• Need Breastfeeding Support?

    Posted by: Janine

    Check out the following Facebook Support Groups: Breastfeeding Mom’s in NL Breastfeeding Moms in NL welcomes breastfeeding mothers (and supporters) living in Newfoundland and Labrador. They aim to provide mother-to-mother support so that moms are better able to reach their breastfeeding goals. The group is administered by accredited peer breastfeeding supporters and other experienced nursing moms. Since they began in 2011, the group has grown from 70 members to well over 800 members. Visit Page Tongue Tied NL - Awareness, Education, and Support Tongue Tied NL is for parents of tongue tied children, adults, and health care providers. The purpose is to create awareness that tongue tie and lip tie are problems that have a significant impact on health and well-being, to help educate those who are looking for information, and to support those who are in need. Visit Page Newfoundland Baby-led Solids (Weaning) Baby-led weaning is a way of introducing solid foods that allows babies to feed themselves - there’s no spoon feeding and no purées. The baby sits with the family at mealtimes and joins in when she is ready, feeding herself first with her fingers and later with cutlery. Visit Page Natural Parenting Network Newfoundland and Labrador “Natural parenting” is based on a desire to live and parent responsively and consciously. While no two families who practice natural parenting may define it the same way, there are several principles that are widely agreed to be part of this lifestyle. Visit Page Parents Helping Parents with Everyday Questions About Parenting - NL Parenting can be tiring, frustrating, and it can test the patience, intelligence, and mettle of the hardiest of people. This group provides a place where parents can post everyday questions or tips regarding parenting. Visit Page Newfoundland Cloth Diapering Mamas and Papas Providing support and information for those parents in the province who choose to use cloth diapers for their baby. Visit Page Newfoundland Babywearers This group is open to all Newfoundlander parents (and caregivers) who wear their children in any kind of carrier for the purpose of getting tips, troubleshooting advice and support from experienced wearers. Visit Page Read More...

  • I support you... all of you

    Posted by: Andreae Callanan

    I've had people describe me as “pro-breastfeeding” before, and of course I am, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-everything else. If I'm pro-sandwich, does that mean I'm anti-soup? Of course not. Read More...

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Tips for Overcoming Breastfeeding Difficulties

Posted by: Sue McWatt Fitzgerald

Mom-to-Mom — Overcoming Breastfeeding Difficulties

When I attended November’s La Leche League meeting, I expected to hear the  joys mixed with the pains of nursing. Stories of difficult breastfeeding experiences can rise to the top, but underneath these stories is where I found a common thread with the other moms. A thread that tied us together was a genuine desire to give our children the best possible start in their lives — even when it meant stretching in ways we couldn’t have predicted.

Breastfeeding brought a powerful, innate, and joyful bond between me and my first baby. For many, the learning curve between mom and baby resolves itself naturally. As I experienced with my second baby, breastfeeding also brings unexpected struggles
— both physically and emotionally.

Breastfeeding Difficulties are Being Avoided.

I found the best way to avoid breastfeeding difficulties was networking with breastfeeding moms and healthcare professionals. In addition, following the preventive care we’ve grown-up hearing:

  • eating a healthy and balanced diet of whole foods
  •  lowering stress levels
  • and - one of the more challenging bits of advice to achieve - taking a rest.

Although following these guidelines can’t guarantee a nursing experience free of challenges, preventive care helps prepare body and mind.

When I started breastfeeding, I needed role models and a supportive community. The collective knowledge of experienced moms was (and still is) invaluable. It’s refreshing to see pregnant moms and medical professionals at La Leche League meetings — it helps align expectations in what can be an emotional journey. La Leche League’s book, “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding,” offers additional support and includes a section on “New Beginnings” with several gems for nursing families.

On a more private side, I found being able to identify changes in my body and breasts was an early cue to resolving engorgement, blockages, mastitis as well as latching problems so that any adverse affects were minimized.

Resources are Available Any Day, Any Hour.

Breastfeeding difficulties — from breast pain, supply issues, mastitis, plugged ducts, nursing strikes, teething to gas — don’t follow business hours. La Leche League offers additional resources to help troubleshoot difficulties:

Breastfeeding Difficulties are Being Overcome.

We all hope for the ideal portrait of the breastfeeding pair — joyful, connected and healthy. For some, this ideal isn’t a reality and frustration, guilt, helplessness and exhaustion arise — I’ve been there. Each breastfeeding pair of mom & child is unique and we have our own challenges and, as one of our La Leche League leaders, Jan, points out, our own success stories.

Whether we find resolve with help from a medical team, holistic remedies sleuthed by ourselves and by other moms, or through simple, motherly intuition, what stands out amongst breastfeeding moms is the determination to find answers and to move past complications. For some, it means educating family members who don’t support breastfeeding, moving to a healthcare provider that was more supportive of breastfeeding, connecting with experienced moms, and at times, reaching out of comfort zones or communities for expert assistance.

Staying the Course Benefits Everyone.

Avoiding and overcoming breastfeeding difficulties are two ways to tackle the low breastfeeding continuance rate we see in Newfoundland and Labrador. In the future, our children will be able to pull together resources for other breastfeeding families thanks to the hard work that communities are investing. We are moving past difficulties, setting higher standards and sharing insight to make breastfeeding the norm.

Parting Questions

  1. What advice can you offer for avoiding breastfeeding difficulties?
  2. How have you been able to overcome breastfeeding difficulties?


About the Author
Susan McWatt FitzGerald is a professional graphic designer who lives in Paradise, NL with her husband, Ryan, and two sons, August and Raleigh. Through the invaluable support of her husband and other moms in Manitoba and Newfoundland, Susan joyfully breastfed both her sons. In gratitude for this support, Susan is a member and advocate of La Leche League Canada and breastfeeding.

Tips for Overcoming Breastfeeding Difficulties

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