iVillage Exclusive! 'Pregnant in Heels' Star Rosie Pope: How to Solve Breastfeeding Challenges

This week on the Pregnant in Heels season finale, Rosie Pope counseled a client who couldn't breastfeed but wanted to avoid giving her baby formula -- and asked Rosie to find a wet nurse for her baby! It's an unusual solution (and, as it turns out, an illegal one in New York, where Rosie's client lives) but that doesn't mean the maternity concierge was unable to find another way to help. Read on for Rosie's breastfeeding advice:

Breastfeeding is hard! What are your top three tips for new moms who want to nurse?
First, take a class and/or read books beforehand to get a base knowledge. Second, if you experience even the slightest difficulty call a lactation consultant immediately -- don't wait. And third, remember everyone is different and everyone's lives are different. You will do what is best for your baby and you in your given situation. Maybe that means breastfeeding exclusively, mixing breastfeeding and formula feeding or just using formula. Don't listen to people judging you -- that pressure will only make it harder.

What are the different options you'd recommend to a woman who is having trouble breastfeeding? 

If you're having problems breastfeeding it's so important not to suffer alone and to get help quickly. The longer you leave it, the worse these problems become and the harder it is to continue. Reading a book or going online to diagnose yourself probably isn't a good idea. There are many amazing lactation consultants, nurses and midwives out there that offer their services, but you have to be proactive about finding them as, sadly, this isn't part of routine health care in the United States. These professionals will be able to diagnose your specific problem. For example, if it's a latch issue, then they can teach you a way to get your baby to latch correctly and without pain. 

Your client, Emanuelly, was worried because of her inability to breastfeed in the past. But does an inability to breastfeed one child mean you'll have problems nursing another?
No. For many women, the breastfeeding experience can be very different with each child. I have known lactation consultants who have breastfed with ease and then have a baby that is very difficult to breastfeed. So it can really change -- for better or worse -- with each baby.

Emanuelly wanted to hire a wet nurse. That sounds like an extreme solution to the problem of being unable to breastfeed! 
Whether or not you think it's extreme really depends on your vantage point. Today, in America, it probably does seem extreme -- and difficult for most of us to get our heads around. However, they used to be incredibly common. Considering there are now other ways to get breast milk (like milk sharing) and how much we know about the importance of feeding and bonding with your baby, I'd say this is indeed an extreme alternative! I personally just can't get my head around my child being that intimately involved with someone that is not me, their mother.

Rosie Pope is a clothing designer, maternity concierge and the star of Bravo's 'Pregnant in Heels.' Read her Q&A with iVillage Parenting every Wednesday after the show. Follow her on Twitter: @RosiePope, or find her at rosiepope.com.

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