Breastfeeding Support: Why It Is Crucial To Your Success

By Carly Proett |

Breastfeeding Support: Why It Is Crucial To Your Success

Before my first baby was born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. My health and wellness journey has been largely driven by life long gut issues and the more I learned about gut health, breastfeeding became a high value for me to ensure my daughter was given the best chance for optimal gut health. 

Surprisingly, outside of my Branch Basics’ health bubble, I didn’t find much support in this decision while I was pregnant. Both of my parents were formula-fed and me along with my two older brothers were as well. Many of my family members and friends tried breastfeeding but switched to formula after a short period with utter horror stories about “the torture” they endured.

Unfortunately many women lack substantial (and entirely necessary!) support when they choose to breastfeed and the pressure to just “supplement” or switch to formula is heavy. 

My Breastfeeding Journey

My daughter was born at home and she was able to latch almost immediately following her birth. I am incredibly grateful for that “golden hour” that I had with her.  

In the first few days before my milk came in, I fed her on demand and thought the pain I was experiencing was just a normal part of the beginning of breastfeeding. By day 3 when my milk came in, I was in serious pain with every single feeding. By day 4, I couldn’t imagine continuing as I shed tears with every latch. I was distraught because I didn’t want to give up, but I knew the pain was not sustainable. 

Thankfully, I had a lot of people in my life that knew how to support me and where to begin to work through our issues. My midwife was an amazing resource that connected me with a craniosacral therapist to help my daughter with some of her tightness and torticollis post-birth. A sweet friend connected me with her lactation consultant (who was thankfully covered by insurance!), and she helped me come to the conclusion that my daughter had an extensive tongue tie. Once it was revised, the pain let up and I was able to get more comfortable nursing on demand. 

Why Women Need Support 

My first three weeks breastfeeding was a big challenge but now (almost a year postpartum) I can truly say it was worth it. Breastfeeding feels easy (albeit demanding) and natural and has been the most amazing bonding experience with my daughter. I hope to continue to breastfeed for as long as possible. 

Women who want to breastfeed need support. 

This amazing and natural process does not always come easily, and many mothers end the relationship preemptively because they didn’t have the resources necessary to continue. It is ok to ask for help. We aren’t meant to do this alone and it truly takes a village. Don’t suffer in silence! 

Top Reasons To Breastfeed 

Here are my top reasons that I have loved the breastfeeding journey:

  • Surprisingly, the convenience! I can feed my daughter anywhere – at a restaurant, on the plane (life saver!), on a hike, by the pool. You get the picture. It is such a blessing to have a tool to nourish and soothe my infant wherever we are. This really allowed me to get out postpartum in a time that can feel isolated and lonely. I encourage all breastfeeding moms to really embrace nursing in public! It can take some getting used to and confidence, but it is truly the most empowering experience when you lean in! I loved this nursing cover in the beginning but now I can pretty much whip out my boob (still modestly!) anywhere! 

  • Sleep! My daughter was able to sleep for long stretches from the early days and being able to just grab her from her cosleeper and breastfeed allowed me so much extra sleep and comfort myself. This obviously has evolved over time (as sleep does in the first year!) but I am thankful for those early nights using breastfeeding as a sleeping tool. 
  • The health benefits. As I mentioned at the start, suffering from life long gut issues is something I pray my daughter will avoid. It is well documented that breastfeeding helps build our babies’ immune system and microbiome, and I have seen that first hand during her first year of life. 
  • Connection and the chance to slow down! Breastfeeding is a true commitment (for however long you choose to do it!). You are needed literally on demand in the early days and still at regular intervals well into the first year of life.  It will bring you the most beautiful connection with your baby but it will also break you and force you to slow down. This is a very beautiful and hard lesson, one that I’m still grappling with but learning to enjoy the journey. 

Breastfeeding Resources 

Now for a disclosure here – breastfeeding is not all rainbows and butterflies. There are very real challenges, including exhaustion, feeling “touched” out, milk supply issues, anxiety around supply, mastitis, pain with feeding, biting (ya feel me moms?) and many more. 

Feeding our babies is necessary regardless of how we are able to make it happen. And I want to acknowledge those that have tried and needed to take another path for whatever reason. New moms need support, full stop. I hope that my story and the resources below allow you to take charge of your own experience and cancel out all of the noise. 

Below are the resources that were crucial to my successful breastfeeding journey.

Lactation Consultant 

I was so surprised to learn that in most states, LCs are entirely covered through health insurance. This was a welcome gift, as sadly many of the therapies and procedures that we pursued were not.

My LC was an absolute gift and helped us diagnose my daughter's tongue tie and help me through different latching positions. She also called me for an entire week to talk through issues, troubleshoot and just make me feel not alone. She also gave the best advice and that is this - "nothing good ever comes from googling after 10 PM." 

I would suggest lining up a lactation consultant before your child is born or immediately following. They provide amazing support and resources for those early days as you and your baby learn from each other.

Avoid Schedules Right Away

In the beginning (with the hormones raging!) it is easy to get anxious about your supply, if your baby is getting what they need and if you are doing everything “right.” I think we put way too much pressure on ourselves to “get into a pumping routine” or “make sure she is taking a bottle.”

The very best thing you can do is just simply be with your baby! When they want to nurse, let them nurse. Nature is amazing and when you nurse on demand, your baby will truly draw in the milk supply that they need. I think there is far too much pressure to “get on a schedule” and I encourage you to just let it be. Ask for support, so that you can have the time you need with your babe.

In my experience, I didn’t start pumping regularly until I went back to work four months postpartum, and because my supply was pretty well established by the point, it worked so well for me! Obviously every baby and mom is different and if you are worried about feeding, this is where resources come to the rescue!

Craniosacral Therapist

My daughter was born posterior (sunny side up!) and with a nuchal hand, so we discovered she had a lot of neck stiffness that prevented her from getting a good latch.

We worked with an amazing craniosacral therapist that our midwife helped us find. She was able to release the tension before and after her tongue tie revision. It is incredibly gentle and you could immediately tell a difference in my daughter's comfort during and following the session. We did 4 sessions with her in total and believe they were worth every penny.

Pediatric Dentist

Tongue ties have become more prevalent (at least from my experience) over the past few years and while my daughter's tongue tie revision made a crucial difference in my breastfeeding journey, I definitely suggest exploring your options and ensuring that you are partnering any revisions with bodywork and therapies as well.

Our experience was straightforward but it was difficult to see my newborn in pain during the laser revision, even if it was just for 30 seconds!


I worked with a chiropractor all throughout my pregnancy, so it made perfect sense to also take my daughter for adjustments. She received her first adjustment the day after her tongue tie revision, at just one week old. We continue to do regular adjustments for maintenance. 

Additional Resources: La Leche League, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, The womanly art of breastfeeding