Women, in general, seem to like comparing themselves to other women. I don’t know if we do it because we really CARE if we’re ahead of the rest of the women or not OR because we have SO many insecurities about ourselves that we just want to confirm that we’re not the worst player on the team.
But the fact that we want to run, run , run as fast as we can, turn back and say, “you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread gal” is a huge indication that we shouldn’t be wishing to get ahead just for the sake of getting ahead. That wishing to get ahead without a real focus on what TRULY matters is all mental games. And that instead of focusing our attention sideways to see if anybody is “caught up to us” or behind us or in front of us, when it comes to breastfeeding, we should pause, look down at our baby and re-engage with WHY we’re breastfeeding in the first place. We’re breastfeeding not to compare to other women. We’re breastfeeding to offer the best of ourselves to our baby.
What’s The Main Hesitation About Breastfeeding That You Need To Get Over?
I know that it SEEMS that some women have it “easy” when it comes to breastfeeding.
And you may THINK that you don’t have it easy or won’t have it easy.
Let me just pull back the curtain for you and reveal an important truth that I would REALLY like for you to TRULY process:
Out of ALL the breastfeeding women I know, NOBODY has had a 100% perfect breastfeeding experience.
Like NO-BO-DY .
Yet, many women have gone on to breastfeed for yeeeeears.
What Do You Need To Shift In Order To Get Over The Fact That Breastfeed Isn’t Easy?
Do you know what the difference between the women who breastfeed for years and those who don’t even breastfeed for 6 months is?
Meaning that they’re influenced by what they BELIEVE is possible for them and what they believe ISN’T.
Are there women who physically can’t breastfeed? Yes, but I’m not talking about them (although I did address this issue on the previous post. You’re welcome to check it out in case you missed it). As we saw in that previous post, 98% of women CAN breastfeed. Which means that you have more chances of breastfeeding your kids than winning the lottery. By FAR!
Are you starting to see how breastfeed has LESS to do with luck and MORE to do with your mentality, your commitments and how you carry out those commitments?
Why Is It Important To Keep Your Breastfeeding Mentality In Check?
Look, breastfeeding isn’t easy.
I totally agree with you on that one.
As I like to say,
“Just because you’re breastfeeding mostly while sitting down doesn’t mean it’s easy.” – Haydee Montemayor
Therefore, women who breastfeed need perseverance, the will, the drive, the conviction to not give up. (Plus the other things we talked about in the prior post and will be talking about in the next few posts).
In other words, there are things you need to have in place to be able to breastfeed and there are things that you need to let go of. The first thing being your list of fears surrounding breastfeeding.
“Being afraid to do something or doubtful of its result is normal. Letting the fear or doubt overpower love, isn’t.” – Haydee Montemayor
How Big Of A Difference Can Mentality Make?
Do you know what the similarity between the women who breastfeed 6 months or less to those that breastfeed for years is?
That every woman, regardless of the time that they breastfeed for, has to LEARN to how to breastfeed.
They were born PHYSICALLY able to breastfeed when they became mothers, but they ACTUALLY had to put themselves in the driver’s seat and practice breastfeeding time and time again.
Think of it like riding a bike. The vast majority of kids can learn to ride a bike when the time is right, but you have to give them opportunities to practice.
The same is true for you. YOU can learn how to breastfeed. But to make it easier and more second-nature, you need to practice.
Did The Ladies From Both Of These Groups Fall Off The Driver’s Seat At Some Point?
Certainly! For sure!
Going back to the bicycle example, there is NO ONE on the planet that I know of who has learned to ride the bike without ever having fallen.
The difference between the ladies who have gone on to breastfeed for years and those who haven’t is that the ladies who breastfeed for years pulled themselves off the ground and got up as many times as it was necessary every time they fell in order to continue the breastfeeding relationship with their baby.
