Breastfeeding is vital yet challenging for new mothers.

On this topic of Chapter #1 Marcela Rios, doula and breastfeeding counselor, highlights the complexities mothers face and emphasizes the need for informed support.


Breastfeeding is unquestionably the best way to feed a baby, but it's also one of the main challenges when it comes to a woman's initiation into motherhood. Loneliness, pain, difficulties, and the return to work when the baby has often not even started with solid foods are just a few of the challenges faced by the modern woman. Breastfeeding should be just as important as childbirth, and it encompasses much more than just the mother and the baby. A woman who has just given birth needs support, she needs to find a network that can provide her with the assistance to be able to breastfeed.

At times, breastfeeding is romanticized and linked to an idealized love, an image of fulfilled mother and baby. But only those who have gone through the experience know that it might not be so natural to sit down and nurse the baby. It's not a rule, but it can be painful. The latch may not be correct, the milk can get blocked, the nipple can get sore, the production may not increase according to the baby's needs, the scale may tip against, and the thousands of pieces of advice as well. For most women, the path is arduous and full of challenges, and sometimes exhaustion, lack of support and information, expectations, and pressures speak louder, leading to early discontinuation of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding requires much more than love. It takes physical and emotional availability, donation of your time and body, an absolute commitment to a being who depends entirely on you. To be informed is necessary to avoid being consumed by the weaning culture and to remain secure and confident among so many myths and unsolicited advice (which are often misguided or at the very least outdated). It takes a lot of patience because breastfeeding is a mutual learning process for both the mother and the baby. And it requires support from the partner, family, or even professional help.

Writen by Marcela Rios | Doula, childbirth educator and breastfeeding counselor

Posted on Instagram @barbaracrepaldiphoto on August 5, 2023.