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You Are the Best Mother You Can Be… Breastfeeding or Not!

As moms, we are in it together – raising the future. We are a tribe of future makers. So let’s support each other.” – Marissa Hermer

No other job requires as much heart and strength as being a mother. We try our hardest to do and be the very best for our children. After researching and doing what we think is best, especially when our children are newborns, we are then often bombarded with everyone else’s thoughts on whatever “it” might be. Family, friends, and even strangers seem to always be offering unsolicited parenting advice.  The pressure of people telling you what to do and what is best for your child can make you question if you really are doing what is best.  Am I making the right decision?  Am I good enough? Am I failing at the most important job I have?!  The struggle is real. The comparison. The worry. The stress.  I found none of this more true than when it came to breastfeeding.  

Breastfeeding

As a first time young mother, I spent hours reading up on everything I could when it came to having and raising a child.  I knew I wanted to breastfeed.  What I didn’t know is that breastfeeding doesn’t always “just happen” naturally.  Shortly after my son was born, he was given to me to breastfeed.  I put him to my breast and he didn’t latch. That was the first time I doubted myself as a mother, and it was mere minutes after my son came into this world… 

BreastfeedingWe all know the studies that show “breast is best,” but what we often aren’t told is that breastfeeding can be hard and it takes practice. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, or even months for you AND baby to get the hang of it.  I think most moms have felt the pressure that they must breastfeed, whether this be self driven or from reading about all that good that comes from it.  The reality is not all moms can or will choose to breastfeed.  As moms, we want to support and encourage all fellow mothers; those that choose to breastfeed, those who are unable to breastfeed, and those who decide it simply isn’t something they want to do.  The real truth is, “fed is best.” 

BreastfeedingI was lucky enough to have an amazing OB/GYN who crawled into my hospital bed with me, wrapped her arms around me and helped me breastfeed.  She laid with me until my newborn son latched, reassuring me I could do it and reminding me to not get frustrated.  If it was not for her patience, support and encouragement I am not sure I would not have given up.  Breastfeeding mamas, or those who are expecting and wanting to breastfeed, here are some words of encouragement for you:

You are the best mother you can be.

Be proud of yourself for doing the best you can for your baby.

It will get easier.

Baby is learning too.

You can ask for help.

You are not failing.

There is no such thing as being the perfect mom.

Do what works for you. 

Trust your body. 

Find your village. 

BreastfeedingBreastfeeding

Although motherhood is beautiful and awe-inspiring, it can also be very stressful and overwhelming. Having a support system of moms who have walked in your shoes, to help when you are at your lowest low, is invaluable. Whether you breastfeed, supplement with formula, or strictly bottle and formula feed your child – you are doing your best!  You are and will continue to do what is best for your child.  No matter what anyone else says, thinks, or imposes.  

BreastfeedingBreastfeeding did get easier for me. And although I wanted to breastfeed exclusively for the first 3 months, I decided to supplement with formula.  As a single mother I did not feel like I was getting anything done other than feeding my child.  Little known fact, “Breastfed babies eat more often than bottle fed babies because the fats and proteins are more easily digested than the fats and proteins in formula, so they are absorbed and used more quickly.” This is probably why I felt like a feeding machine and was not finding time to do laundry, shower, or any of those other everyday needs you take for granted before baby comes.  

BreastfeedingMamas, please remember to support each other.  No mother ever said that she received too much support.  Try to offer kind words of encouragement to each other and know that we are all doing and trying our very best, breastfeeding or not.

BreastfeedingHere’s to all the moms who breastfed, those who tried as long as they could, and those who decided it wasn’t for them. 

Thank you to Oh La Lari for the gorgeous nursing bralettes.  Head over to our Facebook page where we will be giving away one of these beautiful lacy bras in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.

And many thanks to our lovely group of contributors (who are great moms!) for being a part of this photo shoot!  

Photography by Dream Photography Studio.  

