Optimize Your Breastfeeding Experience
Support is one of the most important ingredients in any breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding can be difficult emotionally and physically. So how do you get through it? By having an amazing support system all set up and ready for you. In other words, by building your village.
1. Support Groups
One of our favorite suggestions is to go to a breastfeeding support group in your area, prenatally. Why? So that you can ask questions and actually see moms breastfeeding. This will also give you the opportunity to connect with other parents and breastfeeding professionals so that you are familiar with them and can call upon them later on. Sometimes we just need reassurance or a good hug, and having these people available can make all the difference.
2. The Value of Doulas
We’re talking about doulas! There are several different types of doulas: labor doulas, postpartum doulas, sibling doulas, and the list goes on. Most of them offer a free first meeting to see if they are the right fit for you. Their job is literally to support and empower you to have the birth and postpartum experience that you desire. A well trained doula will also be able to help you recognize when a full assessment from an IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) might be needed as well.
3. Medical Professionals
Do your research and find the medical professional that will best support your birth wishes, but also your postpartum and breastfeeding wishes. Things to look for or ask: Do they have an IBCLC in office or do they have one they regularly refer to? Do they accept free formula samples? Do they have a good standing with other breastfeeding families in the community?
4. Mental Health Professionals
Sometimes breastfeeding is difficult or there are some obstacles to get through. This can bring up a lot of emotions. Maybe the birth process didn’t go as desired. Postnatal depression and anxiety is much more common than most people realize with 1 in 5 childbearing women being affected*. Finding a mental health specialist that’s trained in treating perinatal mood disorders can be an invaluable asset to many breastfeeding journeys.
5. Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
Last but certainly not least will be the support and clinical skills of your IBCLC. Finding your IBCLC prenatally is highly recommended. They can assess for risk factors and provide strategies and evidence based information to help cope with these risks. They can arrange to be there soon after birth to help with breastfeeding and, if things don’t start easily, they’re already a part of your village — people who know your medical history and can get everything back on track so you can simply enjoy your baby.
Best, Sarah., LMSW. (2015, September 17). How to Help Women With Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-s-mental-health-matters/201509/how-help-women-perinatal-mood-and-anxiety-disorders
BY AUTUMN WAKE, RN, BSN, IBCLC &
LAURA COOPER, BA, IBCLC
OF ADVANCED BREASTFEEDING
SUPPORT OF LAS VEGAS
ADVANCED BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT OF LAS VEGAS