As a first time mother, I always pictured that I would breastfeed my son for the first two years of his life or at least a year. This was because breast-feeding is something promoted by my culture and I was inspired by how my mother had successfully breastfed us. I never researched formula feeding or pumping as I always thought my journey would be very smooth. I thought it would be the most natural thing –  just like childbirth itself, that my body would adapt to it without me putting any effort. After I had my son, however, I struggled with breastfeeding, mainly because of my supply of milk. So if you’re reading this I want you to know you’re not alone.

Seek Professional Help

If you are adamant to breastfeed, you may choose to speak to a lactation consultant who may advise on tips tailored to your specific situation – whether it is latching or supply. Another alternative is to call a breastfeeding helpline, it always helps to speak to your maternal child nurse on those first visits if you are struggling with breastfeeding and she will be able to provide you with local resources that might help you.

Consider Pumping 

Breastfeeding can be an issue due to your baby not latching correctly, I would highly recommend pumping, little breast milk/colostrum will have great benefits to your baby. Remember that they don’t call breast milk “liquid gold’ for nothing. It will also help avoid blocked ducts if you have a great milk supply.

Attempt Power Pumping

I didn’t have enough supply for my son, so if your problem is anything like mine, try power pumping.

This method is pumping for an hour in intervals to mimic cluster feeding to trick your body into producing more milk. The technique is to pump for 20 minutes, take a 10 minute break, pump for 10 minutes, a 10 minute break then a final 10 minutes of pumping. I have personally tried this method and noticed an increase in my supply. 

Research Baby Formulas

If you decide to formula feed, please don’t feel guilty about it and research formula options available on the market. You will be surprised by all the types of formula available –  cow, soy-based and special formula with probiotics.

Once both you and your baby find the perfect formula, it’s better not to change the formula too often as this may upset your baby’s stomach. We experienced this with my son when we first moved to another country and didn’t find our usual formula. We then had to switch to a different brand and had to try another option that was gentler on his stomach.


The reality is that breastfeeding can sometimes be challenging for first-time mums, so just know that you are trying your best and regardless of whether you breastfeed or bottle feed your baby, you are a great mother trying to figure out motherhood (just like the rest of us).