Breastfeeding: Learning to trust your baby, your body, yourself

mother holding baby's hand

Six years ago I became a first-time mom to a precious baby boy. I had waited 40 long weeks to meet this new little person. After he was born, I was in complete awe of what my body had accomplished and was excited to discover everything motherhood would bring.

I was ready for dirty diapers, sleepless nights and showerless days. What I wasn’t prepared for was the challenge of breastfeeding. I didn’t know how time-consuming nursing would be. I remember thinking, “This isn’t what the books say!” Suddenly I felt like I was treading water.

It was lonely and isolating. I had no one to talk to and felt like I was stuck at home all day and night, because surely the second I tried to leave the house it would be time for my baby to eat again.

I was dedicated to make breastfeeding work for me and decided to attend the breastfeeding support group at AAMC. In walked the vibrant Kim Knight, board-certified lactation consultant, to a room full of breastfeeding moms who were all experiencing their own unique challenges. Suddenly I had hope!

I left each group meeting with more confidence and joy. I learned to stress less, live life more and that the ‘books’ aren’t always right when it comes to breastfeeding.

My baby’s nursing pattern was normal. In fact, his frequent nursing was encouraging my body to establish a good milk supply. I learned about the unique supply and demand milk production process. My body would learn to supply exactly what my baby was demanding. It’s amazing when you stop to think about it!

This was my first lesson in trusting my body and my baby, and trusting myself as a mother. We knew what we were doing after all! I quickly learned that so many moms need to hear the message that nursing can be challenging, but you can do it if you want.  You just need a little education and the right support and resources.

Often, moms think their milk supply is low when it really isn’t. At that very first support group there was a sweet mom who just could not trust that her body was enough.  She thought she had to pump every feed to make sure she had enough milk for her baby.  She became exhausted, stressing over every ounce she did or did not pump.

You don’t need to stress about the numbers and ounces. Your baby is your proof. As long as your baby is gaining weight on breast milk, then your supply is good. I’ve also learned along the way that the amount of milk you pump is not an accurate measure of how much your baby is getting when they feed directly from your breast. Your baby is much more efficient than your pump!

I had no clue how many ounces of milk my baby was getting, but I saw him growing and thriving. I started to appreciate his sweet little rolls that I worked so hard to give him! That was my evidence.

One of our first jobs as a mom is to be able to feed our baby. If you choose to breastfeed and it’s not going well, it can be devastating. I can’t stress enough the value of a support network, whether it’s an in-person group, a Facebook group or a couple of friends who understand.

Also, determining your personal breastfeeding goals is such an important part of the journey. Everyone’s journey is different. Some women give pacifiers, some women exclusively pump, some women schedule feedings and some women nurse on demand.  There are so many ways to breastfeed and they’re all OK! At the end of the day you have to know you are doing an amazing thing for your child, and you are always enough.

 Join an Online Support Group

  • The Milk Makers Community Facebook group is a breastfeeding support group started by Carly Glover in 2010. The group started with six moms from AAMC’s breastfeeding support group, and has grown to almost 2,000 local moms. The group welcomes and supports ALL local moms regardless of their personal choices when it comes to feeding their baby. To join, send Carly and the administrators a message.
  • The AAMC Smart Parents Facebook group is a place for Moms and Dads to ask questions about their journey through parenthood and get answers from local parents and AAMC experts.

Carly Glover is the founder of Milk Makers Community, doula with Annapolis Area Doulas and mother of four. Through her business, Carly is committed to supporting moms in their journey through pregnancy, birthing and post-partum, and helping instill confidence in their breastfeeding relationship.

Breastfeeding Resources

Breastfeeding Basics Class: Learn how to prepare for breastfeeding, how to hold your baby, how often and how long to feed, how to avoid common problems and much more.

Breastfeeding Warm Line: Anne Arundel Medical Center’s lactation staff is available to answer any questions you might have about breastfeeding. You can reach our consultants seven days a week via our Warm Line at 443-481-6977. Simply leave a message and they’ll return your call between 9 am and 4 pm the same day. You can also e-mail our lactation staff anytime at

Breastfeeding Support Group: Breastfeeding mothers are welcome to this gathering on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. The group is led by Kim Knight, a board-certified lactation consultant. The group is very informal and welcoming to breastfeeding mothers regardless of experience or degree of commitment. Bring your baby!

Find a Lactation Consultant: A board-certified lactation consultant can help address your breastfeeding concerns or challenges. You can find one in your area through the United States Lactation Consultant Association directory.

Back to Work and Breastfeeding Support Group: Discuss questions and concerns common to nursing moms who returned to work. Share your experiences and hear new ideas on how to continue to work and breastfeed successfully. This group meets the first Friday of every month at the Big Vanilla in Pasadena.

AAMC Smart Parents: Join our Facebook community focused on the journey of parenthood. This is a safe, non-judgmental group to ask questions and get answers from local moms and dads, and AAMC experts.

Originally published April 13, 2016. Last updated Aug. 26, 2019.

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