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68 Responses to You Are the Best Mother You Can Be… Breastfeeding or Not!

  1. Vanessa August 1, 2017 at 9:58 am #

    While it is tough at times, I love breastfeeding! I am currently breastfeeding baby #3. I went to 1 and a half years with the other 2 and am looking forward to doing the same!

  2. Amanda August 1, 2017 at 10:04 am #

    I was so excited to breastfeed and he had a great latch, we did great! Then my supply dropped and dropped some more. I tried everything; the cookies, oatmeal, water, Powerade, power pumping, bars, supplements, tea, etc. it got the point where if o nursed him he’d pop off and be hungry. I’d pump and get 0.25 oz a session. I finally had to let it go.
    It makes me sad, but he’s eating and healthy and growing and that’s the most important.

  3. Nicole Kehres August 1, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    Breastfeeding is Beautiful! I agree it’s SO very hard to do!

  4. Marissa Flynn August 1, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    I love this post! I struggled with breastfeeding at first as well, totally underestimated how hard & stressful it could be. Thankfully, we got the hang of it eventually but the initial struggle changed my perspective. Bring a mom is already hard, so we have to support each other every step. Each baby is different & no decision is easy — we are all just trying our best!

  5. Cianna Harmon August 1, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    Be the best that YOU can be. I love it. Due in Oct. with #2 right now and my mindset this pregnancy has been a complete 180 from #1. It’s amazing how stressed and worried you get with your 1st. Wondering what other people think, taking unsolicited advice from people who mean we’ll but actually end up creating more problems. This time around I feel free as a bird and love it. I know things will not be perfect, that’s how it should be. We’ll survive. Love the lace nursing bra btw 😉

  6. Alex Thompson August 1, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    What a great post! Breastfeeding is such a wonderful thing, but is definitely no cake walk!

  7. Vanessa August 1, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    Breastfeeding is natural “they said”, “easy” is what I heard. While I am so happy I am able to breastfeed my son, the first few months were not at all easy. I’m happy to have made it through 1 year of breastfeeding thus far, overcoming many obstacles in this past year from oversupply to mastitis to around the clock nursing sessions for months and others. It’s all been worth it!!

  8. Heidi Moore August 1, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    I’m prepping for my first and keep telling myself that while I have a plan, I need to be ready for it to all go out the window. 🙂 I have all intentions of breastfeeding, but trying to keep an open mind in case it doesn’t work out. Wish me luck!!

    • Arriana August 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

      You will do great with this attitude. Give it your best shot. Don’t feel bad or embarrassed to ask for help. The first few days were tough but with using the help provided by the lactation consultants at the hospital, we got through. Believing for you success and healthy baby (and mama!)!

  9. Lauren jeffers August 1, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    What an amazing article all moms need this support!!

  10. Amy August 1, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    Love thIs!! Totally ageee with us mom’s need to support each other! No judging bc we are all in this together. However you choose to feed your baby. It’s not that all easy. I love breastfeeding my babies and currently feeding my 2nd little boy who’s 7months. So blessed I am able to and was able to breastfeed my 1st son for 16 months!

  11. Julia August 1, 2017 at 11:24 am #

    A fed baby is best!

  12. Samantha August 1, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    Love this support! Nervous but excited to start with my first this October!

  13. Katie C. August 1, 2017 at 11:35 am #

    I’m due in October with our third & for once I’m excited to breastfeed him! I don’t feel the pressure or guilt I did with my first two. What happens will happen, but I know this time will be more enjoyable because of my attitude.

    • Arriana August 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

      This is true! Enjoy it.

    • Carolyn August 1, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

      This is exactly me too! Due with number in oct and I’m just going to roll with it 😂

  14. Amanda August 1, 2017 at 11:46 am #

    Great post! I was fortunate to have many support people in my life throughout my breastfeeding journey! I only hope to return the favor to other mamas in my life! My daughter nursed until she was 15 months old. It was such an amazing bond and I look forward for the opportunity to nursing our future babies!

