Breastfeeding Support

One thing I've learned through conversations with many women is that it is so important to prepare for breastfeeding before the baby arrives. 

It's important to be aware of possible complications beforehand (and this is not to be negative or scare anyone who wants to breastfeed) so that when the baby arrives and if you find yourself experiencing things not going to plan you are able to seek help straight away. It is much easier to have all these resources in place before the baby arrives than when you are in the midst of the 4th trimester going on no sleep and at a time when you are your most vulnerable, breastfeeding in the early weeks is a fulltime job and can be very exhausting.

Support Organisations

You may assume health visitors, midwives, and even your GP would have all the breastfeeding knowledge but that is simply not true, of course there are always exceptions to the rule but unfortunately most have not had specific breastfeeding training and the information you may be given may seem confusing so below is a list of organisations that are there to help you make evidence based informed decisions. All support offered by these organisations are free. 

La Leche League GB

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers

National Childbirth Trust (NCT)

Breastfeeding Network

Peer Supporters are mothers who have breastfeed and have been trained to help other mothers by giving them evidence based information, help them to practice some basic skills to be able to breastfeed comfortably and to be able to signpost them on to whatever further help may be needed. 

All the above organisations run Helplines which you can call to ask questions and get support. There is currently a helpline funded by the Department of Health, staffed by volunteers from ABM (Association of Breastfeeding Mothers) and BfN (Breastfeeding Network) 

National Helpline: 0300 100 0212

ABM: 0300 330 5453

BfN: 0300 100 0210

LLL: 0345 120 2918

NCT: 0300 330 0771

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (LCs)

Lactation Consultants have the most training and It is useful to know your local Lactation Consultants (they are able to help with more complicated issues and able to help with tongue-ties) 

Breastfeeding trauma

If you have already had your baby and your breastfeeding journey didn’t go to plan there is also support available to help you through the grief and difficult emotions you may be experiencing. 

Never ever feel you haven't done what was best for your baby. 

If you're struggling with breastfeeding trauma check out Hilary Jacobson. She's written a book called Healing Breastfeeding Grief or visit her Facebook page

And here is a useful article from La Leche League: Five ways to help when breastfeeding doesn’t go as expected

And a wonderful book: Why breastfeeding grief and trauma matter by Amy brown

Recommended Reading

Here is a list of useful websites:

KellyMom  A comprehensive evidence-based site on all aspects of breastfeeding and life with a new baby.

Support for Transgender & Non-binary Parents includes additional resources and links

I have also compiled a list of books: