When I started exclusively breastfeeding, it was hard to stay committed. My baby was always crying at the breast, I didn’t know if she was full, and I didn’t know if she was gaining enough weight. Did I have enough milk? My nipples, my back, and my butt hurt! Worst of all, I was locked to my sofa because she would cluster feed! If it wasn’t for the support I received, I would have quit! I’m so glad I didn’t!
I understand that not every momma has that support so I wanted to compile a series of motivational breastfeeding quotes to keep you going! The first set of supportive statements helped me when I wanted to give in. The following are some I wish I had run across because they’re awesome! I hope they help you!
Disclosure: This is meant for mommas committed to breastfeeding not to those who have had to make the painful decision to wean because of circumstances. Mommas, you do what’s best for you and your baby in your own situation, don’t let anyone talk you down!
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1. Breastfeeding is natural, as in it’s instinctual!
… the question isn’t whether or not breastfeeding is instinctual, but rather for whom breastfeeding is instinctual. That’s right – all this focus on whether or not moms instinctively know how to breastfeed and get her baby to latch properly is silly because it’s actually our infants who have the instinct. Their desire to stay alive means they are born with the knowledge of how to suckle and how to get to that breast if we leave them alone to do it. (1)
This was one of the most supportive statements when I was struggling through breastfeeding. Learning how to breastfeed was hard and I felt I had no idea what I was doing. The phrase, “breastfeeding is natural”, was conflicting for me. However, when you understand what that means and that it is natural more-so for baby and not necessarily for mom it changes your entire perspective. At least one of you knows more or less what they are doing and that’s definitely a confidence boost! This is what baby wants, so yea they might be crying but it isn’t because they don’t like to breastfeed. Which leads me to the next supportive statement.
2. Babies prefer to be breastfeed above all else.
Ok, so I know some might beg to differ due to babies having preferences for faster flow bottles, so hear me out.
Going through a nursing strike with my little girl was the most difficult period of my breastfeeding journey, almost climactic if I had decided to give up. She literally screamed at the sight of my breasts, I thought she hated them and wanted nothing to do with them. Although, yes, babies refuse the breast during a nursing strike for some reason or another, it isn’t because they despise your breasts. In fact they love your breasts no matter what their disposition!
The reason is all in the term, comfort nursing. The essence of its existence shows that when breastfeeding is going well, babies ultimately prefer to breastfeed because it is comfortable. Therefore, if they seem to not want to breastfeed, something is very wrong, and usually the issue stands with the efficacy of milk transfer (2). Check out my post about tongue and lip ties to see if that might be the problem. Also, check my other post about fighting a nursing strike because sometimes the problem lies in discomfort itself. Don’t assume low supply until tackling these!
This leads me to the third supportive statement.
3. Most mothers are capable of producing enough milk.
I really want to emphasize on the most, as in, there’s another side of this statement. Not all are physiologically able to produce milk, although this is a very small percentage and is referred to as lactation failure (3). Others aren’t able to produce enough milk due to illness, surgery, or stress, among other reasons (4)(5). However, as the chair of the board of directors for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, Regina Maria Roig-Romero, says,
“In terms of milk supply, most healthy women are perfectly capable of making enough milk they need, even enough for twins,”. (6)
4. Breastfeeding might be natural but it’s also a skill to be learned and a tough one at that.
As La Leche League points out, not every baby is a good breast feeder, which is why breastfeeding support was a common instrument to success (7). A lot of difficulties, though, stem from interfering modern medical practices immediately after labor that don’t allow mother and baby to establish an immediate breastfeeding bond (1). However, even though for most babies breastfeeding is an instinct (1), for mother’s is absolutely isn’t. So, there is a skill component to it which takes time and practice to develop and perfect.
Now, addressing this is extremely important to breastfeeding success as it is the truth. Understanding that breastfeeding was tough is what helped me accept the reality and persist. I knew that the difficulties were absolutely normal, so no false reality was able to sway me to think that I was just not fit to breastfeed because it was difficult.
5. The pain is short-term. It gets better.
When breastfeeding was exceptionally painful, I would often hear moms telling me that it would get better. I just took it day by day. I would lather on nipple cream, air dry my torn nipples, and just keep at it. Working on that latch because that was the primary culprit. Knowing that there was a light at the end of the very dark tunnel and that many moms with similar stories survived, was motivational!
And you know what, they were right! It gets so much better! With time, you and your baby perfect the skill.
6. Most women quit breastfeeding, but that shouldn’t discourage you. The should motivate you!
According to the most recent CDC breastfeeding report card, while 83.2% of women try to breastfeed, only 57.6 make it to 6 months and a remainder 35.9% push through 12 months. Now, talking about exclusive breastfeeding is a whole other story. Only 46.9% exclusively breastfeeding through 3 months while only 24.9% breastfeed through 6 months. (8)
Now the reason most women do quit is either because of lack of support, resources, or education. There are many online educational resources for breastfeeding, and I can contribute in offering advice based on my knowledge and experience. Physical resources for breastfeeding like pumps and nipple shields are usually either offered by insurance or hospitals, however, not in all cases. However, support, although it honestly is the MOST important indicator for success, is usually the component most lacking. Organizations like La Leche League International do offer assistance and support for those who need it, you can find more information here, and I’m always here as well, just leave a comment below!
I don’t know why, but knowing that most women quit breastfeeding emboldened me for some reason. It’s somewhat of a reversal of psychology. I just didn’t want to quit and end up just another statistic. Not that anything is wrong with that, that is just what pushed me. Even though breastfeeding is both REALLY difficult and an incredibly complicated commitment, it still is possible to accomplish. Just look at the statistics again. Those percentages refer to the thousands of women that DID survive breastfeeding.
7. You don’t have to do this. You can if you want to.
Knowing that I didn’t have to breastfeed and that it was MY choice did make a huge difference for me. The greatest pressure surrounding breastfeeding is that mothers feel like they have to breastfeed and if they don’t, they are failures. They become more stressed and anxious and they beat themselves up for it. It isn’t healthy, it affects your relationships, baby feels it, and it could actually hurt your supply!
The more my friend told me I didn’t have to breastfeed, the more I wanted to continue with it. So strange, I know. Also reverse psychology.
So I breastfed because I wanted to, not because I felt I had to.
I’m sure you might have other statements that pushed you to commit to breastfeeding, please share them below!
Now Here Are Some Other Breastfeeding Motivational Quotes that I Wish I Had Read!
1. What is breastfeeding, actually?
2. The pain is temporary, regret is lasting.
3. Almost every woman can breastfeed.
4. You are strong for pushing to breastfeed!
5. Breastfeeding is affordable, efficient, and powerful.
6. Prove them all wrong!
I will try to update this post with any more supportive breastfeeding content I may come across. I know how much we milking mommas need any motivation we can possibly get!
If you would like to add any other support, leave a comment below!