“Breastfeeding feels weird.”
Although the initial latch may feel foreign, many women find comfort by nursing their babies. Visiting a lactation consultant — who will want to watch you nurse and may need to touch your breasts — also may be awkward for some women. West urges moms to seek out other moms for added support and help overcoming emotional reservations. Breastfeeding is not something women are meant to do on their own, she says. “Find your nursing network,” West says. “Make friends with other nursing moms. Find an online support group or a local nursing moms group. Attend a breastfeeding class.” Local hospitals may offer nursing support programs.
"My breasts are for the bedroom."
Keva Zeigler counsels low-income expectant moms about the benefits of breastfeeding, but she wasn't always a believer. The Detroit mother of four was always turned off by breastfeeding until her last child was born. It wasn't until Zeigler witnessed a friend nursing that she realized just exactly how it worked.
Zeigler tells her story so other women can stop believing myths and instead learn the truths: Breastfeeding is natural, and sex while nursing can still be spicy. Just get creative in the bedroom! Zeigler tells women to talk openly with their husbands or boyfriends about why breastfeeding is important and to nurse often in front of them. Let your partner see breasts as something other than bedroom playthings, Zeigler says. “I tell them to just go with it; so what if there's a little milk in the bedroom?” she says with a laugh. “That usually gets the moms laughing and we can move on to other concerns.”
“It will all be on me.”
We say: Only if you let it be. Enlist your partner's help for diaper changes, baths, burping and cuddle time. When she's about 6 months old, dad can help by feeding baby her first solids.
“I can't afford a lactation consultant.”
Start with your local breastfeeding support group. The mothers or trained counselors there may be able to help at no cost. You can find La Leche League groups in almost every large town and city by calling 877-452-5324 or at llli.org. You can also find information online at kellymom.com. If your problem requires the advanced expertise of an international board-certified lactation consultant but your insurance doesn't cover visits, you may still be eligible for reimbursement in a flexible spending plan. Some hospitals offer low- or no-cost outpatient lactation consultations. You can also consider asking for a consultation as a baby shower gift.