Breastfeeding is natural. But it’s not always easy. Especially in the early days, it might feel very challenging, as you and your newborn master the steps of this breastfeeding “dance”. In the beginning, a lot of the time it feels like you are both dancing to completely different music. You want to do a slow waltz and your baby is ready to do hip-hop! And let’s face it, it’s clumsy.
New moms need support and information when learning to breastfeed. Mothers who are supported have more success at meeting their breastfeeding goals. There are many places and resources you can turn to for help. Getting help early in the journey, even soon after birth, can help deal with many of the common problems and issues that arise.
Here are 10 resources for you to reach out to if you are having trouble and need help:
1. Family and friends – Members of your inner circle who have breastfeeding experience can be a wonderful support network and a source of confidence and strength in the early days.
2. IBCLCs – International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) are certified breastfeeding professionals with the highest level of knowledge and skills in breastfeeding support. They have extensive training in breastfeeding support (upto 1000 hours of supervised clinical support) and 90 lactation-specific continuing-education hours. You can find an IBCLC close to you by searching on this link: https://www.ilca.org/why-ibclc/falc
3. Other Lactation professionals – Pediatricians or OBGYNS who specialize in breastfeeding medicine, or nurse lactation consultants are health care providers with extra training in the area of breastfeeding and they are typically available in a hospital setting.
4. CLC/CBCs (Certified Lactation Counselors/Certified Breastfeeding Counselors) or CLEs (Certified Lactation Educators) – Breastfeeding counselors and educators are professionally trained to conduct classes and help women with breastfeeding challenges and offer support. Their scope of practice is not as extensive as a lactation professional however they can be a great first step to troubleshoot common breastfeeding problems like latch, attachment, and other concerns.
5. Doula – A doula is a professionally trained support person who provides physical and emotional support to the mothers in pregnancy, labor, birth and during the postpartum period. Doulas who are trained in breastfeeding support can help you learn to breastfeed and support you in the initial stages.
6. Peer Counselor – This is mother to mother support offered by an advocate for breastfeeding who is also typically a mother who has breastfed her own child(ren). In Malaysia, the Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Association (MBfPCA) (https://malaysianbfpc.org/keahlian/) trains peer counselors to offer emotional and informational support to mothers who need help and encouragement with breastfeeding.
7. La Leche League Meetings – La Leche League International (LLLI) is a worldwide support system for breastfeeding mothers. In KL, the LLL meetings happen every first Monday of the month in Ampang and are facilitated by a LLL leader. Each month, these meetings focus on a particular topic and offer an opportunity for breastfeeding mothers to ask questions and get answers and advice in a supportive environment. You can check here for latest dates on the LLL meetings
Get help early. Seek the right resource for breastfeeding help!
New Mothers need support and accurate information.– Logan Mortan
So there you go! Lots of breastfeeding resources to reach out to.
Bear in mind that each resource has different levels of immediate accessibility, reliability and efficacy. Choose one that is right for your situation.
Share this with any mother who is preparing to or currently breastfeeding.
Tell me in the comments below which ones helped the most in your breastfeeding journey or if you used some other resource, share that with me.