Breastfeeding your baby is an important part of the pregnancy journey. Most often refereed to as the “4th Trimester,” the weeks after your baby is born is full of learning and growing for both mother and baby. Learning how to breastfeed takes up a large part of your sharp learning curve. The good news? You and your baby have knowledge of breastfeeding already built into you! The other good news? You can do it! (but it does take work!) So, take a deep breath, relax and give you and your baby the grace to take time, get messy, get frustrated and grow!
Whether you decide to breastfeed, give your baby breast milk through a bottle, make your own formula or use store-bough formula, it is a decision you should make after reviewing/reading (articles, family history, your own beliefs, research), considering (your own beliefs, research, your availability/situation) and talking/discussing (to your doctor/midwife, a lactation consultant, your partner, family/friends). It is your own decision and whatever decision you make will be right for you and your baby. I’m not here to judge, I am here to provide resources and information to help you in your decision process.
No matter what you decide, while in the hospital, please make sure to take advantage of the Lactation Consultants they have available. They are a free (usually) and very helpful resource! They know all about breastfeeding and are happy to help. Most hospitals also have breastfeeding supplies, or can tell you where to purchase supplies in your area.
You also want to contact your health insurance and ask what breastfeeding supplies/items they cover. Most cover a breast pump and some cover nursing bras/clothes. This is important to know before you make your decision and before you go into labor. Lastly – stand by your decision! Take pride in providing for your child. Do not let other’s shame you out of breastfeeding. You know what needs to be done to love your child.
World Health Organization (WHO): breastfeeding from a world health view. Covers breastfeeding topics and provides publications, statistics and multimedia.
Breastfeeding Laws: provides laws for Oregon as well as the Federal Laws. Covers information on employer laws as well in regards to breastfeeding.
Pumps: speCtra is the pump I use. I found it to be better than the Medela. It is quieter. It is more gentle on your nipples. It works better to get the milk out of the milk ducts; I have personally had a lot less engorgement and clogged milk ducts since switching to the speCtra.
The Nursing Mother’s Companion (6th edition: 25th Anniversary Edition, 2010), by Kathleen Huggins. Information, support and practical troubleshooting to help you through all the phases of breastfeeding: planning, first week, first 2 months, months 2-6, months 6-12, and nursing a toddler. With appendices on medication safety and nursing mother resources. Buy on amazon here!
Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding (2009), by Ina May Gaskin. Everything you need to know to make breastfeeding a joyful, natural, and richly fulfilling experience for both you and your baby Drawing on her decades of experience in caring for pregnant women, mothers, and babies, Ina May Gaskin explores the health and psychological benefits of breastfeeding and gives you invaluable practical advice that will help you nurse your baby in the most fulfilling way possible. Buy from amazon here!
Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers(2nd Edition, 2010), byNancy Mohrbacher IBCLC FILCA, and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett PhD IBCLC. Forward byJack Newman MD. Breastfeeding may be natural, but it may also be more challenging than you expect. Some mothers encounter doubts and difficulties, from struggling with the first few feedings to finding a gentle and loving way to comfortably wean from the breast. Buy from amazon here!
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th Edition, Revised & Updated, 2010),by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, and Teresa Pitman. It’s no secret that breastfeeding is the normal, healthy way to nourish and nurture your baby. Dedicated to supporting nursing and expectant mothers, the internationally respected La Leche League has set the standard for educating and empowering mothers in this natural art for generations. Buy from amazon here!
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers: The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solution Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert in North America (Revised & Updated Edition, 2006), by Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman. Breastfeeding support: why breastfeed, how to deal with many specific challenges, how to work breastfeeding into your life. Buy on amazon here!
Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods- and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater, By Gill Rapley. Great book for all parents. You can skip the baby food, the jars, the spoon feeding and enjoy eating with your baby. Buy on amazon here!