You want to breastfeed your child, but you’ve heard so many awkward tales from the trenches from other moms that you aren’t sure you can willingly set yourself up for that kind of embarrassment. You’re kind of worried about those crazy breastfeeding problems those other moms complain about.
I wish I could tell you there’s nothing to worry about — that you’ll sail through breastfeeding without wishing the earth would open up and swallow you. But that would be lying. You’ll be embarrassed at some point unless you plan to live the next year as a shut-in who never ventures outside her house.
But the good news is you’ll survive the awkwardness, and you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone — anything that is happening to you has happened to countless women before you.
The 5 Most Annoying Breastfeeding Problems
Let’s look at 5 of the worst situations that could potentially happen and what you can do about it to prepare yourself in advance.
You Spring a Leak
Your breasts are going to be encouraged, and anything could happen. When you spring the mother of all leaks, hopefully, it will be in the comfort of your home, and not a room full of strangers.
Should you be not so lucky, you have two options: Fold your arms across your chest all day and let people think you are in the worst mood of your life, or address the elephant in the room and laugh about what just happened.
If either of these situations sounds less than ideal to you, then you might want to take some pre-emptive measures by finding some high-quality breast pads. Try to avoid those cheap and flimsy ones, as they have been known to fail.
Reusable Breast Pad Options:
Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads (10 Pack) for Night Protection With Laundry Bag by Baby ZelisOrganic Bamboo Nursing Pads (12 Pack) + Laundry Bag | 2 Sizes & Color SetsWashable Reusable Nursing Pads (10 Pack) + Bonus | Ultra-Soft Velvet Flower Pads for DayLove My Antibacterial Soft Bamboo Water Absorbent Nursing Pads for Breastfeeding Mothers, 6-Pairs
You Need to Breastfeed in Public
While breastfeeding in public is becoming more socially acceptable, it still makes some women uncomfortable. It’s pretty easy to power through that discomfort though when you know your baby is starving and that he won’t stop crying until you feed him.
The one who should truly feel uncomfortable in this situation is your baby. After all, he’s the one with the empty stomach.
Related Post: Why I’m Not Afraid To Breastfeed In Public
No matter where you stand on the breastfeeding in public debate, the truth is that not everyone is comfortable with public nudity, even to feed a baby. Some women are brave enough to whip it out, and more power to them. But if you are more the shy and reserved type, you might want to consider buying a nursing cover in advance.
Pumping at Work
Pumping at work is going to be a fact of life for moms who want to breastfeed but are going back into the workforce after they have their baby. Even if you have the stockpiled milk supply to withstand a full eight hours of skipping your pumping duties, your breasts will become engorged and painful.
There’s no point in making yourself suffer just to avoid some awkward staring or embarrassment when your coworkers hear your loud breast pump from the other room. But if this bothers you, I would talk to the HR department and see if there’s a quiet place where no one can hear your whoosh-whooshing. Alternatively, you can do a little research beforehand to find a breast pump that is more discreet and office friendly.
Side Note from Kristen: Buying a hands-free pumping bra was one of THE best decisions I ever made! I wish I hadn’t waited until baby #3. It made pumping so much easier. Highly recommend!
You Have a Wardrobe Malfunction
At some point during one of your breastfeeding situations, one of your boobs may come out of hiding despite your best efforts. Janet Jackson doesn’t have a monopoly on wardrobe malfunctions after all.
There’s not much you can do about this situation, except pray that it happens around your best girlfriends instead of total strangers at a restaurant. If you’re lucky, no one will notice until you have that bad boy safely corralled back where it should be.
Nursing Cover Options:
Your Baby Tries to Tap a Dry Well
Your baby is used to getting his milk from breasts, and he knows where to find them. Everyone you meet won’t know you breastfeed, but they will when your baby gives you away. When you pass your breastfed baby off to another woman to be held, be prepared for him to start going for someone else’s breasts if he’s hungry.
Hopefully, the woman who is being practically mauled by your baby’s mouth will have a good sense of humor about the whole thing.
Related Post: 10 Things All Breastfeeding Moms Need
You’ll Get Through It
Keep in mind that breastfeeding is only temporary, but the benefits it gives your baby will last his whole life. That’s worth any amount of embarrassment you might experience.
Besides, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of the embarrassing incidents when you recreate the situations for your mom friends during get-togethers. Everyone will be able to relate to what you’re saying and how you felt when it happened.
That’s the great thing about motherhood — there’s so many of us out there, you’re never alone. And when your child grows up someday and has his own child in a world where breastfeeding is more socially accepted, you can share your recollections about the struggles women used to have to go through just to feed their babies.
About the Author:
Jenny is just another mom trying to do her best. She loves making lists and helping others find what they are looking for. When she’s not using her powers to help her kids find their missing socks, you can catch her sharing the latest parenting hacks & tips on her blog and Pinterest.
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