9 reasons you need breastfeeding support!
You are pregnant with your first baby! Congrats!
Or maybe you’re pregnant again and are determined to breastfeed! For many reasons, breastfeeding didn’t get off to a good start with your first baby and you’re ready to try again. You want to be prepared for all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly…ALL OF IT! That is where breastfeeding support can come in!
You see, we are “just expected” to breastfeed. We are basically under the impression that it comes naturally and easy. It’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be enjoyable. Blah blah blah!
Let me be clear up front… YOU CAN have all of that! But there is also a chance that you may encounter some struggles along the way.
How do you tackle those? With breastfeeding support!
When I had my first daughter, my husband and I took Bradley Birthing Classes. There was a small breastfeeding component in the class. But I don’t remember much of it and I sure as hell didn’t remember that information when our first baby was born.
All I knew was that it hurt. My nipples were cracked and bleeding BEFORE we even left the hospital. I cried almost every time I had to feed, which is frequent when you have a newborn. It was awful! And I didn’t really understand WHY!
And I had zero idea where to turn, who to call, what to google…
I called our doula, who immediately referred us to an IBCLC. What’s that?
International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant! An IBCLC is an expert in breastfeeding assessment and is typically referred to as the gold-standard for breastfeeding support.
I called her immediately. Told her our story. She had a lot of tips for me until she could get out to see us (about 2 days or so). Thanks to her, not only did she help save our breastfeeding relationship, she is who inspired me to become a lactation consultant myself! Her support literally meant the world to us. And I needed to pay it forward.
Fast-forward 5 years, 2 kids and 4.5 years of breastfeeding, I am pursuing my IBCLC. I won’t bore you with all of those details (although, DM me if you’re interested because I’d totally chat with you ). I digress! LOL
Let’s chat Why Breastfeeding Support though…Why not just figure it out on your own and ask google?!
Well, lots of reasons, in my opinion! And not just because I am pursing my lactation consultant certification. These are based on my nursing background as well as my own personal experience with lactation support!
- You get tailored support to exactly what is going on in your situation! Every baby and every mom is different. Which means each situation is also different
- You know you want to breastfeed! You owe it to yourself and your baby to try every avenue of support to give it a whirl. And if it still doesn’t work after that, you tried!
- Just like you need support while you’re pregnant and when you deliver your baby, you need support from an expert when you’re breastfeeding. Let’s face it…our world today has sensationalized breastfeeding like it’s some perfect thing in nature. HAHAHAHA It is truly amazing but not always perfect!
- MYTHS! There are so many old wives tales and B.S. floating around on social media, you could actually make the problem worse by taking advice from social media versus an expert! Ugh…these really get under my skin
- You feel like “you can’t do it” … You went into your pregnancy knowing you wanted to breastfeed. Determined! You’ve had your baby and now you’re having some struggles and don’t know exactly where to turn.
- It is possible that with a couple of minor adjustments, you could have the breastfeeding journey that you envisioned. This is where a lactation consultant comes in and can tailor support for you and your baby!
- You have had struggles with a previous child breastfeeding and didn’t have support. This time around, you are determined to get off on the best start that you can. You know that having great breastfeeding support can make a world of difference.
- Someone told you their breastfeeding nightmare! I LOL at this one…because we all like to share our “horror” stories versus our amazing, empowering experiences. I have the “horror” story to share but when I do share it, I make sure to let the person know that I got support when I needed it. I didn’t know what I didn’t know with my first child!
- On the flip side, someone shared their experience with breastfeeding support! This is amazing and I’m so thankful someone shared their great experience with you. And if it was a bad experience they shared with you, well, now you know who to avoid. Most lactation consultants are in it to truly help and empower moms to breastfeed.
I could go on and on with reasons why you should seek breastfeeding support! I hope these help you understand the importance of getting support and getting support early!
When you do get lactation support, it can be in many different settings. Due to the pandemic, it’s relatively easy to find a virtual lactation consultant now. Most things can still be done with a virtual consult plus it can be done in the comfort of your home with your items and less germs!
In-person consults can include things like before and after weights of a feeding and a more thorough assessment of your baby’s mouth. These can be done in an office or at your home, it just depends on what your consultant offers.
Support groups are a great way to connect with other moms who may be in a similar situation you are in with the guidance of lactation support. In my opinion, this is much better than seeking support in a social media group because these conversations can be moderated by a lactation consultant who can provide you with the most accurate and up to date information versus what their mom’s grandma’s cousin’s sister used years ago that is outdated and potentially unsafe.
If you do choose to get “advice” from a social media group, PLEASE run it by your doctor or lactation consultant before you choose to use that advice. I could go on a #rant about this topic but I digress…for now
Breastfeeding isn’t a “one-size fits all” kind of thing. Every baby is so very special and unique, as is each woman’s health and breast history.
I want to encourage you to seek breastfeeding support before you start struggling. I am offering a FREE 15-minute breastfeeding support session to help you get started or to answer your questions and concerns and get to know each other. If you feel you need more time, I offer longer sessions that you can also find in my scheduling link.
And if you are wondering what you REALLY need to start your breastfeeding journey (other than breastfeeding support), I created a free resource with the tips and products that can help you get started off well.
Whether it’s with me or someone else you know, I truly encourage you to seek breastfeeding support during pregnancy. Build that relationship, get the basics so that if you start having issues and struggles, support will be a phone call or session away!
You are an amazing woman, and your body is truly wonderfully made to provide nutrition for you baby!