Breastfeeding for a Healthier Baby, a Healthier You and a Healthier Planet.

August 01, 2020

Many of the breastfeeding benefits for mom and baby are well-known and well-documented—breastmilk helps protect babies from illness even lowers the risk of issues like asthma, obesity, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); your first milk supply called colostrum is often referred to as “liquid gold” for its infection prevention abilities; PLUS, there are benefits for you, mama: Breastfeeding helps you heal postpartum, medical costs could be lower if you breastfeed, and the act lowers the risk of issues like type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer down the road. 




But there are larger societal boons, too.  Breastfeeding is eco-friendly!

“As breastfeeding continues to gain popularity in pop culture and social platforms, more global benefits are being highlighted, like breastfeeding as a climate-smart decision,” says lactation consultant Yines Garcia-Taylor RN, IBCLC of Prenatal Yini.

But that hits an important point: While lists of breastfeeding benefits and images of moms and babies nursing might conjure up feel-good emotions, the act itself doesn’t always come naturally … and it’s not always easy.

“Many moms imagine breastfeeding to be effortless from the start when in reality the early days can be the most challenging. Every breastfeeding dyad is unique,” notes Garcia-Taylor.

Here, the five biggest challenges she finds clients have—and how to overcome each so that you can support your health, your baby’s health, and the health of the planet as a whole. A triple whammy.


Lack of support

Because you might think breastfeeding will come naturally, you might not *prep* for it or have the resources you need around you, but prenatal breastfeeding education is key for a successful breastfeeding journey, says Garcia-Taylor. “You don’t need the unsolicited horror breastfeeding stories. You need to gather your breastfeeding squad prenatally, surround yourself with other breastfeeding moms, or join local or virtual breastfeeding support groups.” La Leche, for one, has many online resources, including support groups and webinars. You could also reach out to a local lactation consultant. “Breastfeeding can feel very lonely or isolating if the right support is missing,” she explains. Pro tip: “Have your partner join in the learning process,” she suggests.



The First Forty Days

It’s hard to accept those early postpartum days are all about restSnuggles, breastfeeding on demand, eating well, and resting when possible are key for your baby’s well-being, your well-being, and your milk supply, says Garcia-Taylor. “Everything else has to wait,” she says. It’s *hard* for new moms to let things like dishes, laundry, and groceries go. Try to accept help and focus on time with your new baby—it’ll help you adjust to the demands of breastfeeding and get into a groove.


Low Milk Supply

“The most surprising challenge many new moms have after birth is the thought of not having enough milk for their baby,” explains Garcia-Taylor. “During the second night after birth, most babies cluster feed—they feed often in a short period of time,” she says. This can be worrisome for so many moms who think their milk supply is not enough. But guess what? This is normal, she says. Try to feed your baby on demand based on hunger cues.

Two things that *may* indicate a problem with milk supply? Weight gain problems for your baby and diaper output (less than 6 to 8 wet diapers a day after the first week). If you notice these issues, touch base with your healthcare provider.

Discomfort (at first)

Sure, at first, breastfeeding is new and different and might feel a bit uncomfortable. But pain is not something you should endure every time you feed. “If you are experiencing any nipple pain while breastfeeding, please reach out for professional help,” says Garcia-Taylor. Via the Affordable Care Act, most insurance companies must cover preventative lactation services. “The earlier you address any breastfeeding issues the more enjoyable breastfeeding becomes.” You can find an IBCLC at

Breastfeeding Skin?

Is that a thing?   Unfortunately, it is!   Hormonal fluctuations persist postpartum, especially if you breastfeed, meaning your pregnancy skin issues may continue as well.  The fluctuations can sap skin lipids and cause you to experience dry, dull patches, especially on your face. 

While it's tempting to reach for your pre-pregnancy skin treatments for a fix, choosing breastfeeding-friendly products is as important as choosing pregnancy-safe products.  It's been said before but worth repeating, anything you eat or put on your skin can be passed to your baby through your breastmilk. 

“Our skin is the largest organ of the human body,” says Garcia-Taylor. And any time you put something on it, there’s a chance that said product is absorbed into your bloodstream (with the risk that it could potentially negatively impact both mom and baby).  Another consideration is that skin-to-skin will cause baby to come into contact with any products you use and may cause irritation, sensitivity, or an allergic reaction.

To reduce the dryness and inflammation you experience during breastfeeding, use a mild cleanser and a breast-feeding safe moisturizer that is fragrance-free with natural lipids like sunflower seed oil and contains sea buckthorn to refine the patches.


View this post on Instagram

Our nightly routine. Pia twirls my hair and touches my face, exploring every freckle, while I nourish her growing body. . How important it is to put good things on and inside my own body to ensure Pia gets the best, and isn’t ingesting any gross chemicals by doing something as sweet and simple as touching my face. We eat a really healthy vegetarian diet, and I use all natural skincare. . Take a look at some of your products. A lot of the ingredients are hormone disrupters! Choose things that are safe for you and baby, because these moments are way too precious to have a worry in your mind (we have enough of those already, don’t we?) . . What products do you use that are clean and healthy for you and baby? I would love to know! ———————————————————————————

Healthy, vegan skincare by @matrescenceskin ——————————————————————————— 

A post shared by Nicolle ♡ Brad ♡ Baby Pia (@_peaandme_) on


Breastfeeding Resources

Here is are a few trusted sites for new moms:
For Breastfeeding
Low milk supply
To find a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant
Donor milk
Safe Formula preparation


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in In the Glow

A Path to Motherhood through Infertility and Adoption
A Path to Motherhood through Infertility and Adoption

May 16, 2022

There are not only many ways to be a mother, there are many ways to become a mother as well. For Dañi Bruno, her path to motherhood has been a long one, marked by infertility challenges, pregnancy loss, the blessings of three biological children, and the heartache and hope that accompanies the foster care and adoption journey. We're proud to feature Dani and her path to motherhood, in her own words. 
Tips for Dealing with Mother's Day Disappointment
Tips for Dealing with Mother's Day Disappointment

May 09, 2022

Mother's Day can be a tough holiday for many moms. In many cases, the disparity between mama's expectations and the reality of the day can lead to feelings of disappointment, which then can lead to feelings of resentment, or guilt, or worse. So what can you do if you find yourself feeling disappointed after Mother's Day?
Over the Rainbow with Yazmin Ramos
Over the Rainbow with Yazmin Ramos

April 24, 2022

Meet soon-to-be mama Yazmin Ramos, Producer at ESSENCE, as she talks candidly about her first pregnancy, which ended in loss, and shares her approach to and gratitude for her current pregnancy.