Last week was World Breastfeeding Week. For the last several years, I’ve meant to write a post full of breastfeeding resources for new moms who might be struggling with breastfeeding, and every year World Breastfeeding Week comes and goes and I don’t get my post written. Kind of like this year.
I think it’s great that we have World Breastfeeding Week. But I think it’s also important that we have access to support, factual information (in case you haven’t noticed, people get CRAAAAZY when it comes to boobies and babies, for better and for worse) and breastfeeding help year-round. There are a lot of fabulous websites and blog posts out there that can help provide a new mom with the support she needs. As a mom who struggled (a LOT) with nursing her first child, I found these online communities to be instrumental to my success with nursing two babies into toddlerhood.
But first, a quick breastfeeding story for you all.
When I was pregnant with Jack and people asked me if I was going to nurse my baby (which people will ask), I was indifferent. I didn’t see nursing as the be-all, end-all of motherhood, and to be honest, I didn’t really care one way or the other if my baby was going to be breastfed or bottle-fed. I knew that breastfeeding was a “better” choice for my baby, but I just told people, “I’m going to try and see if it works for us and go from there.”
Fast-forward to the cold December day when my water broke. I held my newborn and looked into his eyes and my maternal instincts kicked in. All of a sudden, breastfeeding became very, very important to me. So important, in fact, that I refused to feed my baby any other way despite severe latch issues and almost non-stop pain for two entire months. Without the support of my husband, a lactation consultant, and an on-line parenting forum, I probably would have quit. But I didn’t. Somehow, I made it through those two months.
One morning, as I nursed my super-needy, fussy infant, I realized that I wasn’t in pain. Miraculously, he had corrected his latch, and from that point forward, nursing was “normal” for us. That’s not to say it was always easy, and that we didn’t have our setbacks…but it was easy enough that I was so, so glad I had stuck out those tough first months.
Claire was born under very different circumstances (naturally, at a birthing center). She latched on right after she was born and nursed like a champ.
I nursed both kids until they were 19-months-old, which basically makes me a hippie in these parts (not that there’s anything wrong with being a hippie!). It’s one of the things I am proudest of…it was hard, but it was beautiful. I didn’t always like it, but I love that I did it. At the end of the day, it was the right choice for me and for my kids.
You know what, though? Breastfeeding is NOT the perfect choice or the perfect experience for everyone, and that is totally okay. I will do everything in my power to support nursing mothers, because I have been there and I know what it’s like and how hard it can be.
But if you don’t nurse your kids? Or if you only nurse them for a few months, a few weeks, a few days? I support you, too. One thing I have learned about parenting is that we are all doing the best that we can with what we’ve got. You don’t need to breastfeed to be a good mom.
But enough of my ramblings! If you are looking for breastfeeding help, I hope that one of the resources below will give you what you need.
- KellyMom (I credit this website for keeping me going in those early days!)
- La Leche League (find local support groups near you – they also have an online forum)
- Find a Lactation Consultant Near You
- Breastfeeding Laws – know your rights!
- The Leaky Boob
- Best for Babes
- Dr. Jack Newman (if you are taking prescription meds and want to know if you can still nurse, this is your guy!)
- Dr. Jay Gordon Blog
- Dr. Sears
- AAP Breastfeeding Resources
Social Media Accounts to Follow (if you’re the only one you know nursing a baby, these accounts will remind you that you’re not alone!)
- The Leaky Boob Instagram account
- Birth Without Fear Instagram account
- The Baby Guy on Facebook (not a breastfeeding account, just all kinds of baby awesomeness for everyone!)
Helpful Blog Posts from Moms Who Have Been There/Done That!
- 8 Breastfeeding Tips from New Moms from Kristen of Mommy in Sports
- Breastfeeding Advice and Favorite Products from Jill of Baby Rabies (this one’s a video)
- Timeline of a Breastfed Baby from The Alpha Parent (what to expect from your little nursling)
- 10 Myths about Breastfeeding
- How to Breastfeed in a Wrap (SO helpful for moms on-the-go)
- 10 Tips for Pumping Moms from Mama Says What?
- 10 Breastfeeding Tips for Working Moms
- 10 Things All New Moms Needs to Know by Yours Truly (this is one of my most popular posts of all-time!)
Handy Nursing Products that I Loved (affiliate links)
- My favorite night time nursing bra
- Boppy nursing pillow
- Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads (for sore boobs…they are amazing)
What were/are your favorite places to get breastfeeding help? Did I miss any fabulous resources I need to include?
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