Typically when a woman experiences difficulty with breastfeeding she's told to keep working at it because she's probably just doing it wrong. After all, it's what her body is meant to do. But our bodies are meant to do a lot of things—like produce insulin, eat peanuts, or get pregnant—that they sometimes can't. Why do doctors, nurses, and lactation consultants believe so whole-heartedly in the infallibility of breastfeeding?
While it's great that breastfeeding has shaken the stigma attached to it for most of the 20th century—before its health benefits were recognized and the practice was considered to be something for women who couldn't afford formula or condensed milk—the pendulum has seemingly swung in the opposite direction. With public policy being created to restrict new mothers' access to formula, the pressure to breastfeed is very real and very prominent. The intention is to encourage a "breast is best" mentality. But the result is that women who are unable to breastfeed, due to extreme pain or the inability to produce enough milk, feel like failures who aren't able to provide "the best" for their newborns.