This week part two in this series looks at where you can go for help if things aren’t turning out as you planned.
2) Know where to go for help
You may not be interested in breastfeeding right now (it feels like you’re going to be pregnant forever right??) However, there will come a time when you may start to have a few questions, particular when you are faced with the reality of it all. It can be really helpful to have resources at hand and to know where to go for help well in advance so all you need to do is flip a page or make a quick call.
I can’t recommend the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s Breastfeeding Education Class highly enough, lots of women attend them during the middle of their pregnancy and then use their birthing hospital class (which is often right at the end of the last trimester) as a short refresher course. It’s a great way to get all the info you need to not only understand how to nurse your baby but to get an understanding of how breasts and breastfeeding works which can make it a lot easier to understand what might be happening when things aren’t working out the way you thought they might.
Not everyone has the time or inclination for attending a class so what about books? There are a number of great books around about breastfeeding and even if you can’t stomach reading them right now at least make sure you have one sitting on your shelf so you can easily pull it out when you need to. You’d be surprised how much easier it will be to read it once it’s actually happening to you. The ABA have a great book called “Breastfeeding Naturally” which you get free when you become a member and there are a few other great books including “The womanly art of breastfeeding” put together by the La Leche League and Sue Cox’s ‘Breastfeeding with Confidence’.
If you need some expert help you may want to get in contact with a breastfeeding expert, a Lactation Consultant. Try to ensure that they are a IBCLC (International board certified lactation consultant) as this is the gold standard and the process for becoming one is quite rigorous. Your hospital may have one on rotation you can access with no gap payment otherwise your midwife or maternal health nurse should be able to put you in contact with one. And for those desperate moments you can always call the Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 686268 to speak to a breastfeeding counsellor, the line is open 24 hours a day. And the best resource of course is your postnatal doula who should be able to tell if you only need some simple guidance and adjustment or if its time to call in the troops!
Hello, my name is Celeste. I am a postnatal doula, a breastfeeding counselor and a mother.