Ah, breastfeeding! It can come so naturally to some new moms and their newborns, and for others, it can be a real challenge. The good news is that there is help for just about every issue you may have! I learned in my lactation course that there is only one newborn issue where the baby actually cannot breastfeed, and that is if the baby has galactosemia. These babies really cannot digest an ingredient in breastmilk. But all other moms and babies can breastfeed! It used to be that a mom who was HIV positive could not breastfeed, but now even those moms can, with the proper treatment. About 95% of new mothers will make plenty of milk for their babies. For that other 5%, which can include people with PCOS or IGT(Insuffcient glandular tissue), even those moms can breastfeed partially and then supplement with donor milk or formula! (For donor milk, contact hmbana.org).
So, if you run into any issues, please reach out for help! Ideally you will receive this help in the hospital right after you have had your baby. Most hospitals in our area have IBCLCs on staff so you can request that they come by to help. What I will say is that some of my doula clients have gotten so many different opinions in the hospitals from the various medical personnel, that they get frustrated and some even quit. For instance, you might get different opinions from OBs, midwives, nurses, doulas, pediatricians, and the IBCLCs. If this happens, always stick with what the IBCLC tells you. They are the true experts in this field. I also always tell my clients to give me a call if they get frustrated. I am a CLC, or Certified Lactation Counselor, and can help with most issues. Since I am usually going to be with my doula clients afterwards, it is nice for them to have the continuity. I would much rather visit a client in the hospital and help them get off on the right foot and not wait till they get home and the problem gotten worse. So don’t hesitate to reach out for help!
As a CLC, I do know my limitations and there may be times that I would need to refer you to an IBCLC for further help. The good news is that we have some wonderful IBCLCs here in Philly! There is even a website that you can go to in order to see who these folks are, what areas they serve, what insurances they accept, if they do home visits, etc. That site is PRO-LC.org. If you would rather have a personal referral to someone, please feel free to ask me for some names. I have met some really awesome women in this field!
So there is your local breastfeeding support! Just reach out and ask for help. And a happy and healthy breastfeeding relationship to you!