(Photo credit Raphael Goetter
/ CC BY
) In celebration of August as national Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Iíve been combing the Internet looking for breastfeeding resources for you. I know you like to read and research information online (youíre here, arenít you?), but it can be overwhelming to try to sort through all the stuff thatís out there. Over the years, however, Iíve gotten to know a handful of respected lactation consultants and breastfeeding experts. Iíve also had the pleasure of reading a plethora of books about breastfeeding and doing my own research, both as the Maternitique CEO and as a former breastfeeding mother myself.
Of course, as with any health question, use your health care provider as your first and last stop for breastfeeding information and resources. Your babyís pediatrician is also someone who can help answer your questions about breastfeeding. I needed both of those experts along with a lactation consultant when I was first beginning to breast feed my daughter, because it turned out that it wasnít as natural to do as it looked!
To help inform your questions and allay some of your concerns, however, there are numerous breastfeeding resources online. But hereís the caveat about this list: spend enough time reading, asking questions, and otherwise learning and youíre bound to come across conflicting information. For example, one pediatrician cites a study that suggests alcohol interferes with breast feeding, while the American Academy of Pediatrics states that drinking alcohol in moderation wonít harm your breast feeding or your baby. It's important not to drive yourself crazy searching for the "ultimate truth" online. Get information, ask questions, connect with like-minded mothers and then verify what you're learning with your health care provider and your baby's pediatrician.
Breastfeeding Resources1. Kellymom.com [http://kellymom.com/]
The leading breastfeeding resource online for both moms and health care providers, Kellymom.com is founded by Kelly Bonyata, a certified lactation consultant. Ms. Bonyata has been coaching new mothers about breastfeeding for 15 years and has an informative, useful, evidence-based website chock full of breastfeeding help and instruction. There are parent forums, too, for finding your "tribe." I venture there is nothing you can't find here. I even ran across an article on cranial-sacral therapy and breastfeeding. It's all here.
On Twitter: @KellyMomdotcom
2. La Leche League International (LLLI) [http://www.llli.org/]
The website isn't a great resource for seeking breastfeeding information per se, although, there's some unique (eg, breastfeeding after breast augmentation) content that you may find helpful. Overall, the La Leche League website seems to mainly quote varying sections of their old published pamphlets, often with conflicting positions that then leave the reader with two differing recommendations. This confuses and frustrates me. That said, if what you're looking for online is a breastfeeding resource that will, in about 30 seconds, connect you to a breastfeeding support group in your community or neighborhood, then La Leche League knocks that out of the park. Plus, the LLL USA site also has all their issues of New Beginnings breastfeeding magazine now online.
3. Breastfeeding.com [http://www.breastfeeding.com]
A social community of new moms, an expert panel, a repository of breastfeeding videos and articles, Breastfeeding.com is all this and more. I canít imagine thereís a question you have about breastfeeding that isnít answered at Breastfeeding.com, but if there is, you can tune into their twice-weekly, live ďAsk a Lactation ConsultantĒ sessions online and ask it.
4. HealthyChildren.org [http://www.healthychildren.org]
A site sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the breastfeeding section of this website contains dozens of articles about commonly asked breastfeeding questionsóand not-so-commonly-asked questions, such as how to breastfeed on an airplane. The posts are generally brief and the material is sourced from published breastfeeding books. In other words, itís not a dynamic site with a forum and live advisors, but itís fact-based and includes numerous articles for dads and partners.
On Twitter: @healthychildren
5. The Leaky B@@B [http://theleakyboob.com/]
Described as an intended "breastfeeding 'pub' community," The Leaky B@@b will inform, educate, inspire, and delight you to tears. There may even be some shock and awe that appear once in a while. From expert articles to mom stories, the atmosphere is casual but respectful. Pull up a chair and read and share.
On Twitter: @TheLeakyBoob
6. WebMD [http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/breastfeeding-9/default.htm]
If you're a "show me, don't tell me" person, watch the WebMD "Starting Breastfeeding" video on the main landing page of their breastfeeding content; it's really well done. It's quick, but covers important ground with good visual shots of various positions and latch. You can also peruse the breastfeeding slideshow they put together. As a visual learner myself, I like this kind of breastfeeding resource.
On Twitter: @WebMD (not exclusive breastfeeding information)
7. KidsHealth.org [http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_newborn/#cat20573]
A site sponsored by a health foundation, its breastfeeding articles have been recently (as in, 2012) reviewed by doctors and lactation consultants for accuracy. If you want a one-stop breastfeeding resource that covers everything from getting started to when to give cow's milk and when to wean, this site has it. Easy to read and straightforward, the articles also have an audio option, so you can listen to them while you do other things (like nurse!).
8. Blacktating [http://www.blacktating.com/]
This is a personal blog written by a certified lactation counselor and breastfeeding mom, Elita. The subtitle, "breastfeeding news and views from a mom of color," pretty much says it all. Elita writes about celebrity moms of color and whether or not they're breastfeeding, health issues for women of color, and all kinds of topics around how breastfeeding is portrayed or addressed within African-American communities. She writes passionately about her own personal experiences and opinions. In other words: it's not an objective website dedicated solely to teaching or promoting breastfeeding, but where else will black women find dedicated, fact-based discussion about breastfeeding with other moms?
On Twitter: @Blacktating
9. InfantRisk Center [http://www.infantrisk.com/]
For every time you have a question about a chemical or medical substance and want to know if it's safe to use or take while breastfeeding, there's one person who's the go-to guy for this sort of thing: Dr. Thomas Hale. He writes and publishes the definitive text on the topic called Medications and Mother's Milk, now in its 15th edition as of 2012. At the InfantRisk Center website, you'll find some excerpts from Dr. Hale's research on topics such as alcohol and breastfeeding, depression medications and more. You can also grab his "Mommy Meds" iPhone or Android app through this site. To access the online database of medications that Dr. Hale has created, visit that at Medsmilk.com.
On Twitter: @infantrisk
10. Work and Pump [http://www.workandpump.com/]
This is an "old" site that appears not to have been updated in a while, so keep in mind that some information will be dated. Unfortunately, you won't find explanations of the most recent health care legislation and how it affects working mothers' guaranteed rights to breastfeed, nor how get the cost of a breast pump covered by insurance. But some of the information is still useful for moms who are going back to work and trying to get some specific support around that choice and all the consequences it has for breastfeeding.
Motherwear: Makers of nursing clothes and bras, Motherwear has been providing breastfeeding information and help to new mothers for decades. Check out their resource page to access their complete breastfeeding guide and then sign up for a monthly breastfeeding planner. Their page of links includes all the names and links to federal health agencies with breastfeeding information, including LactMed, a second resource for information about breastfeeding and chemicals/medications.
Learn on! Oh, and if you want to follow me on other social networks, you can here:
Twitter, I'm @Maternitique
Did I miss any of your favorite online breastfeeding resources? If so, tell me which ones.
Thanks for reading and sharing,