Breastfeeding: the most natural way to feed a baby. Isn’t that what we hear all the time? In reality though, getting started with breastfeeding is hard. Most first time mothers read and research about labor and delivery but don’t  prepare for breastfeeding in advance. Then suddenly one day the baby is born, the mother is a novice, the baby is a novice and the mother does not know what to do.  Often the hospital staff or family elders are not up to date with correct information for the new mother.

So what is a new mother to do? How do you know where to get accurate information and in person help with breastfeeding?
I am going to list some resources where mothers can get help getting started with breastfeeding and with breastfeeding queries and problems, especially in India.

Picture: DFID - UK Department for International Development CC BY 2.0

Picture: DFID – UK Department for International Development CC BY 2.0

1. First, prepare for breastfeeding when you are pregnant. Going for a good breastfeeding class is helpful to  prepare you for the normal course of breastfeeding after the baby is born.

2. Read up about breastfeeding on websites which give accurate information. Not all information on the internet is accurate. For example baby formula makers also have websites that provide information about breastfeeding, however, they are not an accurate source as their intention is to get the mother to give formula.
Some good websites that do provide accurate information are:
www.kellymom.com
http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/
http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=information

3. Join our Facebook group Early Childhood Development and Parenting (India) for support with breastfeeding.

4. Mothers in countries other than India have options like Breastfeeding USA or Australian Breastfeeding Association, or Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (in UK).

5. Sadly, most paediatricians and obstetricians are not up to date on how to solve breastfeeding problems. They often tell the mother to resort to formula at the first sign of any problem. However, formula is rarely the answer; bottles and formula usually make breastfeeding problems worse. You should not rely on baby’s paediatrician or your doctor for breastfeeding problems, but must consult an IBCLC or a recommended lactation counselor.

6. Make sure that you have at least one family member (baby’s father or grandmother) who will be on your side post birth. The first few weeks of breastfeeding are not easy and having a cheerleader at home will help the mother to cope better.

So now you know what resources are available for you in your community. If you have a question or problem make sure you use them, remember, you are not in this alone. Till then,

Happy Breastfeeding.

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