My life is pretty consumed by taking care of a newborn baby right now. And, despite the success I had nursing my other children, this baby is not taking easily to breastfeeding. The last two weeks have been hard, people.
I went to a breastfeeding support group last week that was a game changer for me. Not only did I get loving support from like-minded mothers, an incredible nurse pointed us in the right direction to get additional help.
I am grateful I was able to get the support I needed so quickly. However, I know that not everyone knows where to turn for help. To make it even harder, if you need breastfeeding help, you are also probably sleep-deprived, emotional, and recovering yourself.
So, in honor of Worldwide Breastfeeding Week, I wanted to do something for all you moms that are worried and scared and too sleep-deprived to think. I’ve put together this list of places to look for help when breastfeeding is hard: because it IS hard, but is IS worthwhile. Please, please, pay attention to your instincts, and get the help you need for you and your baby.
Where To Get Help When Breastfeeding Is Hard
Call your OB/GYN and Pediatrician.
Your doctors want you to succeed with breastfeeding! They likely know the resources available in your area, especially if if there are private entities that offer counseling and support. Check with them, and see who they recommend. Remember, they cant help you if they don’t know what’s going on.
Check with the hospital where you delivered.
Many hospitals offer a breast feeding support group in conjunction with their childbirth classes. these are often administered by nurses, lactation consultants or breastfeeding educators. All these people can offer hands-on support to teach you what you need to know. I really appreciate the camraderie and love that I saw in the breastfeeding support group I attended, and I hope there are similar groups in other regions.
Run a Facebook search for your city name and “breastfeeding.”
Most cities have at least one Facebook group catering to breastfeeding and pumping support. I honestly think this is one of the quickest ways to get advice, because people are so available on social media. I was able to post a question to the group and get several responses within minutes. There is no one “right way” to breastfeed, and so be aware that you will get varied responses. For the most part though, having a wide variety of answers and ideas will help you make an informed decision about what is right for you. The mother-to-mother support is powerful!
Run an Internet search for “breastfeeding support” and your city name.
This is another great way to see what resources are available in your city or area. There are many weekly and monthly support groups, as well as private services local to your area. There should also be public assistance available through WIC ( Women, Infants, and Children)
Check your insurance for support and to get a breast pump.
Most insurance companies provide breastfeeding support and counseling per the rules of the Affordable Care Act. Different insurances offer these benefits in different ways, but they likely will pay the cost of a lactation consultation. If you need personalized advice or help, defiantly check with your insurance first about connecting you with a lactation consultant.
Also, most insurances have some program in place for getting you a breast pump. If you are planning on returning to work, this is an absolute necessity. Even if you’re not planning on pumping long term, a good pump can help you maintain and adequate milk supply through the ups and downs of nursing. Once again, different insurances offer this benefit in different ways: some allow you to purchase a pump and bill it to your insurance, while others will cover the cost of renting a pump for the time you need it.
Call your mom/sister/aunt/friend for help.
Generations of mothers have breastfed. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy, it just means that they’ve been in your shoes. Don’t try to do this alone! Be honest about how hard it is when people ask. Call someone who loves you and let them share the burden; people want to help you, but they can’t if they don’t know what’s going on.
Ladies, I know breastfeeding is hard. I’m dealing with it right now. But I really and truly hope you are able to get the help you need, when you need it. Feel free to email me if you need another listening ear!