You did it! You managed months of pregnancy, hours of labor, and the minutiae of being a new mom. Now you’re in this game called breastfeeding where the rules and boundaries can be pretty darn fuzzy. It’s a team effort between you and baby — maybe between you, baby, partner, other kids, job, and pets. In this game of multiple players, more moms win with breastfeeding support.
Whether you gave birth at home, in a birthing center or in the hospital, you probably began breastfeeding shortly after birth. Many health practitioners hope you will exclusively breastfeed for six months before introducing foods then continue for at least two years.
This is a big commitment on your part, and one that is most successful with outside support. According to UNICEF, “Breastfeeding is not a one-woman job. It requires government leadership and support from families, communities, workplaces and the health system to really make it work.”
And breastfeeding frequently changes its timing and rhythm, especially in the beginning. It’s like jazz — it takes learning skills, going with the flow, and melding with others to create harmony.
Breastfeeding has a learning curve for everyone involved.
In the same way that every single thing in your birth plan may not have materialized the way you imagined, breastfeeding asks you to adjust. And most moms find that consistent support sustains them during the rough patches.
Fortunately, the breastfeeding support world is at your fingertips via your phone or computer. Or it’s even closer through helpful family, friends, and local support groups.
Breastfeeding should not hurt! When it does, latch is often the problem. If you or baby is really struggling, a visit with a lactation consultant could be all you need.
Support from other mothers who have breastfed can mean so much and be the perfect bandaid on an otherwise OMG day.
Talking, laughing, and generally hanging out with other nursing mothers can cure a multitude of issues as you gather information and encouragement from others who have been where you are now.
Maybe online information and chatting is just the thing you need when you’re tired or haven’t made it into the shower for days. Check out this great list:
- Kellymom.com www.kellymom.com
- The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) www.ilca.org
- US Breastfeeding Committee www.usbreastfeeding.org
- La Leche League www.llli.org
- Baby Gooroo www.babygooroo.com
- March of Dimes www.marchofdimes.com
- Breastfeeding.com www.breastfeeding.com
- The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine http://www.bfmed.org/
- Dr. Jack Newman http://www.nbci.ca/
- Breastfeeding USA https://breastfeedingusa.org/
- Human Milk Banking Association of North America https://www.hmbana.org/
- Mom’s Club https://www.momsclub.org/index.php
- Multiples of America http://www.multiplesofamerica.org/
- Grahams Foundation http://grahamsfoundation.org/
Successful breastfeeding leans on many arms. So use every support resource you feel is right for you!
It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with exhaustion, engorgement, awkwardness, cracked nipples, healing from surgery, clogged ducts, infection/mastitis, thrush, milk supply, pain, modesty about bearing your boobs, pumping, positioning or baby’s participation.
Someone (probably a lot of someones) has been there before and their information might be just what you need to feel better and breastfeed more easily.
Reach out to your breastfeeding support team, no matter where they are! You and your baby will be happier for it.
To learn more about breastfeeding tips, download our free Birth Plan eBook now. After three years of research, collaboration with more than 100 childbirth experts and resource centers from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Best Ever Baby Birth Plan Guide is available for a free download.
This new resource for pregnant families is a compilation of top tips and advice from more than 20 nationally-recognized experts in the field including renowned pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene and GraceFull Birthing founder, midwife Elizabeth Bachner. These trusted experts offer thoughtful guidance for whatever type of birthing experience parents want, in whichever setting they choose.
Published: February 19, 2017 | By SP Turgon, Certified Labor Doula | Reviewed by: The Best Ever Baby Expert Team | Last reviewed: February, 2017