Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed your baby. Yes, it is natural. But it is not always easy. Our culture has not allowed girls to witness this act and learn from other moms. Often new moms have never seen another woman breastfeed before undertaking it herself. So, we are faced with a bit of a learning curve. And we are surrounded by the prevailing messages like, “I tried but I couldn’t make enough milk” and “I gave up because it hurt too badly!” Thus, we expect to fail. Here are some links and books that I found helpful:
Kellymom : an easy-to-navigate-at-3am site with more information than you could ever need. The site includes information on normal breastfeeding patterns, milk supply, common problems, not-so-common problems, adoptive nursing, and much more.
Ameda: I love the latch video available at this site. Please watch it if you are not certain about proper latch!
Dr. Jack Newman: Includes videos to introduce you to proper and improper latch. I linked straight to the videos but scrounge around the site–there is much more to be found.
La Leche League: the supreme breastfeeding support group. Find the one closest to you and join. You can attend LLL meetings even before having your baby. The website includes articles and information.
BFAR (Breast Feeding after Reduction): This site was created for women who have had breast surgeries but it offers a wealth of information on milk supply issues.
In the Flesh Help
Call your doula
Find a lactation consultant–a hospital or pediatrician’s office is often a good place to start. Still, beware–not all LCs are equal.
Call your local La Leche League leader
So That’s What They’re Forby Janet Tamaro
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman
Advocacy and More
SC Breastfeeding Action Committee: A great place to stay informed about state initiatives and to find a copy of SC law regarding nursing in public (it is legal, by the way).
Breastfeeding in the News: Find out the latest studies and controversies.
Hathor the Cow Goddess: The Superhero (and writer of comics) who makes milk.
ProMom: An advocacy site that includes the amazing 101 reasons to breastfeed list.
Julie’s Two Cents: Remember that breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. Because of this fundamental aspect, it is important to avoid schedule feedings ala Babywise. If returning to work, make sure you have a great pump and consider co-sleeping to keep up with growth spurts. And if you must supplement, use a cup, syringe, SNS, or finger-feeder instead of a bottle with a newborn to avoid nipple confusion. Believe me, nipple confusion–not fun.