Breastfeeding is natural. It is what breasts are for, obviously. But breastfeeding does not necessarily come naturally. Breastfeeding is a learned skill that can easily be passed on woman to woman from the experienced mother to the new mother.
So, the question for a new mother becomes, how do I find that group of experienced women to share her breastfeeding experience and answer my questions.
Before my first child was born, I took a breastfeeding class with other parents-to-be. The simple techniques I learned got me through the first few days of breastfeeding with great confidence, then I had more questions and continued to have questions through the years I breastfed.
What I really wanted was ongoing support not from doctors with recommendations and policies but from other women. It really helped me to have a mother-to-mother support group.
The need for support doesn’t go away in a few months. When I was pregnant with my second child three years after my first was born, I was told by many so-called experts that I would have to stop breastfeeding my toddler for the safety of my baby. I doubted this, so I asked and asked until I found a mother experienced in tandem nursing. She told me how she had made this work, and I successfully tandem nursed for the next couple of years until my oldest weaned.
Having an experienced breastfeeding mother share what she knows is invaluable in helping a new mother and even an experienced mother facing a new situation to learn techniques and confidence. Seek out a local group of mothers to be sure that you have the support you need when you need it.
Local Breastfeeding Support Resources
- Ask your doula, midwife, or other birth care provider what local resources are available for breastfeeding support. This is a great way to find out about very local resources that aren’t attached to international organizations or large institutions.
- Ask at a local birth center. Many birth centers hold classes for pregnant women and support groups for new mothers.
- Ask other breastfeeding mothers where they find support.
- Contact La Leche League International. They provide lists of local meetings in Canada, in the U.S., and internationally.
When mothering is new to you, it helps to have experienced mothers to answer your questions. In time, you will be that mother sharing your experience with a new mother who needs a
Last week I mentioned an attempt by Nestle to woo bloggers. Last week was a Nestle-free week for many breastfeeding advocates. You can read several articles about Nestle at the PhD in Mothering blog. For over 30 years international breastfeeding advocates have boycotted Nestle for marketing breastmilk substitutes in less developed countries, contributing to poor infant health. Defending breastfeeding against the unethical marketing of infant formula playing against the spirit if not the letter of the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes.
As of now, we have renewed our efforts to cover breastfeeding topics at Eco Baby Steps.