August 21, 2019
True Breastfeeding Support – What Does It Look Like?
By: Cara Terreri | 0 Comments
Note: This post is part of a sponsorship between The Boppy Company, LLC and Lamaze International.
A positive breastfeeding experience requires good support. But what exactly does that mean and what does it look like? A breastfeeding book and class are good places to start, but true support is so much more. It can impact how long you breastfeed and whether you merely “survive” the experience or enjoy it.
To better understand good breastfeeding support, read through the following specific examples. Your details may vary, of course, but these guidelines will help you understand what's needed for optimal breastfeeding support. When possible, set yourself up with as many good breastfeeding support systems as possible before your baby is born.
Examples of Good Breastfeeding Support
- Your partner/spouse has learned evidence-based information about breastfeeding (what to expect, what’s normal) before you begin.
- You understand that babies nurse frequently, including through the night.
- You have the name and number of two professional breastfeeding support persons (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners or IBCLC).
- You know who to call or text when you need support from friends or family who understand breastfeeding.
- A lactation consultant visits you and your baby before you leave the hospital. You get her number.
- Your pediatrician “gets” breastfeeding and does everything possible to support it, including using breastfeeding-specific growth charts, knowing how to troubleshoot basic problems, and when to refer out to a professional.
- No one offers/suggests a bottle or pacifier before breastfeeding is well established.
- You are encouraged, complimented, and treated kindly by those around you for your breastfeeding efforts.
- You have a comfortable spot in your home to breastfeed.
- You have easy access to water, snacks, and nutritious food throughout the day.
- You have literal support for your tired arms and back with a nursing pillow like the Boppy® Feeding and Infant Support Pillow.
- You take naps.
- Visitors stop by – with your permission – and bring food and gifts, then leave quickly so you can continue learning to nurse or nap.
- Helpers come to hold/watch the baby… so you can nap.
- You are encouraged and given space to spend time skin- to- skin with your baby.
- You have ample time to focus on your baby, feeding, and your own well being.
- You know how to support yourself when it’s needed and reach out to a professional if you’re experiencing pain, frequent discomfort, or mental health issues.
Of course, no breastfeeding experience is perfect. It’s not likely that you’ll hit all of these examples -- and that’s ok. The examples help you understand what authentic support looks like. If you find that things aren’t going well early on in breastfeeding, review this list and ask yourself, what’s missing? You may be able to identify a hole – and a solution – that could make a big difference.