So apparently it is World BreastFeeding Week (August 1-7). I guess every cause has it’s day of celebration. I thought I would take this opportunity to share some valuable resources about breastfeeding. Feeding your child yourself is not all skittles and rainbows at first, especially if you have any complications with birth or baby’s suckling ability. However, with support and one on one help from those who know how to see you through those bleery-eyed first weeks, the rewards of breasting for you and for your baby are endless.
Before breastfeeding became taboo and formula fed babies were a sign of parental wealth, breastfeeding was an art taught from mother to daughter, from woman to woman. This is the way it remains in many poor countries, but in the quick-fix new world, patience and persistence are seldom applied to providing food for the tiniest among us. Breast is really best, especially when you know what is actually in formula. Nursing fosters a deep bond between mother and baby, providing him with everything he needs nutritionally; nothing more, nothing less. But it isn’t a walk in the park trying to nurse for the first time, especially since women are not told what to expect or how to solve problems of discomfort, low milk supply, imbalanced supply, etc. These are easily fixed when help is asked for and support is provided by those around mother and baby.
LaLeche Legue International is the most obvious first start. From their website you can find local chapters of LLL members who meet regularly to offer support, answer questions and provide information to nursing mothers or pregnant moms who want to find a support group before baby arrives. There is also a wealth of information on the website like how to position baby when nursing.
KellyMom.com is another online resource that is an evidence based source for breastfeeding information. I love their page about the proper latch position (which can solve or prevent a whole host of problems).
LowMilkSupply.com is a great source for new mothers who need help increasing milk production.
A great book to buy if you plan on nursing or are nursing is published by LaLeche Legue called The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. This is really your breast friend when it comes to understanding why breast is best and how to make it work for you and baby.
Find a local lactation consultant to visit you in your home. You can ask about lactation consultants in your area through your LLL chapter or by searching online. My child was tongue tied so my issues were vast. I was so close to quitting the first week because of so many difficulties, but all of it was solved by simply being shown the proper latch position by a lactation consultant (aim for the roof of baby’s mouth, not the back of his throat) – what a difference! Finding an expert to help you one on one in the comfort of your home can be the most valuable thing. Be sure to get someone who is accredited by theIBCLC. If you are in the Phoenix area, Debbie G is amazing.