Many women can find breastfeeding a bit challenging when first starting out. In this interview segment, Anna Marie Nelson, a certified Doula (DONA) and certified breastfeeding educator in Dallas, TX, discusses the the biggest challenge moms tend to have with nursing.
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The following is a partial transcript from the breastfeeding interview.
QUESTION: If you could name the number one most common challenge that moms have with breastfeeding, what do you think it is and how can they overcome it?
ANNA MARIE NELSON: The number one challenge is lack of support. When a mom brings home a newborn and she says she wants to breastfeed and she’s doing her best but she’s having problems latching.
And the baby’s crying, she’s crying, dad’s upset, grandma’s saying, “Why don’t you just give the baby a bottle?” or a neighbor or somebody. It is so much easier for that stop-gap measure just to give a bottle to get through that rough time.
Of course, then the baby gets more accustomed to an artificial nipple and sucking in a different manner and then it’s even more difficult to breastfeed. A woman needs support. She needs to be educated beforehand.
I strongly suggest that women attend breastfeeding classes. Almost all hospitals offer those during pregnancies. Attend La Leche League meetings. Watch other women breastfeed. Read some good breastfeeding books. And then once the baby’s born, request help in the hospital. Normally, the nurses are very happy to help you.
And if you’re having a lot of difficulty afterwards, there are still resources you have available. Some pediatricians’ office keep a lactation consultant on staff. Usually they’re very helpful.
There’s also the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants. Now, you’re gonna have to pay for that service normally, but the certified breastfeeding lactation consultants are normally good, and you can go to IBCLC, that’s on the Web, International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants.
The other thing is if you call La Leche League or get on their Web site, they can tell you the name and address, or name and phone number of a La Leche League leader that is nearby, and they will help you for free. Normally, they’ll come to your house and help you or sometimes they can help you over the phone. There is help out there for it, you just have to know where to look.