  15. Jess August 1, 2017 at 11:58 am #

    Yay to Mamas supporting one another!

  16. Brea Lee August 1, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Beautiful pictures! Im so grateful to have gotten breastfeeding pictures with my last 2 nurslings. Im 6+ years of breastfeeding and still going!

  17. Lyndsay August 1, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

    What a great post! We all need to hear that we’re doing well at mothering as long as we’re doing our best. I’m tandem breastfeeding my 3 month old twins, as I read this, and it’s hard. I’ve almost have given up so many times, but we’re persevering.

  18. Brianna August 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    I am extremely hopeful that I will be successful at breastfeeding when I deliver my first in December!!

  19. Arriana August 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    I love breastfeeding! I also love to encourage other moms to give it a try and not to give up when it gets rough.

  20. Lauren August 1, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

    Breastfeeding is such a beautiful experience – one I feel very fortunate to have experienced with my daughter, and currently experiencing with my second daughter. There were and have been obstacles for sure, but I know not everyone has it as relatively “easy” and so I am very grateful.

    • Elizabeth August 1, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

      I have been very fortunate to have breastfed my 3 babies! I enjoyed the extra snuggles and bonding time!

  21. Cassandra August 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

    Breastfeeding was far more difficult than I ever imagined but I was head strong that it was my only option. I nursed my first child for 4 years and my second for 2/12 and now on to baby number 3! Every journey is different. Every baby with different needs. It is so important to embrace the journey and support one another. ❤️

  22. Olivia Wein August 1, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    Love this!! 💕
    I’m currently breastfeeding my new, little twins and it has been a whirlwind experience. There have been ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  23. Melissa August 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    Breastfeeding is a gift! My lil babe was in the nicu and had to be bottle fed. When he was released we fought hard to get back to the breast and we did it!!! Going 3 months strong! Love the closeness and sweetness of it.

  24. Roxanna August 1, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

    It’s amazing what a woman’s body can do. Breastfeeding is incredible for Mom and baby (and sometimes painful and frustrating).
    I’ve had some wonderful friends that have tried breastfeeding and they had their challenges and I always remind that that what’s most important is your baby is healthy and getting the nutrients they need… Whether it’s by breast or formula feeding. PS I’m nursing as I read this article

  25. Emily August 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    This is so great. As a new mom who is due any day now, I was inspired by this, I am terrified of “doing this wrong.” I don’t want to not be able to breastfeed but I realize that there is no “right way.” We have to do what we can and sometimes, it’s breastfeeding and sometimes its not. Here is to all the hard working and dedicated mommas who do whatever it takes to make sure their babies are fed.

  26. Marisa Sanchez August 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm #

    I am currently breastfeeding and have been through my fair share of difficulties with it but I continue to persevere. It’s great for my son and he’s doing so well so I will continue to breastfeed. I think it is one of the hardest things I’ve done but it’s one of the many sacrifices I’ll make as a mother 🙂

  27. Brittany August 1, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

    Great message🙏🏻. I did great nursing my daughter. My 6mo old son is more of a challenge!! We can be our toughest critics… I know I am. Love the inspiration. And that bra!👍

  28. Nicole at Mommy Moxie August 1, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

    Breastfeeding, especially when our youngest was in the NICU, was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but worth every moment. Even when I felt like a dairy cow for 12 hours of the day. 😉

  29. Natalie August 1, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

    One of my most treasured memories are the professional breastfeeding photos I had done. Plus, the hundreds of”brelfies” I’ve taken over the last 18mo. I never in my wildest dreams thought we’d make it this far. Happy National Breastfeeding Awareness Month!

