There is so many new things to learn and decisions to make when you become a mother. It can be a difficult transition. There is also no easy choice when it comes to deciding whether to bottle feed or breastfeed your child.
With breastfeeding, support is critical as it can be a difficult routine to establish with your baby. In fact, many new moms face breastfeeding challenges.
Mandy Schaub, a lactation consultant at Bon Secours St. Francis Eastside, shares that “there are pros and cons to both. However, I’m always sad when moms who struggle to breastfeed end up feeling defeated when they need to use formula. Being a new mom is tough and can be full of self-doubt in a lot of areas.”
What are the breastfeeding challenges moms face?
Challenges with breastfeeding are as special and unique as the babies involved.
One physiological challenge is called Ankyloglossia, or “tongue-tie.” This can make latching difficult for an infant because it limits the tongue’s range of motion. Birth trauma or a cleft palate can create these structural challenges.
Another, but rare, physiological challenge is insufficient glandular tissue. A mother with inverted or flat nipples might take a while to draw the nipple out. But they usually can by pumping or using a breast shield.
There are many other challenges to consider as well like a mother’s milk supply may not be strong, or a baby’s latch isn’t good. This can make nursing painful. The stress from these challenges can also reduce a mom’s milk supply.
Tips for supporting mom during breastfeeding
As noted earlier, support is critical when it comes to breastfeeding. This support needs to come from both inside and outside your household.
“Support for all moms is so important, and when it is lacking can make a tough situation worse,” Mandy says. “I try to focus on how being a mom is so much more than just a feeding choice and how much their baby knows they love them. On the plus side, with the right support, most moms go on to have a very satisfying breastfeeding experience and learn to define their breastfeeding success in different ways. Moms need lots of praise for all they are doing right!”
Realizing the importance of breastfeeding in our communities, we teamed up with the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in 2018 to open South Carolina’s first arena-based nursing suite (pictured above). The area is large enough to accommodate two nursing mothers, providing both comfort and privacy to nurse. In some cases, the event is played on a TV in the suite, so moms don’t have to miss a minute of the action.
And of course, alternative feeding methods, such as formula, are available for mothers if breastfeeding becomes too for them mentally and physically.
In conclusion, for moms, it’s meeting them where they are and helping them feed their babies in a way that makes the most sense for them.
Learn about the maternity and birthing care services we offer at Bon Secours.