When Should I Get Help
One of the most common things we see in Lactation practice is women who have endured unnecessary pain and anguish because they waited to ask for help.
Although it is never too late to have a good nursing relationship, we feel horrible knowing that these women have suffered.
Here are some pointers on 'When to ask for help' and 'Where to get the help you need.'
~ During pregnancy, seek local names and numbers of breastfeeding helpers and their fees.
Just as you research your Obstetrician or Midwife and Pediatrician, you need to have the phone numbers and locations of your local Lactation Consultants, La Leche League group, Hospital Lactation Clinic, or WIC Peer Counselor. Having those numbers handy will help you rest easy knowing that help is just a call away. Even if you are not sure that you will be breastfeeding, it is best having those resources available in case you change your mind and need help continuing or want assistance helping you to 'dry up' your milk.
~ Know what services are around you - with both phone and internet services. Your first line of defense can be La Leche League: www.llli.org offers informational articles on all breastfeeding topics, online chats, and how to locate your area groups and Leaders. These trained, experienced volunteer Leaders are also nursing mothers who offer their time free of charge. Attend a meeting while you are pregnant if possible to meet and get to know the Leaders. They can answer most of your questions by phone or research topics for you if they don't know the answers. If you have nursing challenges that require one on one help, some Leaders will meet with you to offer their assistance without charge.
Next, to find your local Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) go to: www.ilca.org and click on 'Find a Lactation Consultant' by zipcode. International Board Certified Lactation Consultants are the 'Gold Standard' for breastfeeding help, having evidence based education and up to date information. You will need to make an appointment and there will be service fees.
WIC (Women, Infants, Children) is a govement based program which offers Lactation Services as well. If you are on WIC, you can make an appointment with either their IBCLC or obtain help from their Peer Breastfeeding Counselors. Check for their office days/hours.
~ If you have any doubts - even if your baby is only hours or days old, please call for help. It is most important that you get help right away ... don't wait. It doesn't cost anything to ask your local La Leche League Leader or WIC Peer Counselor for help. Most IBCLC's will answer a question or two to help you without charge. You can decide then if you need one on one help.
Remember --- Breastfeeding should not hurt (contrary to common belief).
Natural Beginnings Lactation Consultants offer both home and office consultations if
breastfeeding is not going well or if you are in pain. Call us to schedule an appointment.