“Mentality Is Like A Muscle, You Have To Have It Work Out. The Greater The Obstacles Your Mentality Overcomes, The Stronger It Is.” – Haydee Montemayor
It’s weird to say this, but the ground is a VERY “comfortable” place when you fall in your breastfeeding journey. You’re tired, you’re sleep deprived, you’re hungry for an uninterrupted meal, you have to put in sooo much time into breastfeeding, you have soooo many other things that you could be doing with this time. So, yes, getting up and pedaling on this breastfeeding journey when it’s SO much easier, SO much more convenient to NOT breastfeed is truly admirable. The type of thing the best Olympic athletes are made of.
Does Having a Strong Mentality Really Matter?
Perhaps you may think, “Oh well, if I stop breastfeeding it’s not like anybody’s watching, I certainly don’t have an Olympic audience watching.” You’re partly right.
It’s true that you don’t have an Olympic audience watching, but you DO have THE most IMPORTANT audience watching: you have your baby who is learning about you, who is witnessing how much you believe in yourself, who is seeing what you’re capable of achieving for yourself and for him/her and who is learning what your character is like and ultimately, what you’re made of.
If you don’t think that your baby’s perception of you is real, and/or that it doesn’t matter… go right ahead, don’t consider how your decision to stop breastfeeding would impact them.
So while it may seem like I’m guilt-tripping you into breastfeeding, I’m not. What I AM asking you to realize from the moment that you conceive your baby, to when you have your baby and beyond is that your choices, no matter how big or small, WILL affect not only, but your baby and the actual relationship you have with them… till the end of time. Cause and effect is the name of the game. Don’t say that nobody told you.
But, yeah, ultimately, it’s your choice to challenge your mentality, or to let it make your life more challenging than it already is. Meaning you either control it. or it controls you.
Having A Positive Mentality To Breastfeed Is Both Hard and Easy… It Depends On What You Focus On
Keep in mind though, as I’ve said before, other than planning for the actual delivery of your baby, your decision to breastfeed or not breastfeed (and for how long) is your first “test.” And it’s a hard test, that’s for sure.
But if you pass the test with flying colors, what you receive as a return is better than an A+ . It’s knowing that you offered the baby the best nourishment you could. Your time, yourself and your love.
But you know what? You’ve NEVER had a stronger reason to ace that test. Like evah! When you hold your baby, look into their eyes, and tap into what kind of quality of life you want to give them… the decision to breastfeed and continue to breastfeed no matter how difficult the bike ride becomes… is really clear. Easy even.
If there was ever anybody to fight for, to sacrifice for, and to do things for, it’s your baby.
Focus On What You CAN Do Instead of What You Can’t
If you’re still a little unsure that you’ll be “strong enough” to breastfeed… remember that how strong you think you are is how strong you are.
“Remember that focusing on positivity yields more positive results than focusing on negativity. Simple premise… but so often overlooked.” – Haydee Montemayor
And say the following phrases instead of torturing yourself by saying “I don’t know if I can breastfeed,” or “What if it’s too hard?” till the cows come home (and yep you can either question yourself over and over or repeat the following over and over… what you do is up to you). Say:
- I can do it.
- Where there’s a will, there’s a way. (Fun fact: It’s one of my favorite sayings. And to me, having WILL is positive mindset in action).
- I’ll do whatever it takes. (And that includes seeking out help if you feel or know that you or your baby needs additional support from medical experts or the breastfeeding specialists in your area who can observe you breastfeeding to be able to tailor a recommendation for you).
To Wrap Up
There may not be an on switch in your body which you can press to breastfeed without effort, BUT there IS a switch and it’s in your mind that takes you from “I don’t know if I’ll be able to breastfeed” to “I WILL be able to breastfeed.”
As simple as that mental shift is, it really has the potential of being the difference between falling at breastfeeding or succeeding in it.
Because your WILL to breastfeed is the first step in this breastfeeding journey. Embrace your WILL and the journey begins. Discard your WILL and the breastfeeding journey stops.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you had success breastfeeding?
What has helped you have a positive mentality that has allowed you to breastfeed successfully?
What’s the best tip that someone offered you that helped you go from an “I don’t know if I’ll be able to breastfeed” mentality to an “I WILL be able to breastfeed” mentality?