Road Map to Successful Breastfeeding

This list will help set you up for success!  You and your baby will love breastfeeding, and it’s good to keep in mind that the first few weeks of life with a newborn can be a whole different world.  Seek out reliable information on how to get breastfeeding off to a good start and communicate your feeding plans to your entire birth team.  You might have some questions come up, so go ahead and make a list of who will be there to help answer those questions.  And remember, we’re here for you!

Take a Breastfeeding Class

There are so many opportunities in our area, and you will feel so prepared!  Bring your support person with you–it will be more fun, and they will remember things that you forget.  Check out our Events tab for a calendar of classes:

  • Erlanger Baroness
  • Erlanger East
  • Parkridge East
  • Life Circle Women’s Healthcare
  • Hamilton County Health Department on Third Street
  • Sequoyah Health Center
  • Ooltewah Health Center
  • Dodson Avenue Health Center

Surround Yourself with Breastfeeding Champions!

Find a support team of other moms

Find your fabulous group during pregnancy!  This is a great opportunity to meet other like-minded moms.  You’ll love watching the babies interact with each other, and it will become a play group as they grow.  Questions will come up while you are nursing (and let’s face it, about being a new mother in general), and you’ll have friends to ask.

This could be an established group like La Leche League, an interactive social media group of nursing moms, WIC breastfeeding peer counselors, or friends/family that you are close to that have successfully breastfed before.  Check out our Events tab for a calendar of established Breastfeeding Support Groups.

Find a supportive and informed pediatrician

Meet with different pediatricians during your pregnancy to find the one that you “click” with.  Many offer a free “mommy chat” visit to get to know each other.  Ask other moms for good referrals.

Not sure what questions to ask?  You’re not alone.  Ask “how will you help me if I have breastfeeding challenges?”  Check this simple list out for some great questions: Finding a Breastfeeding-Friendly Doctor

Find a supportive and informed Obstetrician/midwife and birthing team

You will be spending a lot of time at your prenatal care visits–make sure to select a provider that will work hard in ensuring a positive delivery and successful breastfeeding.  Here is a handy list to look over to help you make this important decision: Your Prenatal Care Provider: The Best for Babes Selection Guide

Ask about how the hospital staff will honor your birth plan and breastfeeding plan (remember, keep any birth plans short and sweet to ensure that it is read).  Here is a great copy of a breastfeeding plan to print out and take with you to the hospital: My Breastfeeding Plan

Take a tour of the hospital/birthing center and check out the lactation services offered at your place of delivery.  Ask about their certification as a Baby-Friendly Hospital.

Doulas are a great resource?  Their support can lead to shorter labors and less need for pain medications and can support you in your breastfeeding journey.  Chattanooga has a great selection of doulas, and the Scenic City Birth Collective is a good place to start!

Get your family excited about breastfeeding!

Dads can read about how they fit into the new role of the father of a breastfed baby at the 24-Hour Cribside Assistance site–it’s practically a Dad’s manual…a site for Dads, by Dads.

Grandmothers can’t wait to snuggle with the new baby, but a lot has changed since they birthed and fed their own babies.  Grandmas can be Mom’s biggest supporter, and can get some helpful tips at 5 Ways that Grandmothers Can Support Breastfeeding Moms.

There’s an App for That

MommyMeds is brought to you by the Infant Risk Center, the experts in the field of breastfeeding and medications.  If you or your provider have questions or uncertainties about a medication to be taken while breastfeeding, either of you can also contact the Infant Risk Center at (806) 352-2519.

LactMed is also a database with information on medications–you can download the app here.

Read and Watch

Here are a few CABC member all-star favorite book picks:

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin

Check out some videos

You will be amazed at these videos of the newborn breast crawl directly after birth–this is why giving the baby uninterrupted skin-to-skin time with mom directly after birth is so important (and be prepared for your heart to just melt…): Breast Crawl for Newborn Breastfeeding

Ameda Breastfeeding Basics videos will give you some great visual information

Reputable Online Information

The key word being…reputable.  It can be difficult to distinguish, even to the trained eye.  Look for information from credible sources with education specifically in breastfeeding, such as an IBCLC.  Avoid information or “support” from any source with a conflict of interest, such companies that manufacture infant formula.  Most other countries have laws that determine the influence of formula companies in marketing to families that are expecting or have young children, but the United States is not one of these countries.  So here are a few great informational sources to get a good start in preparing to breastfeed:

Best for Babes: Prepare: The Learning Curve of Breastfeeding