Picture it. It’s 2am, the baby is crying, you’re a few weeks (or months) postpartum and you’re sleep deprived. You’ve tried to latch your baby on and nothing seems to be working. You search online for answers. All of a sudden, you are bombarded with pages and pages of information. And opinions. And that’s not even taking into consideration the “related searches” results. Which website do you visit first? The first one? Some of the forums? You decide on a website and start reading. You can relate to some of what’s written and you continue reading. All of a sudden you think “the first thing they mentioned seems like me, and the third, and the fourth, and the fifth… ” Before you know it, you’re worrying about tongue ties, nipple shields, low milk supply and oversupply!
Don’t get me wrong. There are some very good online resources, you just have to know where to find them. I have listed some of my favourite websites and books below. I will also tell you about some reputable professionals in your community.
So where should you turn to for help?
Dr. Jack Newman is a Canadian pediatrician and has been involved in breastfeeding research for other 30 years. His website has great videos and written resources.
The Motherisk Program is run by the Hospital for Sick Children. They are a great resource on the interactions of medications, medical therapies and substance abuse for breastfeeding and pregnant mothers. Telephone support is also available.
Best Start has many resource sheets on breastfeeding and your baby’s development.
La Leche League is a volunteer-run organization that began in 1956. Their website includes information sheets and a FAQ section. You can also find your local group online. More on that later!
Kelly Mom is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and her website has fantastic research-based articles for breastfeeding and parenting.
The Milk Meg is an IBCLC from Australia. Her often humorous blogs cover breastfeeding, weaning and attachment parenting.
If you’re looking to add to your book collection, here are some of my favourites:
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International
Sweet Sleep by La Leche League International
The Breastfeeding Book by Martha and William Sears
No matter where you are in the world, there are numerous ways to get face-to-face help. While books and online resources can be very helpful, sometimes it’s not enough. There are times where you need a professional seeing how your baby breastfeeds, how you are holding the baby, etc.
Postpartum doulas: While they are not health-care providers, many doulas are knowledgeable about breastfeeding and can guide you through some of the challenges.
Lactation professionals usually fall into three categories: lactation counselor, lactation consultant (LC or CLC) and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Although similar, the differences lie in their training and scope of practices. Stay tuned for next month’s blog post for more information on this profession!
As I mentioned previously, La Leche League is a support group for breastfeeding mothers that is run by volunteers. Most groups will meet once or twice a month and the group leaders are also available by phone, email or social media. It can be very helpful to meet like-minded mothers in a breastfeeding friendly environment.
Finding reliable, research-based information in 2019 can be a chore. Stick with the resources that I have mentioned and if you still have questions, I am only a phone call or email away! Take a deep breath mama – you are doing great! Just be careful what you Google…