The decision to breastfeed your infant is one of the first decisions you will make as a parent of a newborn. Breastfeeding provides the best possible nutrition for your infant and allows you special uninterrupted time to bond with one another. Breastfeeding can be easy; it is just a skill that mom and baby have to learn. Breastfeeding specialists and consultants can help mothers who have questions or difficulties with breastfeeding.
TALK TO YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
Your obstetrician, pediatrician, family practitioner or other physician should be knowledgeable and supportive of breastfeeding. Nutritionists, neonatal nurses, midwives, childbirth instructors, and home visiting nurses should also be knowledgeable.
Always consult your doctor or pediatrician if you are experiencing problems with breast feeding or if you have concerns about your baby’s health and nutrition. Other resources for support are the following:
LA LECHE LEAGUE
Accredited volunteers at La Leche League offer breast feeding information and support via telephone and group meetings. Also, League members speak to interested community groups about breastfeeding.
INTERNATIONAL LACTATION CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION
The ILCA is the professional association for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and other health care professionals who care for breastfeeding families. The ILCA website allows you to search for practicing IBCLs who work in either private practice or in clinical settings.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LA LECHE LEAGUE VOLUNTEERS AND LACTATION CONSULTANTS:
La Leche League:
“Mother to mother” breastfeeding support from lay (not medical professional) breastfeeding counselors. Help can be given over the phone and there is no fee. It is not professional medical advice, rather it is “mother to mother” support and guidance.
An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health care professional who specialized in the clinical management of breastfeeding.These professionals are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, Inc. IBCLCs see people in person, and charge for their services. Some insurance companies cover this, but many don’t. Any one who does not have insurance coverage and who cannot pay the fee should consult with their physician or the hospital birthing department where they delivered.
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE ON WOMEN’S HEALTH
The Office on Women’s Health Information Center has information on newborn care/reproductive health and tips for new Moms, http://www.healthywomen.org/ages-and-stages/pregnancy-and-parenting/newborn-care .
CONNECTICUT BREASTFEEDING COALITION
CBC advocates for access to comprehensive, current, and culturally appropriate lactation care and service for all women, children and families in Connecticut. The Coalition works to ensure that breastfeeding is recognized as the normal and preferred method of feeding infants and young children, to ensure that all federal, state and local laws recognize and support the importance and practice of breastfeeding, and to increase protection, promotion and support for breastfeeding mothers in the workforce.
LAW SUPPORTS BREASTFEEDING/ PUMPING IN THE WORKPLACE (Public Act No. 01-182)
For more information or to seek protection under this law, call CWEALF (Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund) or CHRO (Commission on Human Rights and Responsibilities.)
OTHER BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT:
Community health centers, home health agencies, and hospitals also offer breastfeeding support groups or classes. The Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) provides education and support to income eligible women who participate in the program.
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service name: Breastfeeding
SOURCES: Above referenced websites; Connecticut Department of Public Health
PREPARED BY: 211/mm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: January2018