Surround yourself with these resources to successfully start and sustain breastfeeding
Since this is World Breastfeeding Week what better time to help you, amazing moms and mothers-to-be out there, start and sustain breastfeeding your infants for as long as possible?
Right now, people all over the globe, even teens who aren’t contemplating starting families for years to come, are celebrating and advocating for one the most amazing and natural health behaviors for moms and babes: breastfeeding.
As a nation, we need to do more to join in those celebrations. Right now, 3 out of 4 new American moms nurse their baby post-birth, but did you know that within 6 months that drops to only 1 in 7 moms still nursing?
Breastfeeding is Best for You & Baby
Breastfeeding is the healthiest thing you can do for your postpartum body, including reducing your breast and ovarian cancer risks, and your baby, particularly when it comes to protecting your newborn from infections and illnesses.
New rules just published this week under the Affordable Care Act that roll into effect from 2012 on if you have health insurance will help you get a breast pump from your healthcare provider or hospital without a copay or deductible. This is an essential tool to help you extend breastfeeding as well as manage your milk supply, including pumping extra milk for storage or pumping to boost milk production.
As a mom who is currently nursing baby boy #3, I know that you may encounter problems with nursing, especially with your first child, when everything is so new! Maybe you think your baby isn’t getting enough milk or maybe breastfeeding has been painful at times. Know that these new rules cover your access to care and counseling without a copay or deductible.
Get support for success
If you’re pregnant or nursing a baby now, know that unless you have a serious medical complication you can start and sustain breastfeeding for as long as possible. Use these tips and resources and let us know what you’re doing to keep breastfeeding going strong:
Tell you healthcare provider you plan to breastfeed:
Read up on breastfeeding and find support groups and lactation consultants in your area prior to birth
Tell your family you plan to breastfeed:
Share how you’re doing the best for yourself and your new babe and ask them to help by bottle feeding breastmilk to the baby after your nursing is well established
Start nursing right after baby is born:
Even if you’re undergoing cesarean, ask your healthcare team how they will support you getting baby to breast as quickly as possible, ideally within the first hour of life
There’s nothing more comforting for a baby than to be nestled skin-to-skin against her mother, especially while feeding. Use these times to bond and increase your attachment together
Get help fast:
Every road has its bumps
if your nipples get sore, questions about your milk supply or if you’re struggling to pump your milk, call your healthcare provider, a lactation consultant or talk to the other mothers at a lactation support group. The faster you get the help you need, the longer you’re likely to continue nursing
Use these community resources for education and support:
Your Guide to Breastfeeding:
a free booklet in English, Spanish or Chinese from the Office of Women’s Health; call 800-994-9662 or go to http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/breastfeeding-guide/
National Breastfeeding Hotline:
800-994-9662; experts will answer your questions in English or Spanish
Connect with other local moms:
through Le Leche League at http://www.llli.org/
or Lamaze International at http://www.lamaze.org/