Inside: Breastfeeding is amazingly beneficial for babies, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for moms (especially in the beginning). However, there are many free resources available to help new moms reach their nursing goals. Keep reading to learn how to find breastfeeding support near you; sponsored by Texas WIC.
How to Find Breastfeeding Support
The benefits of breastfeeding are well publicized, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy! I struggled for weeks learning to breastfeed my first daughter — I thought it would be instinctual, but it wasn’t quite that simple.
My goal was to nurse my baby for at least a year, but when I was dealing with sore, cracked nipples in those first weeks, I wondered if I’d make it.
What saved me was asking for help. That support was instrumental in getting through the tough times! I ended up breastfeeding my daughter for almost two years, and I just passed the one-year mark nursing baby number two.
Top Reasons Moms Quit Breastfeeding
If you’re experiencing difficulty breastfeeding, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Almost every mom who breastfed can tell a story of a time when they worried if they were getting it right — myself included!
Below are some of the top reasons moms quit breastfeeding:
- Concerns about milk supply or worry that they’re not making enough breastmilk.
- Worries that their baby is hungry all the time or not getting enough milk.
- Pain or discomfort while breastfeeding.
- Trouble finding the right position.
- Lack of support from family, friends, or work supervisors.
- Afraid to try to pump at work or think it will be too difficult and time-consuming.
- Nervous about breastfeeding in public.
The good news is that there are solutions to all of the above AND there are many free resources available for breastfeeding moms if you know where to look! With the right support, you’ll have the tools you need to meet your breastfeeding goals.
3 Places to Find Breastfeeding Support
If you’ve been struggling with any of the above, there ARE ways to find the help you need to keep breastfeeding and meet your goals. Many of them are FREE!
1. Texas WIC — the #1 Resource in Breastfeeding
WIC’s breastfeeding experts are always available to support Texas mothers in breastfeeding successfully. To locate a WIC clinic near you or to find out if you are eligible visit TexasWIC.org and start your application online.
WIC offers the following free and available lactation support to ALL breastfeeding moms:
- 24/7 hotline at 855-550-6667 for breastfeeding help.
- Free lactation support centers available in Austin, Dallas, McAllen, San Antonio and Houston.
- BreastmilkCounts.com — Information on everything breastfeeding related – a one-stop-resource to help mom get answers quickly and easily. Topics range from latch and breastfeeding positions to milk supply and ways to connect with a lactation consultant.
The following services are also available for WIC clients:
- Breastfeeding peer counselors.
- Breastfeeding classes.
Even if you don’t live in Texas, you can still find lots of helpful information at: BreastmilkCounts.com
2. Ask Your Doctor or Baby’s Pediatrician
Your health care provider and baby’s pediatrician can be helpful resources to find breastfeeding help.
When selecting your baby’s pediatrician, it’s a good idea to look for someone who is pro-breastfeeding and shares your views and goals. Ask questions!
At your visits, don’t be afraid to ask for help or for recommendations to find local lactation support.
3. Find an Online Breastfeeding Support Group
During my first pregnancy, one of my friends invited me to join a mommy support group on social media. It was a lifesaver for me as a new mom!
The privacy of these online support groups makes them a safe space to ask questions and get answers from real moms who have been through the same thing. I learned so much and was able to get peer support and motivation.
To find groups, try searching on your preferred social media platform for “new moms” or “breastfeeding” within group listings. You can also ask friends or family if they belong to any groups as well – that’s how I found the groups I joined.
The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding
We’ve all heard the saying “breast is best,” but when you’re in the trenches as a new mom, it’s still easy to feel discouraged. However, breastmilk truly is a miraculous thing for developing infants!
Even more incredible (and more motivation to keep going) is that breastmilk provides health benefits for moms too!
Below are just a few of the many reasons why breastfeeding is so beneficial for baby AND mom:
- Breastmilk has hundreds of ingredients (more than formula) and is custom-made by a mother’s body to meet baby’s needs. These ingredients and the make-up of breastmilk changes over time as your baby’s needs change.
- Breastmilk has been show to protect babies from allergies and illnesses.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to experience digestive problems, such as excess gas, constipation and colic.
- Breastfeeding is also beneficial for moms! Moms that breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
- Breastfeeding makes it easier to lose the baby weight, as it burns up to 600 calories a day!
- The benefits of breastfeeding extend over time. Every ounce counts. Breastfeed your baby for as long as you can.
Remember, if you’re struggling with breastfeeding, there IS help! Visit BreastmilkCounts.com for more online breastfeeding resources and lactation support.
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