How to Get Free Breastfeeding Support
Support for new Solo Moms who’ve chosen to breastfeed
By now, pretty much everyone’s gotten the memo: breastfeeding is great for babies for about a million and one reasons. Sometimes, though, new moms need a little help nailing down nursing. Private lactation consultants are a great option, but they can be pricey.
Never fear! There are plenty of totally free, super-helpful sources of breastfeeding help available to you. Check these out:
- Your hospital or birthing center. Many hospitals and birthing centers have certified lactation consultants onsite to help you get your nursing off to the right start. In addition, lots of hospitals offer breastfeeding classes during your stay, and you can ask for the lactation consultant to stop by your room if you need extra help. Postpartum nurses often have lactation training as well, and they can be great resources. Be sure to grab the phone number for the breastfeeding support room at the hospital. If you run into trouble after you leave, they may be able to help troubleshoot and can direct you to resources in your area that offer ongoing support.
- La Leche League. This international nonprofit promotes offers one-stop shopping for all your nursing needs. The La Leche League website offers a wealth of information, including answer pages, lists of healthcare providers who offer lactation support, and mother-to-mother forums where you can get advice, insight, and help from other moms. In addition, the League has free local chapter meetings all over the world: visit with your baby or call for advice from a peer counselor. Oh, and don’t forget to “like” their Facebook page for news and updates!
- The National Breastfeeding Helpline: 1-800-994-9662. You can talk to a breastfeeding peer counselor on the phone for free at the National Breastfeeding Helpline, offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health. The Helpline is open from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, and trained specialists can help you in English or Spanish.
- Your local Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Center. Some of the centers offer free nursing education, breastfeeding support groups, breast pumps, and other supplies. Visit this website to find contact information for your local WIC program or call the national office at 703-305-2746.
Photo credit Shutterstock.com
Nicole C. Kear, is the author of Now I See You: A Memoir, recently published by St. Martin’s Press. Kear, who lives in New York City, is also an editor, speaker, and mother of three.
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