Thursday, December 22, 2011

Breastfeeding Support Group

Although a nursing bra is an important component to successful breastfeeding, it is not the only support a nursing mother needs. Since nursing can be real challenge, it is helpful to find a network of moms who meet on a regular basis. Our local library hosts a fantastic group for moms every two weeks. It's a very casual setting, that's moderated by a knowledgeable nurse. Mainly we just get an opportunity to talk, ask questions, and offer support to others going through the same things. I wish I had found this group sooner because I didn't feel that the La Leche League was the right fit for Hannah and me. Plus, the evening meetings would have been a challenge with her bedtime. However, I'm happy to go to a new group now to "share the light" that comes after a few months of successful nursing.

A very small number of moms experience no issues with breastfeeding and kudos to them! The truth is, nearly every woman (including myself) hits a wall with nursing for any number of issues that can creep up in the early stages. Working with a lactation consultant, calling experienced family members, and talking to other moms currently nursing are all great ways to find the information and strength needed to keep up with nursing. Luckily, beginning in 2012, insurance companies will be required to cover nursing-related medical expenses. I would encourage all moms to use this benefit and book a lactation consultation for the week after baby's birth. 

Once nursing is established, Moms can look forward to experiencing a wonderful "high" during nursing. Chemically speaking, the body is producing oxytocin and slowing down the mother to take a moment to enjoy the experience. In "lay-mom's" terms, this means you'll look at your baby and think, "Oh my goodness, she is the sweetest baby in the world. I love her so much." Of course, all Mom's feel this way, but it's nice to have your body reinforce the sentiment 6-8 times per day (especially during those wakeful nights.)

Look at this beautiful nursing mother!

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