03/25/2015 05:50 EDT | Updated 05/25/2015 05:59 EDT

To All Moms Struggling With Breastfeeding, You're Not Alone

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez via Getty Images
MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 23: A mother breast feeds her daughter during a protest at the entrance of a Primark Store on August 23, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. Nursing mothers organized breast feeding protest at Primark Stores across Spain to claim their right to breast feed children at anytime and at anywhere the child needs and stop the prejudice of doing it in public. Organizers say that on August 12, a woman was allegedly asked to leave a Primark Store as she was breast feeding her child. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Breastfeeding For Dummies.

Don't you wish that book existed?

Some women are blessed with a child who's born knowing what to do, when put on the breast. No troubles, from beginning to end. If you are one of those women, and you're reading this right now, I nod my head to you, lucky woman, and send you along your way.

This post is not for you.

This is for the mama who is struggling with breastfeeding. Who thinks she is the only one having a hard time, because no one told her it might be this hard.

You are not alone.

This is for the mama who is hurting. Who is thinking about giving up today, maybe after just one more feed. Maybe your heart hurts, because you can't seem to produce enough milk for your baby. Maybe you're up at all hours, pumping and pumping, and can't imagine having to do it one more time. Maybe your nipples hurt, because your baby has a tongue tie no one picked up on, or you have thrush. Maybe you're dealing with another blocked duct, or mastitis again, and it all feels like too much.

You are not alone.

This is for the mama who went to get help from a professional, and is still having problems. Maybe you went to several different professionals, and got several different opinions. You feel like nobody really gets what's happening, because of course the baby fed differently at the clinic when you went. So now, you're still hurting, but don't know where else to turn.

You are not alone.

This is for the mama who had trouble breastfeeding her first child, and thought, because everyone told her so, that the second one would be easier. And then it wasn't.

You are not alone.

This is for the mama whose milk never came in, so she had no choice but to go with formula, from day one.

You are not alone.

This is for the mama who is choosing to go with formula after trying to breastfeed, and hating herself for it, but doesn't see another way.

You are not alone.

This is for the mama who is choosing to continue to breastfeed, despite the pain, because she doesn't see another way.

You are not alone.

This is for the mama who expected breastfeeding to be this magical, beautiful bonding experience, and has ended up crying tears of frustration, of despair, of pain, because it wasn't all of that.

You. Are. Not. Alone.

Breastfeeding is freaking hard. You are all heroes, no matter what your choices were and will be. Love yourselves. You are not failures, you are not any less the mothers you wanted to be. You nourished that child with your lifeblood for nine months -- never forget that.

Try and love yourselves as much as you love that little baby, okay? You deserve it.

Actually, it does. But unfortunately it doesn't have all the answers, either.

This post originally appeared on The Joy of Cooking (for Little Assholes) here.


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