From Memorial Health System
The first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week, and many new moms have a breastfeeding story. Maybe they intended to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months or the first year or two, but a roadblock obstructed that goal. If you need support, many resources can help you get back on track.
The World Health Organization recommends that mothers breastfeed for the first two years of life, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recently announced a similar recommendation, calling for more support for breastfeeding mothers.
Tiffany Hills, international board-certified lactation consultant, and Sandra Johnson, certified lactation consultant, offer support and guidance to moms through the Breastfeeding Center at Memorial. When asked how a working mom should prepare for returning to her job and continuing to breastfeed, Hills says, “Create a pumping routine, and research the different pumps that are available that are more convenient for pumping on the go. There is a learning curve to pumps, and we offer support with that. “One of my goals as a lactation consultant is to make returning to work and pumping an easier transition for the working mother, which will help extend the mother’s breastfeeding goals.”
Johnson adds, “A lot of moms will tell us that family members are worried about watching the baby because the baby is exclusively breastfed. We encourage moms to pump and leave milk with their partner or family member to support them when they need a break.”
Both experts recommend taking a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives. Hills adds, “Bring the people who will be watching your child so they know what to expect and they can support you adequately.”
Roadblocks include a lack of education about breastfeeding, unrealistic expectations about feeding patterns and how much a baby needs, limited support from family and difficulties transitioning to the workplace postpartum.
Here are some ways that expectant and new moms and their families can access help and resources:
- Find out how many lactation consultant visits are covered by your insurance.
- The Breastfeeding Center offers consultations, nursing supplies, free prenatal information, educational information, and more. Call (228) 867-4053 or visit wearememorial.com to learn more.
- If you have chosen to stop breastfeeding and want to start again, speak to a lactation consultant for guidance.
- Find your local La Leche League group to get support by visiting lllusa.org.
- Breastfeeding information is available through WIC by visiting wicbreastfeeding.fns.usda.gov.
- BabyTalk prenatal classes are available for free, except for Infant CPR. Call (228) 575-2299 or visit wearememorial.com for schedules.
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division can help you determine whether you have the right to take breaks to pump at work. Call the helpline at 1-866-4USWAGE for support.
Remember that wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey, help is available. If breastfeeding did not work for your family, let go of the guilt and remember that a fed baby is best.
Memorial offers both primary care services and virtual visits. Learn more by visiting wearememorial.com or by calling (228) 867-5000.