Questions About Breastfeeding? Here Are The Top Do’s and Don’ts (but mostly the top DO’s)!
Google. We have all been there. (Myself included as a new parent!) We have that burning question, and we know the answer COULD be right at our fingertips. And here is the thing, there is always AN answer at your fingertips, but is it the correct one? Or the most accurate one for your particular situation? When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time in the Baby Center forums, feeling camaraderie when I would read a post about someone else who sounded like they were going through the same thing. Posts would read, “10 weeks pregnant, not feeling pregnant anymore” or “went to 20-week appointment and this is what they found on the ultrasound, did anyone else have this??” While I was reading these, it often made me feel better, like there were all of these other women going through this too, and that somehow made a lot of the more anxiety provoking times feel less isolating, less scary. In my opinion, that aspect of the information/community at our fingertips is a definite bonus. However, when I started to get the pit in my stomach, and started to get MORE anxious reading all of the information, I knew I was venturing into dangerous waters.
As a doula and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), it is my role to help families navigate these times of the unknown. Everything is new when you are pregnant and a new parent, and this can often feel overwhelming. It creates moments of uncertainty of how/when/what information to get, versus trusting your own instincts as a parent. As you get more comfortable in your new role as a parent, you will learn to trust that feeling in your gut-for your gut is actually your second brain (Thank you John Hopkins Medicine for this article and insight into this fascinating field.)
Here are my top favorite resources of where to get evidence-based information on your breastfeeding related questions online, including information on medications (hello allergy season!) but I always recommend speaking to a doctor or IBCLC for clarifications and concerns.
This website was developed by an IBCLC and mother of three. It has wonderful evidence-based resources on just about any breastfeeding related question you might have!
This is a place to get all of your information on medications and their safety during pregnancy and lactation. Thomas Hale, Ph.D., R.Ph., is a professor of pediatrics and associate dean of research at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and acting executive director of the InfantRisk Center.
Hale is considered one of the foremost experts in the field of perinatal pharmacology and the use of medications by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The vision of the InfantRisk Center is to create a new body of drug information concerning the safety of medications and their use during pregnancy and lactation. Additionally, the center will expand, enhance and disseminate knowledge regarding the use of medications and other environmental chemicals by pregnant and breastfeeding women worldwide. (InfantRiskCenter.com)
One of the most common questions I hear as an IBCLC is about making enough milk. Here is a great resource on strategies to increase supply.
Questions about alcohol consumption and breastfeeding? The CDC has you covered! There is also a lot of other great information on vitamins, water intake, and nutrition.
For the pumping mama’s out there, the CDC also has great information on collection and storage guidelines for pumped milk.
Information empowers parents, and these are some wonderful resources working to do just that! If you still have questions, or feel that something isn’t quite right with breastfeeding…
The Jewish University
The Sunday Experience
Rainbow Rosh Hashanah Shabbat