In my last post I reviewed the book "New Mothers Guide to Breastfeeding" and in that post talked about the benefits researchers have found to breastfeeding during the first six months of life. Many mothers understand these benefits and have a desire to breastfeed, yet they run into difficulties and need additional support. This is normal and nothing to feel embarrassed or down on yourself about, and the good news is there are plenty of options available.
La Leche League
One of the more well known breastfeeding support options internationally is La Leche League. This organization began in 1956 when breastfeeding rates in America declined significantly and seven women got together to do something about it. The mission of LLL is to provide information and support to mothers and families who wish to breastfeed their baby. Currently there are 17 LLL support groups in Utah, and dates and information about these groups can be found here: http://lllutah.org/
You may have heard of lactation consultants, or IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) who specializes in clinical support of breastfeeding. They work in many different settings including birth centers, hospitals, doctors offices, in private practice, and for WIC. I found 19 IBCLCs in Salt Lake and Utah County and they can be found here: http://www.ilca.org/main/why-ibclc/falc. You can receive support from a lactation consultant for both routine and high risk situations and they can help you achieve your goals of breastfeeding, lower healthcare costs for your family, and provide you with knowledge and skills to successfully breastfeed.
I currently have a postpartum client who delivered a week ago and is struggling to breastfeed her newborn. As her doula I am able to assist her with finger-feeding her baby, provide emotional support through an unforeseen challenge, and care for the baby allowing her to rest and relax. In addition to the support I provide, this mom has had appointments with Lactation Support through Intermountain Medical Center in Orem, Utah. During these appointments she has been able to ask all of her questions, practice breastfeeding at the clinic, and rent the equipment that she needs to feed her baby (syringes and tubes for finger-feeding, and a hospital grade breast pump).
There are many more options available for support with breastfeeding. Doulas, IBCLCS, leaders of La Leche League, and your pediatrician are all great resources to look into. Remember that you are supported and there are options available, if you have questions please send me a message.