate. There are various challenges that can surface throughout a breastfeeding journey that might make it more difficult for mom to continue producing milk or feel confident enough to continue feeding the baby on her own.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the breastfeeding challenges mom may face during the journey, and how you can support her along the way.

Common Challenges of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding doesn’t always come easy. Knowing what to expect for a mother going through this journey can help you offer encouragement and support. Here are some of the most common challenges for breastfeeding mothers:

1. Getting Baby to Latch

Sometimes, baby doesn’t understand how to latch or maintain a natural sucking pattern when they start breastfeeding. Having difficulty latching with breastfeeding can involve factors like prematurity, jaundice, or infection.

2. Breastfeeding or Pumping at Work

One of the biggest breastfeeding challenges for working mothers? Trying to intertwine feeding or pumping into their work schedule. This can involve making time to step away from tasks to feed, or finding a private place in a work setting to pump.

3. Navigating Growth Spurts

Babies are always growing, and this can cause breastfeeding difficulties for mothers. During growth spurts, babies like to cluster feed, which means the baby wants to nurse longer and more often than usual. This is baby’s way of helping mom increase her milk supply, but it can be very taxing on her.

4. Dealing With a Low Milk Supply

Some mothers have no issue feeding baby the right amount of milk they need to thrive, while others may have issues with milk production. Mom’s body is adjusting to this new lifestyle, and lack of sleep and other factors can contribute to a low milk supply.

5. Nipple Pain and Soreness

Nipple soreness is a common challenge for most breastfeeding moms, especially new ones who are on the first leg of their breastfeeding journey. This is most likely to occur during the initial weeks of baby’s life, especially as they’re learning to latch.

6. Weaning Baby Off Breastfeeding

Breaking a habit can be difficult for anyone. Transitioning to a new way of eating can be challenging for both mom and baby, because it’s not only a source of nutrition, it’s also a source of comfort.  

Young mother breastfeeding her baby on the couch

How to Support a Breastfeeding Mom

If you know a breastfeeding mother going through these challenges or other issues with feeding, offering her support is a simple way to help mother through her breastfeeding journey and give her the acknowledgement she needs to power through the obstacles. Here are a few ways to support a mother dealing with breastfeeding difficulties:

1. Offer Help with Bottle Feeds

Whether you’re her partner, a distant family member or a close friend, one of the easiest ways to support a breastfeeding mother is by offering to feed baby by bottle. Take advantage of the opportunity to give mom a break and bond with baby. 

2. Assist in Other Ways with Baby

Feeding baby with a bottle isn’t the only way to support mom along the breastfeeding journey. Offering a helping hand in other ways can also ease the stress that may come along with breastfeeding challenges. Offer to wash bottles, take care of diaper changes and get up with baby in the middle of the night to give mom a break. 

3. Take a Lactation Class Together 

If mom is feeling tangled in the weeds of her breastfeeding journey, offer to take a lactation class with her. Working with a lactation consultant can offer insight into the different nursing positions, how to get babies to latch, tips on how to maintain milk production, and why a milk supply might get low. Offering this support can give her peace of mind that you’re ready and willing to help navigate the obstacles with her.

4. Acknowledge Her Accomplishments 

Breastfeeding can throw a thousand curveballs at mom. Give her words of encouragement to remind her just how amazing their journey looks from the outside: She’s giving baby all of the substance and nourishment needed to thrive, and she’s giving her all to make sure it gets accomplished. Reminding her that she’s doing a great job can go a long way.  

5. Give the Gift of Breastmilk Jewelry 

Remind mom how special she is and how amazing her breastfeeding journey accomplishments are by giving her the gift of breastmilk jewelry. This is a beautiful opportunity to remember the breastfeeding journey forever. No matter how simple or demanding the experience, giving mom a token of remembrance can help her feel satisfying and fulfilled during this stage of motherhood.

At Keepsake Mom, we make it easy to capture the breastfeeding journey by turning mother’s milk into precious accessories. From necklaces and earrings to rings, bracelets, beads/charms and more, there are dozens of different jewelry options to choose from to match mom’s style and make her smile. 

The process is simple: All you have to do is order the design, return your breastmilk kit and let us do the rest. Within 8 weeks, you can give mom a timeless gift that reminds her of her strength, love, and determination during her breastfeeding journey.

Ready to shop for the breastfeeding mother in your life? Explore one-of-a-kind breastmilk jewelry today. 

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