Breastfeeding Community is Essential July 27, 2017 12:56

I always wanted to breastfeed. In my mind there was never any question; it’s a natural, healthy connection I wanted with my baby. I had no idea it was going to be so difficult.

We started lactation coaching sessions at the Pump Station in Los Angeles where I learned how to make sure my daughter was latching correctly and different options for breastfeeding positions. It all seemed pretty technical, but it worked and my milk started to come back. They also recommend that I breastfeed and pump at the same time to increase production. It was like a breastfeeding marathon. After a few weeks production began to increase enough and I was able to breastfeed alone.

It was also rewarding to participate in breastfeeding group sessions where I met other moms. We shared our experiences and challenges. It was an amazing and supportive group.

Now I believe that lactation support is essential for the breastfeeding success of a new mom.  Family members, friends, lactation consultants, doulas, midwifes, hospitals and other supporting organizations all make a difference in the breastfeeding experience.

A few years ago, my sister also experienced difficulty breastfeeding with her first baby. Like me she initially did not think that a lactation consultation was necessary. She began to have pain while breastfeeding and developed a blocked duct. I told her about my experience and encouraged her to get help. She was able to find an amazing lactation consultant who guided her through her challenges and she successfully breastfed her baby exclusively for more than a year.

These are my tips to make have a successful breastfeeding experience:

  1. Create a breastfeeding supporting community through family, friends, doulas, doctors, midwifes or lactation consultants.
  2. Select a doctor and hospital that support breastfeeding.
  3. Participate in breastfeeding sessions before you baby is born.
  4. Get a breast pump, breastfeeding essentials and bottles before having your baby arrives
  5. Include your breastfeeding desires in your birth plan.
  6. Ask for breastfeeding support at the hospital.
  7. Visit a lactation consultant the first days or few weeks after you have your baby.
  8. Join breastfeeding groups.

Since the breastfeeding support is very important for new moms, we are launching a breastfeeding support site. Initially it will include our suggested lactation consultants and hospital. In the future, we are planning to expand to doulas and midwifes.

Lots of love,