Breastfeeding is never "All or Nothing"
“This isn’t how I thought this would be”. Have you ever found yourself thinking as much? Breastfeeding doesn't always go according to how you planned. Maybe you planned to latch only and didn’t want to pump but found latch was difficult and you had to pump. Perhaps there was a birth trauma and the baby wasn’t able to latch and you had to pump to establish production. What if medical complications required supplementation? You may have returned to work earlier than you planned. Whatever the reason, it's important to understand that breastfeeding doesn't have to be "all or nothing." Every drop of breastmilk counts, and you are a breastfeeding parent by providing breast milk no matter how long you are able to do it, no matter if you latch or pump, and no matter whether you supplement or not. How you feed your baby does not define your success as a parent.
Those early days and weeks are important to establishing breast milk production so early education and intervention is key. Take prenatal breastfeeding classes, in person or online. Learn techniques for latch and positioning. Locate your resources ahead of time. Find pediatricians that support breastfeeding and have breastfeeding resources available in their office for moms. And last, find your support team. Navigating the world with a new baby can be tough. Having support is crucial to success.
Whatever your breastfeeding journey looks like, we are here for it all - latching, pumping, supplementing, and weaning.