Nursing Resources

Nursing ResourcesI’ll admit, when I first came home with my son, I was terribly unprepared for the challenges of new motherhood. I had read all of the books, websites, and articles, and had blindly assumed that I would need next to none of the “if you have problems” information provided.  Granted, you can do a lot of parenting preparation beforehand; however, most of it is learn-as-you-go.  I had read book after book on everything baby and I had decided that I definitely wanted to breastfeed. I thought that this would happen very naturally and with little assistance. That was pretty much exactly the opposite of what happened.

Whether you deliver at a hospital, women’s birthing center, or you have a home birth, chances are you will be provided some resources on nursing your new baby. If you are in a hospital setting, and desire to know more about nursing, most hospitals employ lactation consultants to offer individualized advice to get you started. Since I had never breastfed before, I had no real idea what I was doing other than what I had read. I was very thankful when the nurse offered to send the lactation consultant to assist me. She showed me proper positioning, how to hold my breast so that he could eat, and how to tell when he was getting anything. This was valuable information, but once I got home I was on my own.

By my second day home, I was in a lot of pain. I was taking the painkillers not for my stitches but for my nipples! In an effort to give my girls some much needed rest in order to heal, I started pumping and introduced the bottle. By the time we reached a month I was pumping exclusively because breast feeding was still painful.  At the time, I was I was deep in the learning curve of new parenthood and just wanted to sleep and get the occasional shower and I didn’t know that this was really a sign that something was still not right. After 6 weeks and constant pumping, I threw in the towel and bought formula. We found out not too much later that he had a lip tie that might have been diagnosed had I had a little more knowledge.  Looking back, I wish I had created an arsenal of resources at the ready in case nursing was difficult.

When my second son came, I was prepared but I was also shocked at the difference. I remember telling my husband, “So this is what nursing is supposed to feel like!” when my littlest easily latched on. This time I did have an arsenal ready because it was really important to me to stick it out and find help if I and when it got difficult. The following are some of the great resources I had at the ready for nursing help.

La Leche LeagueProvides comprehensive listings of lactation consultants based on area, pro-breastfeeding events, helps and tips.  – Scientifically based pro-breastfeeding help, thorough Q&A section, abundance of helpful tips -This website helps to develop a thorough breast feeding plan prior to birth

The Leaky Boob  –Here you will find a collection of breast feeding articles and blogs from both parents and professionals. They also have private Facebook groups you can join to ask questions and get support.

Regardless what kind of support you chose; know that there many local and national resources available to help you if you are having difficulty with breast feeding. Also, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask your pediatrician if you feel that something doesn’t feel right with the process.

Tessa Wesnitzer is a part-time stay at home mom of two preschool age boys. She is a personal trainer and health and wellness coach who resides in Sahuarita, Arizona.

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