Breastfeeding Support – Why it’s important and where to find it!
Tags: breastfeeding, breastfeeding buddies, breastfeeding support, Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt 2012.
One of the most important things you will need to succeed with breastfeeding is great support. And I’m not just talking about making sure you have a great nursing bra, though that’s important too!
The help, advice & encouragement you do or do not receive can have a huge impact on how well you breastfeed your child, how long you breastfeed for, and possibly even whether you manage to breastfeed at all.
I was incredibly lucky to have an amazing amount of support from family – my husband was really helpful for the entire 13 months I breastfed, and my Mum was always just a phone call away to provide helpful advice and support.
James was able to give a lot of practical support as well as emotional – everything from fetching me drinks and snacks to lifting a sleeping baby off my lap at 4am to take her to her crib without waking her! I used to keep my mobile beside me and call him in the middle of the night to come get her, so I didn’t wake her up by trying to get up from my low nursing chair with her in my arms – I was usually really stiff and awkward after 4 or 5 hours sitting with her doing a mammoth cluster feed.
Unfortunately the midwives at the hospital were not so helpful, and my first few visits from the local midwife at home were a bit useless too! They were giving me conflicting advice, not checking the latch properly, and telling me to do things that only managed to upset my brand new baby. Once we moved house when Georgie was 3 weeks old things were a lot smoother, as we had begun to learn each other’s ways and my new health visitor was really supportive and kind. It is amazing how much someone just telling you how great you are doing can make you feel so much better and ready to face the next challenge, and this early deficiency in my support from my NHS workers really showed me how much your support level affects your ability to breastfeed confidently.
Once I started attending baby groups I found more support on hand there – both from other mums and the local breastfeeding buddy system; one of the buddies was available at some of the sessions – and that’s what I am now! Finding your local buddy (or equivalent support worker/volunteer) can be a real boon so I really encourage you to ask your health visitor or at your sure start centre if there is a local support system. A great tip a commenter made on an earlier post was to get in touch while you’re still pregnant, so you have a connection with a local buddy, making it easier to ask for help later on!
As well as buddy systems there are also breastfeeding support groups that can be a real help, and helplines that you can call. If you are having problems with your latch, I really recommend letting a local support worker observe a feed and help you make sure that you’re latching properly. The videos on the “bump to breastfeeding” dvd can be helpful for latch problems too, and the same videos can be found on the Best Beginnings website listed below.
Here are some great places you can find support:
- National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212
- Start 4 Life Helpline on 0300 123 1021
- The Breastfeeding Network Supporterline on 0300 100 0210 , and support centres
- Local NCT branches often have breastfeeding support groups
- La Leche League website, helpline on 0845 120 2918, and support groups
- Best Beginnings - great videos to help with all sorts of breastfeeding problems!
- Be A Star - a campaign dedicated to increasing the number of young mums who choose to breastfeed with local support group details and advice.
Find more information about breastfeeding support on the NHS website.
Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt 2012
This post is part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt 2012. You will be able to view more great articles about breastfeeding at the following participating blogs:
- Diary of a First Child
- Life Happens So Smile
- Mixed Bag of All Sorts
- Ponderings of a Doula
- My Thoughts on Things
I am working with Babybeads-UK for the duration of the scavenger hunt, and will be hosting a special giveaway of one of their products on the last week of the hunt! Established in 2006, Babybeads-UK manufacture and sell breastfeeding necklaces and reminder bracelets. All of their products are hand-crafted in the UK by specially trained staff and can be useful for fun and educational purposes well after the breastfeeding stages are over. Even better, they are always happy to make a bespoke necklace for no extra charge and you can even have them personalised with your baby’s name! They have also donated a breastfeeding necklace and reminder bracelet to the grand prize.
Thank you for reading! Please complete the following Rafflecopter form to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize. Want to take part and try to win loads of prizes? Read the instructions here.