"What's most important is forming a secure attachment with your child," she tells WebMD. "If you start feeling guilty, that makes you depressed. It takes away from the energy you have to connect in a positive, meaningful way with your child. That's what is most important. We know that children who develop secure, meaningful attachments with their caregivers are the children at lower risk for other problems later on."
A sense of loss, disappointment, a period of grieving if breastfeeding must stop -- "that's normal," says Kaslow. "But it needs to be kept in some perspective. They need to try to move through that process and connect with the baby."
To relieve some of the pressure mothers feel, says McCoy, it sometimes helps for the spouse, or the baby's grandmother, to meet with the pediatrician. "We involve them in the education process, let them know why it's not a good idea for her to continue trying to breastfeed."