So one of the biggest things about breastfeeding successfully is a strong support team. Breastfeeding can mean nursing, exclusively pumping, partially supplementing, or even using donor milk! You need to gather your team, and that might be your significant other, your pediatrician, your mom, or best friend, a lactation consultant, etc…
Many moms can interview pediatricians before their baby is born and it just helps them talk, ask questions, and see if their beliefs or practices are going to be compatible with the way you’d like to parent. I did this with Lily and even so, I ended up changing her pediatrician. So don’t feel like you have to stay with the first one you choose. Again, if you feel like something is not working, change it up! Also, don’t be afraid to ask your pediatrician for their recommendations about support groups that might be available.
If you feel strongly about breastfeeding, I highly suggest talking with your significant other or whoever is going to be with you the most during the first few months. This is something that is just one of those things that don’t always come up until things are happening. Good chances are they will also be one of the most important people of your support team. Let them know your concerns and your hopes, the goals, and milestones you’d like to reach. Breastfeeding is a full-time job, so you’re going to be taking care of your newborn quite a bit more. It’s almost unfair actually, (LOL) but having their extra help taking over the other things that need attending to around the house, with your pets, or simply making sure you are taken care of, will take a huge load off your shoulders! I’m very thankful Mark let me just do my thing and supported me in all of my choices.
I also want to share the absolute BEST breastfeeding support Facebook group I’ve found: Breast, Bottle, & Beyond. This a group of well-educated, well-informed, well-experienced mamas who have been through it, heard it and seen it all. I joined this group about 6 days after Lily was born and I was in my rough days as a newly breastfeeding mama. This group has been very well monitored in my experience, so you will find some breastfeeding pictures, I’ve rarely posted, but I’ve learned SO much even through just scrolling on Facebook. They also have a full library of “award” posts to celebrate milestones, videos on how-to, infographics, and so much more! Just keep in mind that this is a breastfeeding support group and while they do encourage supplementation, at the end of the day, if you’re considering formula-feeding full-time, it might only serve you until you’ve fully weaned. This group is run by a certified breastfeeding specialist named Josi Wolfenbarger, she offers local and virtual services on her website, linked here.
Another great online resource I’ve found is Kelly Mom! They have articles upon articles about ifs, ands, and how-to-breastfeed-when… What to do if you’re going in for surgery, if you’re taking medication, how to increase your supply, how to exclusively pump… Pretty much anything you can think of is on there. They also have great information about pregnancy, baby milestones, health, nutrition and so much more!
In addition to the above-mentioned resources, I’ve found a GREAT Youtuber who is actually how I found out about Breast, Bottle, & Beyond (BBB) Facebook group. Her name is Momma Alia, she vlogs and shares about her family but she’s well known for her tips and knowledge about breastfeeding and pumping. She exclusively pumped for her second child and is now pregnant with her rainbow baby, due soon – I highly recommend subscribing to her channel! Her breast pump-related video playlist is linked here, and her exclusively pumping related video playlist is linked here.
If you’re looking for more support in person, La Leche League (LLL) is a great organization that holds meetings in which you can come with your babies and ask any questions you might have, do weight checks on your little one with a trained lactation consultant, AND you get to meet the other breastfeeding mamas in your community! They also have a Facebook group you can join as well, linked here. You can come at any point in your journey; these groups extend further than just your newborn breastfeeding visits some hospitals offer after birth…
So check with your hospital! They might have classes you can take even before giving birth on breastfeeding and more often than not, they offer support group meetings similar to the LLL.
I would also highly recommend giving birth at a birthing center – they are more inclined to natural choices which include fully supporting breastfeeding! Of course, this sometimes depends on your experience and whether or not you are considered high risk. Personally, I thought about giving birth at a birthing center (we toured it and everything) but ended up giving birth at the best hospital closest to us. Though now, I wish I would’ve tried the birthing center… And that is my current goal for any more of our future babies.
One final, last, resource that I’ve recently found is Breastmilk Counts. And to my surprise, it’s something based right here in Texas. It seriously has so much good information, whether you’re from Texas or not. For example, it has a section for working moms, teamwork, the benefits of breastfeeding, your supply, and self-care for mom!
I hope you find some help in all these resources to help you succeed in breastfeeding for as long as you desire. Breastfeeding can be difficult, but there’s always someone out there to help you out! If you absolutely need someone to talk to, you are more than welcome to even message me. As I’ve said before, I’m in the process of weaning, but I do know what it’s like to be in your shoes, and I would be more than happy to help as much as I can.