Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Breastfeeding Resources

The journey through breastfeeding is as individualistic as the advocates themselves. Sometimes it's a struggle, and others it's nothing short of sheer bliss. My own journey started out as a bit of a struggle. Before I had Tray I did lots of research and talked with friends who had been through and were currently experiencing their breastfeeding journey. I was prepared in terms of education but when it came to application I struggled those first few weeks at home; about the first 6 weeks actually. Tray was an attentive, eager and willing eater; he could not have been more textbook in terms of intervals feeding, sleep-wake cycles for eating, the amount he consumed etc. Where we struggled at first was obtaining  proper latch. He was SO excited about eating he would squirm and nuzzle his little head around when it was right in front of him and then pop on and off to the point where my nipples hurt. bad. and cracked. Then he wanted nothing to do with my left breast, only the right one. After trying things in the books, I finally got smart and called the breastfeeding support group at our hospital for advice. They were wonderful in answering questions and directed me to the La Leche League website for resources. By the end of 6 weeks breastfeeding had turned a complete 180 and entered that state of sheer bliss I was talking about above! I could have easily given up and switched to formula feeding but I was determined to breastfeed my son and with a little help, we found our sync together. It isn't the easiest thing in the world to adjust to, sometimes it hurts, sometimes (ok a lot of times) it can be frustrating but the two important things to keep in mind are: 1. By breastfeeding you are providing the best nourishment for your baby/child and 2. There are TONS of resources out there to help you through the pitfalls and avoid the traps that formula companies capitalize on.

Education and knowledge are powerful. Here are some of my favorite resources for breastfeeding:
  • La Leche League International - a great place to get all kinds of questions answered 
  • Best for Babes - a great resource and place to learn about misinformation and the "Booby Traps" associated with breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding  - another place with lots of good information
  • Kellymom.com -  well respected breastfeeding information site (some old links and a little outdated info but great nonetheless)
  • Infant Risk Center - for what medications are safe to take during breastfeeding and pregnancy
  • Shari Criso and My Baby Experts - Shari Criso is an international board certified lactation consultant, who has produced an amazing DVD and CD for breastfeeding mothers
  • Nurtured Child - Fleur Bickford is another international board certified lactation consultant and her blog is full of helpful information  
  • Check out your community and hospitals for breastfeeding support groups
Good luck on your journey and hats off to you mamas for your hard work and dedication!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading!