Getting Help for Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding may be natural, but that doesn’t mean that getting a baby to feed from the breast will go off without a hitch. In fact, very few mothers will find that their baby latches on and commences breastfeeding without any sort of trouble so getting help with feeding a baby from the breast is nothing to be ashamed of. Other mothers, health professionals, La Leche League, the National Childbirth Trust and the National Breastfeeding Helpline are all options for mothers seeking help with breastfeeding.
Other MothersOther mothers can be a wealth of support and advice when it comes to getting help with breastfeeding. Mothers from antenatal classes often remember each other and get together after giving birth which can be a great time for them to offer support to others going through similar situations. Mothers who have breastfed in the past, including older sisters and a woman’s own mother, may also be able to provide a different perspective or some new advice on problems related to breastfeeding.
Health ProfessionalsHealth professionals such as midwives, health visitors and GPs can all offer information and advice about breastfeeding. Even more important, these professionals will know the mothers and babies individually so they should be able to offer advice tailored to any particular difficulties that mothers are experiencing in attempting to feed their babies from the breast.
La Leche LeagueLa Leche League is a mother-to-mother organisation that aims to provide support, information and advice on all issues related to breastfeeding. La Leche League offers a telephone helpline available on 0845 120 2918. This helpline is staffed by La Leche League Leaders who have been breastfeeding mothers. La Leche League also offers local support groups, courses and peer counsellor programmes and a variety of breastfeeding information via their website (www.laleche.org.uk).
National Childbirth TrustThe National Childbirth Trust is the UK’s leading charity for parents and offers a distinct Breastfeeding Line on 0300 33 00 7771. This line is staffed by qualified breastfeeding counsellors and is open from 8am to 10pm every day. Mothers who are having trouble feeding from the breast may also wish to visit the NCT’s website (www.nct.org.uk) for more information and advice on breastfeeding and breastfeeding counsellors.
National Breastfeeding HelplineThe National Breastfeeding Helpline is government funded and is available on 0300 100 0212 and is staffed by volunteers trained to provide information and support to mothers having difficulties feeding their babies from the breast. This means that the volunteers will either be a Breastfeeding Network Registered Breastfeeding Supporter or an Association of Breastfeeding Mothers counsellor and will therefore have been a breastfeeding mother herself. The Helpline is open from 9:30am until 9:30pm every day.
Getting help with breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, mothers who recognise that they need assistance with feeding from the breast and proactively find this help are to be commended. With a variety of professionals and volunteers working around the UK to provide support, information and advice to breastfeeding mothers help should never be more than a phone call away.