Many expectant moms anticipate nursing their new baby for the very first time. For months, these first-time moms have carefully decorated the nursery, picked out the perfect rocking chair and assumed, in many cases, that breastfeeding should come naturally. After all, every mommy blog they have read over the last nine months has reaffirmed just how vital and “natural” breastfeeding is for the overall health of their child.

Then … reality. Mothers realize that breastfeeding is hard, and babies have a mind of their own. And breastfeeding can present myriad challenges, like an inability to latch on, sore nipples, low milk supply, plugged ducts, breast infections and depression.

Mary Showalter, lactation consultant at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, has helped new moms for nearly 30 years overcome the challenges of breastfeeding. She recently shared some advice for new moms that might be struggling.