1. It hurts! I know people say that pain is normal at the beginning of breastfeeding. I disagree. While it is common for there to be pain in the beginning, it is not normal. It may be sensitive, a bit tender, but not out right pain. If you have pain that is not getting better or getting worse, if you have visible damage, blood, scabbing, blistering, get help! This is not normal.
2. You don’t have enough breastmilk for your baby. Or you don’t think you have enough breastmilk for your baby. Either way, this is one of the most common reasons mothers stop breastfeeding. Again, get help. The free can of formula sitting on your counter doesn’t help either! Remember, formula companies want you to fail.
3. The baby won’t latch. Yikes! Get help now!
4. You are returning to work. They say 80% of breastfeeding mothers stop breastfeeding within the first month of returning to work. New challenges can cause new problems. Get help!
5. Not being willing/able to get help and/or the first person you work with doesn’t solve your problems. Hiring an IBCLC, the only professional lactation credential out there, is the best way to start. If you are low income contact your local WIC office. Many insurance companies are now reimbursing or covering professional lactation help. Check this out. The cost of formula feeding is high so if you have to pay out of pocket, it is worth it. If you are having a minor problem contact La Leche League or Breastfeeding USA. If the first person doesn’t solve your problem, find someone else. Just like car mechanics, not all breastfeeding helpers are good. I am often the second, third, or fourth IBCLC people have seen.
Don’t become a breastfeeding statistic!