Thursday, April 23, 2009

breast feeding help

This is my Public Service Announcement for the week, aimed directly to breast feeding moms.

When you see people breast feeding in the movies or in public, everything looks easy and natural.  Nobody told me that this would be a skill that the baby and I would have to learn, that it would be awkward and frustrating initially, that I would feel like I was trying to learn to speak Greek by submersion into a Mandarin-speaking mosh pit.

For us, there has been a light at the end of the tunnel.  But I can't claim that we've made this journey alone, and I wanted to share some resources that have been helpful to me:

  1. First, I want to mention that the nurses at the hospital where you delivered can be an excellent resource.  Even if you live in a place where the hospital doesn't have "lactation consultant" RNs on staff, the labor and delivery nurses should be able to answer most of your questions.  Don't hesitate to call and ask them a thousand questions.
  2. 1-800-4-GERBER  I have found the Gerber Parents Resource Center to be invaluable.  It's a 24/7 toll free number that you can call and immediately talk to certified lactation educator.  (Sometimes you need to talk to someone when it's not normal business hours, or you don't want to leave a message and wait for someone to call you back.)  I've called them twice and been pleased with the answers I've gotten both times.  That number is (1-800-443-7237).  
  3. A google search can also find web pages with pictures and detailed instructions.  I went to several web pages, but found talking to a real life person more helpful.
Hope this helps.

(Another good resource I've found for nutrition:  1-800-508-1717 to speak with a Registered Dietitian who can answer questions about prenatal nutrition and feeding of your kids from birth to preschool.  This is not a breast feeding resource, but if you had questions about other feeding options for your baby.)

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