While our babies are made to breastfeed, and their instincts lead them to nurse, for many Mothers, it's doesn't initially feel natural. Breastfeeding is a learned behavior, and in our society, a woman's initial exposure to lactation could very well be when she's nursing her own baby! So, how do you set yourself up for success?
Are your Providers on Board?
Who is Catching Your Baby?
Choosing a prenatal healthcare provider who understands and respects the importance of breastfeeding can impact initial breastfeeding positively. Click here to learn about how you can choose prenatal providers who are breastfeeding friendly. To see a newborn nursing, visit this breastcrawl video.
Where You are Birthing?
You can learn more about Baby-Friendly birth sites that have incorporated the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding to support New Mothers in their breastfeeding endeavors.
What Do You Know about Your Baby's Care Provider?
If you have questions or concerns about your baby, you're most likely to call your Pediatrician or General Practitioner. Its important to find someone who encourages breastfeeding and understands that breastfed and formula fed babies can grow differently. The following websites can help you craft your questions when interviewing your baby's potential doctors.
- Finding the Right Fit
- Be Sure to ask Docs if they are aware of the latest research of the AAP
- Does your Doc use the WHO Growth Chart?
What's in a Name?
As a pregnant woman, you are well aware that there are many professionals in the birthing world. The flurry of credentials can make your head spin- especially when it comes to those who provide breastfeeding guidance. Here are some of the groups and monikers you may become familiar with.
La Leche League Leaders
Peer to Peer support is a proven facilitator to successful breastfeeding. La Leche League Leaders have had personal experiences in breastfeeding their own children, and have the knowledge and resources to assist Mothers. Fellow Mothers at meetings are also instrumental in empowering one another and sharing their experiences from which others can learn. To learn more about our local LLL community, please visit www.lllofnc.org
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) –These credentialed professionals have the most comprehensive knowledge and skills in breastfeeding support. IBCLCs are recognized around the world and work in a variety of settings including hospitals, doctors offices, birth centers and in private practice. To find an IBCLC, please click here.
Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Specialist or Educator (CLC, CLE, CBS, CBE)- A breastfeeding counselor can teach about the benefits of breastfeeding and can assist with basic challenges. Education can range from a one day to 90 hour+ curriculum. To learn more about my Certified Breastfeeding Specialist information, please click here.
WIC Peer Counselor-Peer counselors receive a 20-hour training and provides information on basic breastfeeding and can refer clients out to specialists.Click here to learn more.
Setting Up Realistic Expectations
A Family that understands breastfeeding together, keeps on going! Partners should attend a prenatal breastfeeding class with Mom. Expectations about support should be made clear to family and friends visiting prior to the baby's arrival. Here are some helpful sites and organizations:
- Sanity Savers for New Parents
- Got Questions? Ask a LLL Leader! 877.452.5324
- Kelly Mom for evidenced based information on breastfeeding and Parenthood
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, LLL
- Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk, West & Marasco
- Mother Multiples, Gromada
- Adventures in Tandem Nursing, Flower
- Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, Bumgarner
- Breastfeeding Your Premature Baby,Gotsch