Breastfeeding: The Right Support Makes a Difference

breastfeeding support help Louth Dundalk Drogheda
This blog post is a compilation of posts I shared on my facebook page for National Breastfeeding Week. You will find a comprehensive collection of articles and resources on my Feeding Resources Page.
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Thanks to our modern lifestyle, not many of us are exposed to tiny humans on a regular basis. Even less expectant parents have had the opportunity to observe breastfeeding, never mind the chance to ask open, honest questions. And I urge you to observe, and ask, before you are in the thick of figuring out your own tiny human! Breastfeeding, like so many other parenting skills, is a combination of instinctive behaviour and patterns learned from observation…

Support starts before baby is born

If you are unable to attend an Antenatal Breastfeeding Session for all the asking, find your local breastfeeding group! Bring bump along to say hello and meet everyone. It’s so much easier to walk through that door with a brand new baby when you’ve met some of the mums before… And I bet you’ll get answers to questions you didn’t even know you’d have.
Volunteer organisations Cuidiú, La Leche League and Friends of Breastfeeding run groups all around the country.

The chief supporter

Dad… You are so incredibly important as your baby’s and partner’s chief supporter. Most men, and society!, underestimate what a fundamental role you play in making this work for your family. So arm yourself with information, keys for the front door, snacks, water and be with and for your gang.
You’ll never guess what: there are benefits in it for you too (besides the obvious ones)! Being an involved Dad is good for your health!
If you are short of real life breastfeeding contacts, have a look at these Dads sharing their experience with breastfeeding.

Virtual Support

I mention above the importance of getting to a group to see breastfeeding in action and chat to other mums. Any mum I’ve worked with over the past years, who has attended a group at some stage, will confirm that.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t make a group or feel nervous about it, check out the videos on breastfeeding.ie for mums’ experience and tips, helpful suggestions aaaaaaaand the male parents sharing their stories!

When looking for support in online forums and groups, be mindful of the limitations when there’s no face-to-face or verbal contact. Online interactions, particularly in public forums, do not offer the space for compassionate listening or asking of questions to tease out complex situations. All too often I see mums being bombarded with opinions and advice, presented as facts, without the mum ever being asked a single question …

Voluntary and Professional Supporters

Sometimes you need a human with experience, skills and knowledge that are beyond what Dad is able to offer.
Sometimes that can’t wait untill group is on again.
And often it’s not something that can be dealt with in an online forum in an adequate manner.
They are the times when you should pick up the phone. Cuidiú and La Leche League  have trained volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellors / Leaders who offer phone support. Ring them!

If you feel that the wall you’ve hit is too high to climb with a phone call or in a group setting, you can see if there’s an ALCI / Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland IBCLC covering your area.

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You may also enjoy reading

How to survive the first weeks with a newborn

How do you know when baby is hungry?

Breastfeeding Facts and Myths

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