  30. Whitney S August 1, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    Nothing better to give your babies 🙂

  31. Lisa August 1, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    I agree completely with “fed is best!” Thank you for encouraging support no matter how the baby is being fed 🙂

  32. Maegan Bruns August 1, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

    We are two weeks into our nursing relationship… there have been days it’s easy and days it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve cried, I’ve wanted to quit, but the support I have is helping me get through each day! These bras will make any mama feel gorgeous during one of the most vulnerable and most beautiful times in her life.

  33. Hannah Rivera August 1, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    Breastfeeding is truly amazing; to be able to provide and feed my children with just what my body provides. I know it’s a privilege and blessing to be able breastfeed both my kids. It can be exhausting and hard especially in those middle of the night feedings but I try my best to remember those chubby fingers gripping my hands and the sweet smell and snuggle of a that tiny baby in my arms. What a special gift it is to breastfeed.

  34. Ashley Zlotnick August 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    Us BF mommies need some pretty bra options! I love it!! 😍

  35. Carolyn August 1, 2017 at 8:00 pm #

    I love this! It is SO hard! But we do need to find our village and do what’s best for our baby, whatever that may be! I think the hardest part for me was feeling like my body was not my own, feeling like I was never making enough, and finding clothes that made life easier so I could nurse in public! It was a love-hate relationship while I nursed my two boys but then when it ended, I missed it! I’m going to try to cherish this bonding time with baby number 3 but it’s okay to say it’s hard!

  36. Taylor Griggs August 1, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    Absolutely love this post! And would LOVE the bralette! Currently pregnant with #5 and am planning to breastfeed again. I’ve had many different experiences including much success with my boys, having to get rid of my supply after a still birth and with my 4th, strictly pumping for 4 months then BF for 8 more ( due to her being born premature at 25 weeks). I have such high hopes for this next babe and being able to BF will be such a healing experience this time around.

  37. Kayla August 1, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

    Excited for my breastfeeding journey ❤️

  38. Summer August 2, 2017 at 4:47 am #

    I’m so excited that I get to breastfeed my baby! It was a surprise we have given EVERYTHING away so starting all over with our surprise number 3 baby is a blessing God will do amazing things with!

  39. Gabi S. August 2, 2017 at 7:37 am #

    I loved breastfeeding my kiddos. It was such a special bonding time and I was lucky enough that it was easy for me to do. I know that’s not the case for everyone, so I support feeding your baby however you can.

  40. Amy Martell August 2, 2017 at 7:39 am #

    Beautiful post, great reminders. I’ve been on both ends of it, so hard!

    <3

  41. Tayler digiacomo August 2, 2017 at 8:04 am #

    Fed is best & breastfeeding is beautiful!!

  42. Reyanna Woodgate August 2, 2017 at 8:53 am #

    Breastfeeding was the best experience for both my son and I. I would never degrade a women whom chooses to bottlefeed bit i always ask them to at least try(as long as their bodies can do so). I wouldnt change my experience for the world and i was able to breastfeed for 18 months with amazing unconditional support. Im due sept 15th woth my second boy, though the dr said i wont make it that far(lol yay) and i CAN NOT waot to start this journey over again and create the bond i have woth my first- with him❤❤❤ btws.. Thank you for this opportunity❤❤

  43. Chelsea August 2, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Last baby for us, Brestfeed all three. Ready for a cute bar his time around!

  44. Jacqui W. August 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    I loved being able to breastfeed and it is so cool to know that your body can create everything that the baby needs. But it is exhausting and pumping was no fun!

  45. Victoria August 2, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    Just had my second child and breastfeeding is so much easier this time! As a result, I can appreciate it more, enjoy it more. It’s such a special experience if the mom is able.

  46. Maya August 2, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

    Just had my third baby, first little girl. breast feeding was very important to me after my second baby was a 27 week preemie. I wanted to to anything that would help him to do well. This meant pumping from the moment I gave birth until he was cleared to actually feed without thickened milk. When my daughter was born she latched on immediately, but fell asleep regularly as she fed. I continue to try and get her to feed directly off the boob, but for now she is still getting mommy milk that I pump for her everyday 🤗 Keep up the good work moms!

