Establishing a breastfeeding relationship is not always easy. There are women who attempt to breastfeed and are not successful. It seems that other mammals have no problems feeding their young, but we humans tend to complicate things. Sometimes we need a little support to do what should come naturally. Here are two of my favorite breastfeeding websites.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I’m not sure what that means about a series of videos from a world-renowned breastfeeding clinic. I came across these last year and learned a lot from them (even after successfully nursing three children).
Another very helpful site for breastfeeding is kellymom. It provides evidence-based information on breastfeeding, including an index for medication compatibility.
New mothers are under an incredible amount of stress and accurate and helpful information about breastfeeding (not to mention emotional support) is often hard to come by. Some women are fortunate enough to get a skilled postpartum nurse or lactation consultant to help them get started, but UNfortunately many routines in hospitals immediately create stumbling blocks to successful breastfeeding. Mother-baby separation, early use of pacifiers, free formula samples, and bottle feeding can all play a part in sabotaging the nursing relationship. One common concern that new mothers have is worrying that their babies aren’t getting enough since they can’t measure the breast milk that they pass on. When mothers use the “solution” of giving a supplemental bottle, the result is lower milk production (since milk is produced in response to the stimulation from nursing). This is one of several complications that can result in the beginning of the end of breastfeeding.
Though it can be challenging getting started, many women who nurse find it very rewarding and feel that it is much easier than bottle feeding in the long run. The benefits of breastfeeding (for both baby and mother) are great. Breast fed babies have stronger immune systems. Many health problems, including allergies, asthma, and obesity occur in higher rates with formula fed babies. Research also indicates that women who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast cancer. To take advantage of these benefits, new mothers need more help and emotional support. If they had more and better information, as well as greater confidence in themselves, many, many more women could be successful at breastfeeding, which would result in healthier women and babies.