The basics of
breastfeeding have been covered in so many other great websites,
I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here. But I will make things
a little easier for you by summarizing some of the best ones for
But first: read here for more
and why, if you have any doubt about whether breastfeeding is
going OK for you or your baby, you should call one
Just added, my essay called "Just
like Riding a Bike: If breastfeeding is supposed to be
natural, why are so many moms having trouble?" - a little social
perspective on why something so natural can sometimes be so
hard. And why it's OK to ask for help.
Links to more Breastfeeding Information
Kellymom.com is the high queen
of breastfeeding sites. This site has everything, and all of
it is good. I don't know where Kelly finds the time (yes,
there is a Kelly), but she has collected all of the best
information in one place, and keeps everything amazingly up
Dr. Jack Newman is a
pediatrician who has put together a fantastic collection of
handouts". These are informative,
easy-to-read, and come in a downloadable pdf format if you
want to print them out.
Linda Smith, IBCLC (also known
as "Coach Smith") has put together a collection of
articles that I really like.
Her articles are a little more specialized than Dr.
Newman's, and she has some nice information about pumps and
pumping, in addition to great info for moms just starting
Diane Wiessinger, IBCLC, has
put together a nice collection of
articles about breastfeeding.
Diane has a no-nonsense manner, and a great way of
explaining why breastfeeding is so important. She has
also written a very powerful
essay on language, and why we need to start talking
about the risks of formula instead of the benefits of
U.S. Government actually has a
really nice website about breastfeeding. It has links to a
lot of the breastfeeding policy statements (for example,
from the American Academy of Pediatrics), as well as
breastfeeding basics that you
can print out (that link goes right to the pdf document). If
you are unable to print this document, you can order one for
free by calling 1-800-994-9662.
I received an email from the web
manager of this site stating, "We also provide breastfeeding
peer counseling through the 1-800 number (800-994-9662), in
English and Spanish. The call center reps are trained in
peer counseling by LLL and a certified LC." - Thanks for the
No list of breastfeeding information
would be complete without mention of
La Leche League. While LLL is not always the
first name to come up with people are talking about working
mothers, LLL has compiled quite a bit of useful information
for working moms, in addition to their vast storehouse of
breastfeeding articles. They have information about your
legal right to breastfeed, as well as a
special section for
working mothers. The LLL
website also provides
resources for finding a leader or group in your
area. If you cannot find one through the website resources
(and are in the US) call 1-800-LALECHE or (847) 519-7730.
The second number has an automated "find a leader" feature
based on your zip code.
One Bottle Won't Hurt - Will it? A very informative
essay by Marsha Walker about the risks of even a few bottles
in the early postpartum period. A nice motivation to stick
with it if you're having troubles...
What is a Lactation Consultant?
This is what I wrote for a public
health booklet - so excuse the formal language:
A Lactation Consultant is a registered health professional
trained to help breastfeeding mothers. She has had hours of
courses specifically dealing with breastfeeding, and hundreds of
hours of practical experience helping mothers and babies. If you
have breastfeeding questions after your baby is born, you can
ask your doctor to refer you to a Lactation Consultant. Often
these visits are covered by your health insurance. A Lactation
Consultant who has finished her training and passed the
certification exam uses the letters “IBCLC” (International Board
Certified Lactation Consultant) after her name. There is no
other nationally recognized lactation certification, although
several regional organizations offer the certifications of CLC
or CLE (Certified Lactation Counselor or Certified Lactation
Now my casual voice: Your pediatrician
or nurse may claim to know a lot about breastfeeding, and maybe
they do. But a Lactation Consultant is the ONLY health
professional specifically trained in breastfeeding management.
If you have ANY troubles when you are starting out that do not
resolve within days, call a Lactation Consultant. Now,
like any health profession, some are good, and some just don't
click with every mom. So - what do you do? Ask for names of
others - tell her your personalities don't mesh well. If you
need help finding a Lactation Consultant, official registries
can be found in a couple of places - kellymom has a
directory, as does the IBCLC examining organization,
IBLCE and the professional organization,
ILCA. You can also call
local midwifes or doulas to ask for lactation referrals. If
you're lucky, your local hospital has a Lactation Consultant on
staff, who may know of others in private practice.
The difference between breastfeeding
success and frustration can be as simple as a little help. Don't
delay. Make the call.