With all the preparations that come with a new baby, breastfeeding education is often high on the list. There are tons of books circulating on the topic and even more websites. Many of these sources regurgitate the same information as if all breastfeeding Mothers are the same and they often mention the possibility of failure. It is this “one size fits all’ assumption and the constant reminder that failure is lurking in the shadows that may jeopardize the success of breastfeeding Mothers. I feel that the important ingredients for a successful breastfeeding journey are individuality and confidence.

Often times a new mother, stressed by her new role, becomes consumed with the way things are supposed to go, forgetting a key component to her success, individuality. The moment I stopped taking the published information as the only way, my breastfeeding journey went from an up-hill climb to a slow and steady, learning journey.

The question is; where did I get the information I needed to continue with breastfeeding? I went for the Mom’s perspective. I sought out the experience based knowledge of my fellow breastfeeding Mothers.

It helped to hear what other Moms had experienced but the most important piece of information I gained was, “do what works best for you.” In my stressed out, sleep deprived state, I was struggling to fit the “mold” of “how to breastfeed.” It may seem obvious but it took someone else telling me that I could do things my way, for me to relax and do just that. It made a world of difference to know that I didn’t have to do things “right” just because that was what the book said to do.

The other amazing aspect of going for the Mom’s perspective was that I didn’t receive the follow up comment of “it’s okay if you can’t breastfeed” or “it’s okay if you have to use formula.” It is my opinion that always hearing that failure is lurking only increases the chances of failure.  Don’t get me wrong, I respect a woman’s decision to forego breastfeeding, but hearing over and over that it is “okay” is counterproductive. A breastfeeding Mother should always hear that she can and will succeed.

Confidence is vital to breastfeeding success and we, as new Mothers, have to hear “you can do this.” Getting a boost in confidence from other breastfeeding Mothers can smooth a rough road and allow for an easier journey.

Seeking out a Mom’s perspective on breastfeeding can remind a struggling Mother that individuality and confidence can make a world of difference. Every experience is different and stepping outside of the “one size fits all” realm and eliminating the reminders of possible failure can be the key to breastfeeding success.

Bio: Crystal Kennedy is a stay at home mom and author of mylifeasmomandwife.com. She enjoys spending time with her family and blogging about her parenting experiences.

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