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‘Girls’ finale gets real: Breastfeeding can be hard

Posted on Apr. 20, 2017 ( comments)
News image: Girls finale gets real: Breastfeeding can be hard
Photo: HBO

Sunday’s final episode of “Girls,” the HBO drama chronicling the adventures of four friends in their 20s, concluded with main character Hannah (Lena Dunham) facing the challenges of breastfeeding her baby boy.

For long-time fans of the show, this narrative might have felt light-years away from the show’s rambunctious beginnings. But for many moms, the storyline of a new mother struggling with a baby who won’t latch, breasts that are engorged and friends with opinions about formula, the episode aptly titled “Latching” hit close to home.

Sarah Newport, BSN, RNC-NIC, IBCLC, says Hannah is not along in her struggle. Breastfeeding can be challenging for many.

“Just because breastfeeding is ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it’s automatic,” Newport says. “It takes practice and even if you’ve breastfed before, each baby breastfeeds differently.”

What’s more, Newport says, breastfeeding is a unique experience for every mother and baby. Breastfeeding variables can also change from day to day. Your baby may decide they don't like being cradled while feeding after all, or that they only want to lie on their right side. 

“It takes time for mom and baby to learn what each other needs to be successful.”

Even with the challenges, breastfeeding can be a worthwhile endeavor for mom and baby.

“Just like going for that run or heading out to the gym, breastfeeding is an investment in the mother’s long-term health with the added benefit of health for baby,” Newport says.

Spoiler alert: At the end of the episode of “Girls,” Hannah’s baby latches. For moms facing breastfeeding challenges in real life, there’s help from MultiCare lactation specialists to help families find success.

“The good news is families don’t have to figure it all out on their own,” Newport says. “That’s what we’re here for. We’ve got all sorts of tricks and tips to help families reach their breastfeeding goals.”

In addition to tips and tricks, MultiCare offers breastfeeding support services, classes and supplies to help new moms navigate breastfeeding. Learn more about our lactation services.

The MultiCare WIC Breastfeeding Helpline is available for breastfeeding questions, 253-848-0826. Trained staff members, including Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), are also available at individual clinics for new mothers and infants to receive advice and assistance.

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