  47. Jen August 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm #

    As a soon to be first time mom hearing other moms share their experiences (good & bad) is so helpful and makes this whole experience less scary and lonely. Thank you!!

  48. Lia August 2, 2017 at 10:26 pm #

    I so wish I would of pushed harder to breast feed. I am exclusively pumping! On month 4. My daughter was in the NICU the first month and they didn’t push me to ty very hard, so I was stuck with pumping. I’m just glad she gets my milk!

  49. Tiffany August 3, 2017 at 7:40 am #

    Breastfeeding is hard work! As a working mom, I found it especially challenging when I returned from maternity leave because of the need to pump enough milk while away from my babies. So far, so good tho! 🙂

  50. Mrs. Larson August 3, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    I am so grateful for our nursing relationship!! It was very hard and we overcame alot of misinformation!

  51. Christina Grimes August 3, 2017 at 9:37 am #

    Breastfeeding gave me such a deep connection with my daughter. It’s hard work, it limits your freedom, but it’s such a short time in the grand scheme of things and it really helped me bond with my babies

  52. Lexi August 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    Moms supporting moms! Yes!

  53. Jessica Unger August 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

    Love this! Such an important reminder! As a soon to be first time mom, there is so much information out there and at the end of the day I have found it most helpful to learn from other mom’s that the reality is breast feeding does take preparation, work and practice and it is in no way a reflection of you as a mother. All we can do is our best and I feel much better going into motherhood understanding this from fellow mamas!

  54. Katie August 3, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    Can’t wait to nurse my second little one on the way!!

  55. Kitty Leon August 3, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    I love this so much! My son is a 14 month old breastfed baby 😀😁😍 and im sp proud we’ve been able to endure such an amazing experience 🖤

  56. Macy Gammage August 4, 2017 at 3:11 am #

    Breastfeeding was definitely a difficult journey at first, but now I’ve been breastfeeding my daughter for 9 months and counting! I am so thankful for the bond that breastfeeding has given us, and I can’t wait to breastfeed my future children as well! ❤️

  57. Lindsey August 4, 2017 at 3:18 am #

    Breastfeeding can be extremely difficult and I feel that help should be more readily available for those who are not sure if they need help or not. A certified consultant should meet with every one who wants to breastfeed before discharge at the hospital. It would have truly helped me and made my first month more bearable.

  58. Abby August 4, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    I was lucky to have been able to breastfeed all my babies. Currently, nursing baby #3. I love the quiet moments I get with my sweet girl when she is nursing! 💗

  59. Crystal August 4, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

    I’ve breastfed all my children ,oldest is 6yrs now, am also currently breastfeeding my 4 month old. I love seeing amazing results and benefits of breastfeeding. My biggest issue is usually finding a good bra lbvs. Other than that every since I got through my first experience with my daughter, I feel like I’ve become more experienced each time and have even helped other mother’s struggling get through their roughest batch. I will always encourage breastfeeding.

  60. Rachel P August 5, 2017 at 7:18 am #

    Great post! Thank you! I struggled and struggled with both breastfeeding and the guilt over not ever making enough to feed my baby. I didn’t ever expect it to be so difficult!

  61. Felicia Wren August 6, 2017 at 9:11 am #

    This I could never breastfeed my oldest and it felt like such defeat. You are enough.

  62. Emily August 6, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    I love this bra! I’m excited to breastfeed baby 2 when she’s born early September 💕

  63. Karlee August 6, 2017 at 10:24 pm #

    Fantastic! Currently breastfeeding baby #2!!

  64. Kendall August 7, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    Great article! It is so easy to put undue stress and pressure on yourself as a nursing mom, especially the first time around. Looking forward to nursing my second babe due next week, but going into it with more grace for myself, my baby, and our nursing relationship this time around.

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