Breastfeeding: Getting the Support You Need
Nursing not coming naturally? You're not alone. Here's how to get support and answers to your breastfeeding questions.
What to Expect From a Lactation Consultant continued...
"I strongly believe that a new mom should stay at home with her baby and that help should come to her, so I do home visits," Mason tells WebMD. "I come when the baby is awake and I can make a good assessment and observe the baby nursing. I stay for about one and a half hours. During this time, I gather information from Mom, observe the baby nursing and latching on, and then provide Mom with a plan of action to address her breastfeeding questions and concerns."
It helps to get the names of a few lactation consultants before your baby arrives, whether you end up using them or not, so you won't have to scramble right after the birth. Your physician, pediatrician, hospital, or midwife should be able to refer you to a lactation consultant, and many hospitals now offer lactation consultant services.
You can also find the names of lactation consultants in your area at the International Lactation Consultant Association web site, which features an international directory.
La Leche League: Community Support for Breastfeeding Mothers
For 40 years, this international organization has been providing education and community support for breastfeeding mothers. La Leche League International (LLLI) operates through local meetings, where women can ask questions and share information.
LLLI's book, The Womanly Art of Breast-feeding, now in its seventh edition, is a nursing classic. Weir says she referred to the book repeatedly in the days after she came home from the hospital with her son, Luca, and it helped her resolve several nursing issues.
To find out more about La Leche League or to find a local chapter in your area or country, check out its web site.
Phone Help for Breastfeeding Problems
It may not be very personal, but calling a breastfeeding hotline is fast and convenient. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services operates the free National Breastfeeding Helpline, which is staffed by peer counselors trained by La Leche League who can answer your basic breastfeeding questions. To reach the helpline, call1-800-994-9662.