First Challenge : Support
Commonly woes we used to hear:
- I feel like giving up on breastfeeding because husband asked me to stop
- My own mother thinks that I ought to give formula too because she think I starve my baby
- Our babysitter refused to give my baby expressed breast milk because she found it too much hassle
- My boss wondered why I was'nt around my workdesk and when he found that I need to express breastmilk, he warned me about it.
- People said that I am stingy because I just want to breastfeed and they think my milk is not nutritious enough.
- It is difficult explaining on how to handle expressed breastmilk to my baby's caregiver
- My baby's paeditrician said that I am not giving enough milk because his weight is low and he is small.
How to handle :
Support from husband : Sugary talk will work especially when you highlighted the economical benefits gained from fully breastfeed. You saved money from buying formulas. Talk about other benefits too and convinced him that with joint effort, it would make it work. Get all relevant informations from organizations that involve with this matter. Perhaps attending lactation class together that specific on breastfeeding and seeing other husbands also supportive in fully breastfeeding might make him changed his mind.
Support from employer : You can propose to your Human Resource Department provided thera are few Nursing Moms like you having the same situation like suitable place to pump and leniency in terms of working hours. If that is impossible, a little bit of sacrifices from yourself is needed. You can pump before once you reached the office and before the working hours start, during lunch time and after working hours before you reach home. A little bit of adjustment that you yourself knows best can work it out.
Support from family : No need to go all the trouble on keeping your stance and get all worked-up, feeling upset and worse arguing with them. Simply give facts from reliable sources and correct their misinformation. But, if they still persistance on their beliefs , let it be. Just keep ongoing. Never easily be swayed by their words of discouragement and when in doubt, double-check their saying by seeking help and views from reputable lactation counsellor or reliable sources.
Support from surrounding : Equip yourself with knowledge especially when you need to send your baby to daycare and you need to inform your baby's babysitter to feed your baby with expressed breastnilk only. Prepare adequate notes, show how to handle expressed breastmilk and make it as easy as your daycare can handle by providing food warmer (to warm thawed breastmilk), adequate supply of breastmilk, chiller box just in case they don't have refrigerator to store breastmilk at chill temperature. If it is still difficult, it is about time to think whether it is worth it to keep sending your baby to a daycare that is not supportive in this manner. As a mother, you have the RIGHTS to decide what you want the best for your child. As a service provider, they should respect mother's decision on this.
For people who do not come in close contact with you like, in casual meets, relatives, friends, just ignore their nasty remarks and negative opinions. You are entitled for your own decision. No need to feel hurt or upset because you are wasting your energy and this mood swing can affect your milk production.
All in all, do get support from other nursing moms and do be part of nursing mothers' community as this is ensuring continuos support whereby mothers can relate with each other and sharing their breastfeeding journey. Do not let yourself isolated having to endure all this challenges alone.