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The topic of breastfeeding can be very polarizing. We needn’t get into all of that. We know how important it is…so now what?
Without delving into the many factors that can affect the breastfeeding relationship, my best advice is to seek QUALIFIED LACTATION SUPPORT as soon as possible. Preferably an IBCLC (internationally board-certified lactation consultant).
Their education and training far surpass other types of “lactation specialist”, “breastfeeding counselors” and probably even your pediatrician.
It’s not to say that these other individuals can’t be helpful, but it’s very important to inquire what their breastfeeding education specific credentials are.
Our first babies (Yep, I said babies!) are twins. They were born at 34 weeks and spent 3 weeks in the NICU. Because of their gestational age and development, the babies weren’t able to even attempt to nurse for the first couple weeks of their lives.
When I was able to finally put them to breast, we had A LOT of trouble, and though well-meaning, I received a lot of conflicting advice from the NICU staff and hospital lactation specialist. “Hold them like a football, hold them in a cradle position, use a shield, don’t use a shield.” My head was spinning and I was so, so discouraged, I thought this was supposed to be easy.
I kept pumping round the clock and putting our babies to breast and when we got home at the insistence of our incredible doula, I contacted my local Le Leche League and had a leader (who happened to be an IBCLC) come for a home visit.
Having that support/encouragement was incredible and I honestly attribute that one visit (along with my stubbornness) for the ability to provide breastmilk for my sweet twins for 15 months!
A great resource for locating an IBCLC in your community can be found here:
Find your Le Leche League here:
It’s never too early to reach out and get support! A community is so important for mothers….we were never intended to do this alone! Breastfeeding isn’t all or nothing and doesn’t look the same for every woman…but if it’s important to you, with the right support, most mothers can successfully breastfeed their babies (even if you have more than one at the same time like me!)