I breastfed two children successfully, but it was a long and difficult trip. It can be difficult to know what to do if you are experiencing difficulty nursing. I struggled with the anguish and guilt of being touched out. I shuddered when my first was about to nurse because I was so tired and wanted to quit.

And what made matters worse was all of the unsolicited advice that didn’t help or make me — or my breastfeeding issues — visible. So, if you know a woman who is drowning in breastfeeding difficulties, here’s what you should say instead:

I’m here if you need to vent

Sometimes all a struggling mama needs to know is that she is not alone. Tell her you’re available if she needs to vent. Giving her a way to express her frustration and let everything out can be quite beneficial. Listen to her and avoid attempting to solve her problems unless she specifically requests it. Sometimes folks just want to talk to someone who understands them.

You’re right — it’s SO hard

It’s not always easy. It’s infuriating. Sometimes you just want to cry and give up. Recognize her emotions. The abrupt change in lifestyle is startling. Breastfeeding takes a long time, has a steep learning curve, and is simply difficult. Furthermore, cluster feeding is no laughing matter.

You’re doing a great job

Some of it may come naturally, while others may not. Let her know she’s doing a wonderful and difficult job, and that just embarking on this trip requires guts.

It’s totally normal to feel touched out

Let her know that feeling touched out is very normal — and that it’s alright to feel that way. Assure her that the skin-crawling sensation will not occur on every occasion.

How can I help?

Inquire if there is anything you can do to assist — or, better yet, just do it. Offer suggestions and referrals for professional help if she requires it, or offer to do the laundry and dishes for her if that is all she requires that day.

The finest thing we can do for a mom who is having difficulty breastfeeding is to just reach out to her. Ask her how she’s going and serve as a sounding board for her. Simply asking that simple inquiry and letting her know you’re available if she wants to vent could be the lifeline she requires.

Whatever you decide to do for you and your baby is the right decision

Breastfeeding is a lot of work. It’s hard on your body, and it’s complicated. There are numerous things that could be influencing your experience, including milk supply, plugged ducts, and postpartum depression, to mention a few. Tell her you’ve gotten it. Breastfeeding is complicated and obviously not one-size-fits-all, so whether she wants to solely pump, supplement with formula, or stop breastfeeding entirely, let her know it’s fine and she’ll still be a fantastic mom. There’s a lot of guilt associated when a mother is struggling to feed her baby, and it’s our job to assure her that she has nothing to be ashamed of.


  1. What do you say to a mother who is struggling to breastfeed?

    Here’s what popped into my head:
    – Don’t avoid the topic.
    – Don’t think she gave up too easily.
    – Recognize that what she went through was difficult.
    – Be patient as she determines what is best for her.
    – Be supportive regardless of how she chooses to feed her baby.
    – Remind her that she is the best mother for her child.

  2. What are 5 disadvantages of breastfeeding?

    – You may have discomfort, especially in the first few days or weeks.
    – There is no way to know how much your baby is eating.
    – You’ll need to keep an eye on your medicine, caffeine, and alcohol use. Some drugs that enter your body are passed on to your baby via your milk.
    – Newborns eat frequently.

  3. What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

    Breastfeeding may result in the following long-term benefits:
    – Breast cancer risk is reduced.
    – Ovarian cancer risk is reduced.
    – Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus risk are reduced.
    – Endometriosis is reduced.
    – With age, there is less osteoporosis.
    – Diabetes is less prevalent.
    – Blood pressure is reduced when there is less hypertension.
    – There is less cardiovascular illness.

  4. Why is breastfeeding so special?

    Antibodies in breast milk assist your infant in fighting viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding reduces your child’s chances of developing asthma or allergies. Furthermore, babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months, without the use of any formula, have less ear infections, respiratory ailments, and diarrhoea episodes.