My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Where to find Breastfeeding Help

Where would one go to find a breastfeeding specialist doctor in my area?
I'd start by asking lots of mothers. Keep in mind that while there are more of "us" over time. You would likely have to drive a bit to get to one. Women in my location have to drive to get to other specialist in Orlando and Miami, don't give-up just because there is not one next door. It is worth traveling for the informed consult!

What organizations that you belong to might help with that? (all of these have directories and links in my resource list)

La Leche League has Medical Associates
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
Attachment Parenting International (I don't actually belong right now)
International Lactation Association
Florida Lactation Consultant Association

OK, I do have a question. My DIL was told by a lactation professional that she was not making enough milk. (Baby was sleeping a lot and mom was told that that is a sign, along with little weight gain, of not enough nutrition) The lactation consultant checked the baby's latch, said it was fine, and told mom to pump and suggested herbs to help increase her milk. She never got engorged (which she sees as evidence of her inability to produce sufficient milk), but nursed through pain and difficulties for weeks and finally stopped. (That girl is a trooper! most of us would have quit much sooner.)

So: 1) are there or are there not some women who, while fully capable of growing a baby and giving birth well, are unable to make milk for that baby? I have heard both yes and no to this question and want to know the truth with data to back it up.

I think it is very rare that a mother can't make enough milk, although I occasionally have a mother whom I've worked with and still can't. Our cultural influence and prior experience affects breastfeeding (beliefs, motivation, misconceptions, initiation (or lack of) ,lack of support, labor medications, prior breast surgery, or other surgery like gastric bypass and nutrition). But there is still occasional times when all these conditions are optimized and a woman still can't make enough milk like inadequate glandular tissue, thyroid, pituitary disease (but can still be optimized ).

Here, I am considering the mother's side not the babies side which can include prematurity, immaturity, tongue-tie and suck disorders and other cranial facial disorders.

Pregnancy is not required to produce milk. Surrogate and adoptive mom can produce milk with support and proper information.

A mother who can't provide breastmilk can still mother at the breast (lact-aid, SNS) and provide skin-to-skin (co-bath, co-sleep, babywear). Recently one of our La Leche League leaders daughters asked, "What if I can't breastfeed. Will you be mad at me?" You can still provide mothering at the breast and skin-t0-skin. Many mother's who "give-up" breastfeeding, give-up on it all, too. A mother's desire to breastfeed is the most important factor.

And 2) what are the different kinds of lactation consultant people? There are the lay helpers like La Leche League, which do a lot of good, and there are some professionals and people like you who have letters after their names. What kind of help do these various people offer, and who would you expect to have the best, most helpful information? I want to know to whom I can direct moms when they are having trouble with nursing.

Remind me where you live. You can send me a comment or e-mail and I'll let you know if I know someone. I won't publish a comment with your location. There are many types of professionals who can help breastfeeding, and unfortunately there are many who think they are helping, but are causing harm. For example midwifes, doulas, physicians, nurses (and nurse practitioners), chiros, therapists, dietitians and dentists (and more) are in great positions to help breastfeeding, but its the rare few who take special interest to specialize in lactation. However, I can think of a few who provide exceptional help in all all of those professions. La Leche League leaders are great if the mother needs mother-to-mother support. It's great to refer all mothers to LLL. (Our local group is great. I am not sure that all areas have an active gr oup like we have.) They can often help locate a physician who belongs to LLL medical associates. But medical associates and members of the academy of breastfeeding medicine differ in the level of experience, knowledge, area of expertise and service (clinical, research-based, academic) and may not all be available. Some do primary care w/ breastfeeding and some have limited their practice to just breastfeeding.

In some areas WIC is a good place to ask for a lactation consultant. In some places WIC isn't as helpful.

It all goes back to asking lots of local mothers who the professionals are in an area.

There seems to be a lot of certifications and levels for various lactation providers and many certifying organizations. So many, I am sorry to say, I haven't kept up. I have kept a list of old favorites in my resource list in the navbar.

And 3) where can I go to get training in this myself?) Thanks.

Become a La Leche League leader or at least a paid member for now, so you get on the mailing list for meetings, conferences, journals. Join your state and/or local lactation group or Breastfeeding Task force. Contact the office certifying IBCLC's for reputable information.


Kristen's Raw said...

Your blog is filled with so much wonderful information. Thank you!!!


Marie said...

My mother said the reason she didn't produce enough milk for me (I'm the oldest) was because she was taking a birth control pill. With her later children (she had 7 children) she used different forms of birth control and had wonderful experiences with nursing, especially the last 3 children. That's when she said she learned how to breastfeed, and I know that's because she began receiving support. My question is: Does hormone birth control (that uses synthetic hormones) cause problems with producing enough milk?

Permission to Mother said...

Yes, synthetic hormones may negatively influence birth control.

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