This week is World Breastfeeding Week, and whether you’re an expecting mom, the partner of someone expecting, or someone who just wants to advocate for women, now is a great time to brush up on your breastfeeding knowledge. This guide has great local resources that can help with all aspects of breastfeeding from general information to support groups. These lactation resources will have you prepared and supported as you begin your breastfeeding journey.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
There are several health problems that breastfeeding can help. The CDC cites a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, severe lower respiratory disease, sudden infant death syndrome, and gastrointestinal infections in infants who are breastfeed. There are also benefits for mothers such as a lower risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, and blood cancer.
Breast milk is also especially important in preterm and low-weight infants, as it has been shown to reduce mortality rates by 75%. Whether breastfeeding is the right decision for you or your loved one or not, the benefits are important to consider.
If you or someone you know is considering breastfeeding, there are plenty of lactation resources to help them make their decision and feel supported when they are breastfeeding.
Check out Hancock Regional Hospital’s breastfeeding resources to get great tips on what to do as you start your breastfeeding journey. Tips include how to start breastfeeding, how to recognize your child’s hunger cues, and how to tell if your baby is getting enough milk.
Hancock also has this informational video that gives you first hand advice in an easy to understand way. They also have a video about exactly what to expect from staff after you have your baby and as you begin your first attempts at breastfeeding.
La Leche League is also a great place to get resources and support for breastfeeding. Their website has lots of tips and tricks to help you, and their Breastfeeding Info A-Z Guide is a good place to start if you have specific questions like can you drink coffee while breastfeeding or what medications are safe for me to take while breastfeeding.
Kelly Mom is another awesome resource that has applicable guides for every stage of breastfeeding. They have resources specifically for expecting mothers, common concerns, and guides for each stage of breastfeeding from newborn to weaning.
The Office on Women’s Health is another place where you can get important information about breastfeeding. They have guides for the decision making process, learning to breastfeed, the challenges of breastfeeding, and more. With all this information you are sure to feel medically prepared to breastfeed your baby, but there are other important considerations for you to make as well.
You might be in a situation where you need to receive or want to give donor milk. If that is the case, The Milk Bank can help you navigate the process. The Milk Bank allows you to use donor breast milk if you or your infant experience certain medical conditions or need short-term supplementation.
You can also consider donating your milk to help other babies. To learn more about The Milk Bank and their mission of helping babies in Indiana check out this story.
Breastfeeding can be very challenging, especially with the pressures that come along with it like feelings of self doubt, having to pump at work, and breastfeeding in public. So, you will need a community of badass ladies to help support you during this time. Luckily, there are plenty of support groups you can join right here in Indy.
Hancock Regional Health provides a free childbirth preparation class and breastfeeding class. The breastfeeding class covers topics like positions for breastfeeding, milk supply, latch techniques, how to tell if your baby is getting enough milk, and how and when to pump and store breast milk. These classes are both currently virtual.
La Leche League of Indiana provides support groups and phone and email support when meeting in a group is inconvenient. There are plenty of groups across Indy to help you feel connected to a community that understands what you are going through.
Breastfeeding USA also has a local chapter with a Facebook group and breastfeeding counselors to help you get the support you need.
WIC, a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, also provides support for those eligible. A few services the program provides includes board certified lactation consultants and peer counselors, breastfeeding assessment and classes, assessment of breast pump needs and a personalized fitting, and evidence-based information and resources.
Ellie Allen is Indy Maven’s editorial intern.