For moms who choose to and are able to, breastfeeding helps give babies a great start in life. But this seemingly natural task is not always easy — in fact it can be difficult, especially in the beginning when breastfeeding requires a lot of patience and determination. But it’s worth it! Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience for mom and baby, with many health and emotional benefits for both.
In our era of instant information, new moms often turn to the internet for answers when things aren’t going as well as expected. But searching for reliable information can often lead to more confusion. Some content may not be accurate or evidence based, and sifting through vast amounts of information can be overwhelming.
The best way to get breastfeeding support is from an expert such as an internationally board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), who is specially trained and certified to help moms learn to breastfeed and pump breast milk. Certified lactation counselors (CLCs) are nurses who also have special training. These professionals are available at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, working with patients and providing community support.
Pediatricians and obstetricians are also quite knowledgeable about lactation and can be important resources.
Although many well-intentioned women choose to blog about their experiences or post YouTube videos with breastfeeding suggestions, these sources can provide inaccurate information that could do more harm than good.
Here are some reputable websites we recommend that can be sources for up-to-date, evidence based information:
- Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin offers breastfeeding resources that include basic breastfeeding information and links to how-to videos.
- Office of Women’s Health provides information on deciding to breastfeed, getting started and frequently asked questions about common breastfeeding challenges.
- Stanford University offers helpful videos on breastfeeding in the first hour, latching, hand-expressing milk and more.
- New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding, a book published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, has up-to-date information on how to establish a breastfeeding routine, as well as troubleshooting tips.
Talk with your doctor
Check with your pediatrician first when you have concerns about breastfeeding your baby. Having a proper latch is a key to success, and often just takes a visit with a trained professional to adjust for success. Regular weight checks and keeping track of your baby’s intake/output with a written log or phone app are vital tools to assure baby is growing properly.
Reliable information and expert support will help make your experience of breastfeeding or pumping breast milk for your baby a positive and successful one. Stick with evidence–based, reputable websites and certified experts for all your breastfeeding or breast milk pumping questions, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has board-certified lactation consultants who support breastfeeding mothers. Our lactation consultants focus on supporting mothers in providing breast milk to their babies through breastfeeding and pumping. They also provide educational and support services to families and staff.
Learn more about Linda McNamara, RN, BS, IBCLC.