Thursday, August 30, 2012

My breastfeeding support survival guide

I've already chosen a hospital and a doula who have great track records for breastfeeding success.  But I need to have a reference guide in case things don't go smoothly: my breastfeeding support survival guide.  I have some research to do to fill in the blanks, but this will be filled in and in my overnight bag when we leave for the hospital.  Am I missing anything?

In-hospital lactation consultations:
  • List of all hospital LC's and their availability (Cost: covered by insurance)
  • Who can help if they aren't available (are nurses trained to assist?)
  • Outline of routine postpartum care I can expect at my hospital ("magical hour" skin-to-skin contact, minimal intervention, etc.)
  • Training and qualifications of other staff to help, such as nurses
After-hospital lactation consultations:
  • List of 1-3 providers and phone numbers who travel for in-home visits (cost: covered by insurance if affiliated with a hospital--be sure to get prior insurance approval)
  • List of local hospitals and phone numbers that offer lactation appointments (cost: covered)
  • List of 1-3 Skype services (cost: $45-$75/session, not covered by insurance)
  • Postpartum pediatrician's office, phone number and hours of operation, and services (traveling nurses? Same-day appointments?)
  • Local pediatrician's office, phone number and hours of operation
  • List of feeding cues and signs of a well-fed baby
  • List of favorite information sites (
  • List of recommended YouTube videos on latching
  • List of books and DVD's on hand  
  • Printouts of medical protocols for most common breastfeeding problems (
Support groups:
  • List of 1-3 local breastfeeding support groups, their phone numbers, and schedules
  • List of online forums
Other lifelines:
  • Doula phone number
  • List of friends and family who are breastfeeding supporters

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Battle Babyfood: Round 2

The bell is about to ring on Round 2 of Battle Babyfood: I am expecting baby #2 in just over 2 months.  I've spent the last 3 years training and conditioning, and I am now a mommy of steel: nothing is going to stand in my way this time.

OK, so that is me psyching myself up.  But it is true that the knowledge I gained from trying to breastfeed a baby, having major problems and not having nearly enough help, finally finding a stopgap solution on my own (exclusively pumping for 20 months), and then asking a lot of questions and doing a lot of research and writing afterward, has me much better positioned to beat the barriers this time around.

My thinking in July 2008 was: If I can get through labor and delivery, I can get through anything, and breastfeeding will come naturally.

My thinking now is: I will be supported in labor and delivery by a slew of dedicated helpers at my hospital.  I will be supported in breastfeeding--which could be even more difficult and painful than labor and delivery--by no one except the team I build for myself.  And by support  I mean people professionally trained, experienced, and ready to provide medical guidance and intervention if needed, as well as emotional supporters.

So I'm getting started building my network of pros to make this happen, including a breastfeeding-friendly midwifery/OB practice, a breastfeeding-friendly hospital (that has incidentally made strides in its lactation support practices since Sam was born there almost 3 years ago), a great childbirth educator and doula, at least one great lactation consultant willing to do home visits and/or work with me via Skype, and a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician.

Let the battle begin!