A warning about breastfeeding consultants: Please be aware that not all consultants are the same. Ask about their credentials. To understand the difference read this blog post.
Most hospitals have a lactation center and consultants that can help you. Sometimes, they have not been very helpful due to the short amount of time they have to spend with you. Plus, you have to drag you and baby out to the hospital to get help. If you hire a Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC) or a IBCLC (lactation nurse) they will come to your home and give you specialized care and a plan to be successful in breastfeeding.
*****The Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline is here! Mommas - you can call this number day or night and expect to speak with someone live to help you! Very excited to have this up and running. It is 1-855-4BF-MOMS (1-855-423-6667). Please share to help us spread the word! ******
Human Milk 4 Human Babies http://www.facebook.com/HM4HBTN
For Info on free support groups, contact Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition
Maybe your baby has a lip or a tongue tie. Visit Dr. Paige Prather in Franklin for a consult.
Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition "Join our group of volunteers (parents, medical, health department, community) to plan and execute projects to help moms immediately initiate breastfeeding and meet their goals. We are outward focused on making direct, positive change within our community."
A great list of Nashville breastfeeding resources and support groups is listed here.
When Should I seek Help?
If you are having any issues or concerns about breastfeeding, get help now. TODAY! Waiting could lead to bigger problems or losing your milk supply.
If you are planning to breastfeed during your pregnancy, you may wish to attend a meeting or class about breastfeeding to get a head-start on some common difficulties you may face and advice for what’s to come. Once the baby is born, you may see a lactation consultant in the hospital who can show
you various latching techniques and positions to get you off to a good breastfeeding start. After you are discharged and are at home with baby, you may still find that you need support, advice, or help with breastfeeding. There are peer-support groups, such as La Leche League, where you can find advice and wisdom from seasoned mothers who may have experienced similar troubles. If you are having specific concerns or problems, you may wish to seek out a CLC or IBCLC to assist you directly with your personal issue. Some reasons for seeking a CLC/IBCLC include difficulty or pain during latching, excessive infant weight loss, or over/under supply of breastmilk. Mothers facing difficulties such as multiples, preemies, or infants born with medical conditions such as cleft palate also benefit greatly from seeking professional advice.
SUPPORT AND RESOURCES
Thankfully, there are a lot of resources and support out there to help you through your breastfeeding journey. Just because it’s natural does not make it simple or easy! Reach out for help as often or as much as you need it and remember that other people have struggled too. Some people you may reach
out to for help may include an LC, CLC, or IBCLC.
LC: Lactation Consultant – Someone who can offer guidance and support in lactation but is not certified.
CLC: Certified Lactation Counselor – Has taken a course in breastfeeding training and passed a final examination. They typically help with commonly encountered situations and may refer someone to an IBCLC for more difficult situations.
IBCLC: International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants – Has extensively studied the science of lactation and put in the most hours. They sit for a board exam, similar to medical doctors. This is the only internationally, standardized lactation credential available.
LINKS & CONTACTS
Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
La Leche League International – a mother-to- mother support group with pages for specific regions/countries/states. They offer support meetings as well.
www.kellymom.com – Evidence-based information on breastfeeding, sleep and parenting.
www.workandpump.com – for mothers who may return to work/school and will be pumping.
1-855- 423-6667 – Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline – staffed by IBCLCs and CLCs, operates 24/7.